In August of 2016, the global transplant community gathered in Hong Kong, sharing advances in clinical medicine and experimental science at the 50th Anniversary Congress of The Transplantation Society
Over 3000 delegates from 85 countries met to exchange data, practice, and ideas
One of the highlights of the meeting was the award ceremony. Dr. Jan Lerut won the Award for Mentorship or Education and Training in Transplantation. Dr. Stan Jordan won the Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Transplantation Award (Clinical). Dr. Visist Dhitavat won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Transplantation (Developing Country). Dr. David Cooper won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Transplantation (Basic Science). Dr. S. Adib Hasan Rizvi won the Humanitarian Award in Transplantation. And Professor Jean Paul Soulillou won the prestigious Medawar Prize 2016 - the highest award of TTS.
These awards recognize individuals who have made a major international impact in the field of transplantation. The awards are given out at each International Congress of The Transplantation Society.
David Cooper studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital Medical School of the University of London (now merged with King’s College London), where he also carried out research in heart storage for the PhD degree. He subsequently trained in general and cardiothoracic surgery in Cambridge and London before taking up an appointment in cardiac surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. There, with Winston Wicomb, he developed a hypothermic perfusion device to store donor hearts, initially in large animals and subsequently in the clinical program. With Dimitri Novitzky, he investigated the detrimental effects of brain death on donor organ function in pigs and baboons before establishing thyroid hormone therapy in the management of potential organ donors in clinical transplantation. In 1987, he relocated to the Oklahoma Transplantation Institute in Oklahoma City where he continued to work in both the clinical and research fields; with colleagues, he identified the importance of the Gal antigen in xenotransplantation. After 17 years as a surgeon-scientist, he decided to concentrate his attention on research, initially in the TBRC at the MGH and subsequently at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 25 years, his major interest has been the xenotransplantation of organs or islets in pig-to-nonhuman primate models.
After receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Jordan completed a pediatric internship and residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed three fellowships: one in pediatric nephrology at UCLA, one in experimental pathology in the Department of Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, and the third in dialysis and transplantation at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. He is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric nephrology and diagnostic laboratory immunology.
For more than two decades, Dr. Jordan has performed extensive research into various aspects of immunology and transplantation, funded by dozens of research grants and awards, including two prestigious National Institutes of Health controlled clinical trials in kidney transplantation grants. He has written hundreds of articles and abstracts published in scientific journals, presented findings at medical and scientific organisations and authored about two dozen book chapters. Dr. Jordan's ground-breaking research in transplant immunology led to the development of a drug therapy protocol that significantly reduces the risk of a transplanted kidney being rejected.
Dr. Jordan has extensive experience with desensitization for incompatible kidney transplantation and currently has six investigator-initiated clinical trials examining novel therapies for desensitization and treatment of antibody-mediated rejection. He and his team pioneered the use of intravenous immunoglobulin to reduce the risk of rejection in difficult cases in which other medications failed. He also created a technique to detect post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in its earliest stages.
Dr. Visist Dhitavat has been the Director of the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre since it was established in 1994. He is responsible for the development, maintenance and expansion of the whole process of organ donation and transplantation system in Thailand. He spends time and effort in giving knowledge and education, as well as in promoting positive attitudes toward organ donation both to the public and to healthcare professionals. He has been supported widely by all sectors: private, governmental and the media. Public awareness of organ donation has been raised through many means: news, educational materials and campaigns. He has developed good collaboration among healthcare professionals by visiting hospitals throughout the country to educate and persuade them to participate in organ donation process, and to push the organ donation to be a part of their routine work. In addition, he has set-up networks of in-house transplant coordinators at each hospital. Through these efforts, the rate of organ donation has increased by more than 10% per year.
For the last decade, Dr. Dhitavat collaborated on organ donation and transplantation meetings organized by the WHO. His aim is to achieve national self-sufficiency for organ donation and transplantation.
Jan Lerut, MD, PhD, trained in surgery at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium, under Prof. J. Gruwez; at the H. Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany, under Prof. K. Kremer; and at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium, under Prof. P.J. Kestens.
From the start of his surgical career, Dr. Lerut has been involved in organ transplantation. This interest resulted in a transplantation fellowship at the Universities Paris-Sud-Centre Hépatobiliaire Paul Brousse under Prof. H. Bismuth and at Pittsburgh Medical Centre under Prof. Thomas E. Starzl. He was Director of the Abdominal Transplant Program at the Inselspital University of Bern, Switzerland, from 1987 to 1991 (Prof. L.H. Blumgart).
Dr. Lerut is currently Professor of Surgery and co-Director of the Department of Abdominal and Transplantation Surgery, and Director of the Starzl Abdominal Transplant Unit at the University Hospital Saint Luc and the UCL Transplant Centre in Brussels.
Dr. Lerut has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, 24 book chapters and 24 scientific films. He made more than 600 communications on national and international congresses, mostly devoted to liver transplantation. He co-edited the book Regenerative Medicine Applications in Organ Transplantation. His research interests focus on the development of technical refinements in liver transplantation, the value of liver transplantation in hepato-biliary oncology, the use of minimal immunosuppression and tolerance induction.
Professor S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi is the founder of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Pakistan which started in 1971 and has progressed into the largest urology, nephrology and transplant centre of South Asia. It is based on the model of community government partnership. As a humanitarian, Prof. Rizvi’s mission has been to prove that everyone has the right to the best treatment that can be offered, and all of it free of cost.
Prof. Rizvi founded a high ethical standard transplant programme in Pakistan, the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). SIUT has performed over 5000 living related kidney transplants with lifelong follow-up and immunosuppression free with dignity. He performed the first deceased kidney transplantation and initiated live related liver transplantation in the country with the help of Kings College and the Shiraz Organ Transplant Centre.
He has played a pivotal role in the campaign against transplant tourism and helped in the promulgation of transplant legislation to increase altruistic transplants and allow deceased donation. He is a Past President of the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation; the Asian Society of Transplantation; the Nephrology, Urology, and Transplantation Society (NUTS) of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC); and the Transplantation Society of Pakistan. He is a well known figure in the international scene and has been given several awards for his immense contributions in the field of medicine and transplantation, which include the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the St. Paul’s Medal, the Hunterian Professorship, the Felix T. Rapaport Award, the National Kidney Foundation Medal, and the Pioneer Award of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN).
Lori West, MD, DPhil, FRCPC, is an acknowledged leader internationally in the field of paediatric cardiac transplantation and immunology. Her pioneering clinical work in ABO incompatible infant heart transplantation has had an enormous impact in the field worldwide. This together with her laboratory investigations exploring the mechanisms of tolerance in the B cell compartment that develops in infants who receive an ABO incompatible graft has generated new insights in the field. Lori has taken leading roles at her own institution where she is Director of the Albert Transplant Institute and nationally where she pioneered the development of the Canadian National Transplant Research Programme, a multi-disciplinary research programme in transplantation across all of the provinces; Lori is currently Director of CNTRP.
Lori is an exemplary educator and mentor. She has trained, and continues to train, numerous highly qualified physicians and scientists, many of whom will be tomorrow’s academic leaders. Indeed, her trainees have won many awards from the major transplant professional societies and granting agencies.
Elmi Muller, MMed, MBChB, FCS, MRCS, FACS is the Head of the Transplant Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital in Capetown, South Africa, and directs an impressive clinical service at an institution with a rich history in transplantation. Through Elmi’s groundbreaking work in transplanting HIV positive organs from deceased donors into HIV positive recipients many South Africans are alive and off dialysis. Her work has had international impact on laws involving donation, including the introduction of the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act in the United States in 2014, ending the US federal ban on the procurement of organs from donors infected with HIV.
Elmi’s work with the transplant community goes well beyond her work with HIV positive donors, and includes volunteering her time with The Transplantation Society, the Women in Transplantation initiative, as an Executive Committee member of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) and her ongoing involvement in an international effort to bring renal transplant programs to the African continent.
Lalitha Raghuram’s role as a catalyst has brought together public and private hospitals, families, medical staff and public at large to take responsibility for organ donation. Her contribution in creating dedicated transplant coordinators, families, medical staff and public at large to take responsibility for organ donation. Her contribution is immeasurable, there are more than 1000 professionals have been trained so far with a direct impact of more than 5500 organs and tissues being transplanted to needy patients from deceased donors.
The transplant coordinator training is offered to all the interested and qualified individuals irrespective of their race, religion, gender, ethnicity, class, caste or creed. There are more than 500 women (more than 50%) that have been trained through this training program.
Lalitha Raghuram has been a mentor and an active board member of several hospitals has advocated for increasing women in transplantation be it doctors, nurses, or social workers. Her visionary untiring efforts along with MOHAN Foundation in India are on the path of saving many lives.
The recipients of the TTS Young Investigator Scientific Awards submitted abstracts to the Hong Kong transplantation Congress and received the highest scores from an international panel of reviewers.
Penelope Allen received a TTS Young Investigator Award for her research on Glomerulonephritis recurrence in kidney transplant recipients. Using data collected over 30 years (1985-2014) from the Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA), the study determined the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes of recurrent glomerulonephritis in kidney transplant recipients. The project was conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Germaine Wong at the Centre for Kidney Research, Westmead in conjunction with the Sydney University School of Public Health.
Ms. Allen is currently studying postgraduate medicine at The Australian National University in Canberra, and will complete her MChD in 2018. She looks forward to being involved in ongoing research in the field of kidney transplantation. Penelope is a recipient of the Sydney University Summer Research Scholarship and the Transplant Society of Australia and New Zealand Young Investigator Award.
Vaishnavi Calisa received a Young Investigator Award for her work on the relative costs and health benefits of an age-matched deceased donor allocation algorithm compared to current practice, under the supervision of A/Prof Germaine Wong. A probabilistic Markov model was used to determine whether restricting the donor-recipient age-mismatch would improve graft and patient outcomes in different age groups. It was found that age-matching would provide small health benefits across the population, benefitting those between 30 and 60 but slightly disadvantaging those under 30 and over 60.
Ms. Calisa is currently in her second year of Bachelor of Science (Advanced) and Doctor of Medicine at The University of Sydney. Her current research interest is in using mathematical and statistical modelling in medical applications, particularly kidney transplantation. In April 2016 she received the Astellas Clinical Presentation Award and Young Investigator Award at the Transplant Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting.
Aravind Cherukuri received a Young Scientific Investigator Award for his work analysing de novo DSA and its relationship with the development of early T cell mediated rejection and chronic allograft histological changes. The study revealed that de novo DSA is associated with the development of early T cell rejection (TCR) and that the combination of DSA and TCR is associated with significantly worse renal function and chronic allograft injury than DSA alone. Further, in patients with DSA, a pro-inflammatory B lymphocyte cytokine profile predicted those at risk of TCR with a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 78%. Thus de novo DSA is a marker for a heightened cellular alloresponse and the study of B lymphocytes may potentially help to risk stratify patients allowing for early therapeutic intervention.
Dr. Cherukuri received his MBBS from Guntur Medical College and completed his residency and fellowship training in Nephrology at St. James’s University Hospital. He has an interest in transplant immunology and has taken up translational research in human kidney transplantation centred on cytokine expressing B lymphocytes. He received a PhD from the University of Leeds, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. Dr. Cherukuri’s research is aimed at understanding the biology of cytokine expressing B cells in the context of immunological tolerance and developing predictive biomarkers for renal transplant rejection.
Jason Davis received a Young Investigator Award for his work on the Changes in Liver Allograft Steatosis and its Impact on Early Graft Function and Long Term Survival. Jason completed his work under the supervision of Dr. Richard S Mangus, the Surgical Director of Small Bowel and Multivisceral Transplantation at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). Results of the study confirm that there is a marked post-transplant decrease in liver steatosis. Overall, allografts with moderate to severe steatosis have worse early injury, delayed graft function, more substantial acute decrease in renal function, and worse survival. The subgroup analysis showed that transplant recipients who are younger, male, obese, or have fatty liver disease are more able to clear steatosis in the early post-transplant period compared to others.
Jason Davis is currently completing his M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine. He has completed multiple projects, receiving various awards and a fellowship in recognition for his work, most recently first place at the 2016 Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) Outstanding Medical Student Presentation. Also the 2015 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship from the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society, which has helped him to expand on his other research endeavors in the transplant lab at the IUSM.
Denis Efimov was granted a Young Investigator Award for his research paper on DAMP-associated preservation injury and complications after liver transplantation. The results of the study showed that more severe DAMP-associated ischemia reperfusion liver graft injury was associated with higher incidence of severe early allograft dysfunction and lower incidence of acute rejection. Also it was revealed that donor polymorphism of TLR-4 gene in SNP rs913930 was associated with severe EAD occurrence after DBD LTx in Eastern European (Belarus) patients. This fact may help to stratify donors' grafts on high/low risk of EAD incidence based on genetically proved predictors.
Denis Efimov earned his MD on clinical medicine from Belorussian State Medical University in 2011. Currently, he works at the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation (Minsk, Belarus). His research interests are: ishemia reperfusion injury, biomarkers, EAD prophylaxis after liver transplantation. He received the best presentation award at EFTW in 2014 (ESOT, Prague).
Shaimaa Elkholy received a Young Investigator Award at for her research on the predictors of mortality in living donor of liver transplantation (LDLT). This work represented a retrospective analysis for LDLT in Cairo University, which is the only source of donation in Egypt. This Unique experience was based only on living donation for which a risk index had been provided for prediction of early mortality. This risk index included MELD score, duration of ICU stay, and intra-operative blood transfusion with cut off values of 20, 9 and 8, respectively.
Dr. Elkholy graduated from Cairo University and she is now a lecturer at the Internal Medicine Department (Hepatogastroenterology Unit) Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University. She earned her phD in infections post liver transplantation, also from Cairo University. Her main interest is in Liver transplantation and GI endoscopy. She also received the Best Abstract award at the Pan Arab Liver Transplantation Society(PALTS) in 2013 for her research into nutrition in liver cirrhosis.
Jianing Fu was granted a Young Investigator Award for her research paper into naïve donor-derived lymphocytes from graft-resident lymphoid progenitors. Mixed lymphocyte reaction and high throughput TCRb CDR3 DNA sequencing were used to identify alloreactive T cell clones, and they were further tracked in blood or allograft post-transplant. The data demonstrated that donor graft-versus-host-reactive T cells and hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells carried within the graft play a key role in promoting and maintaining donor chimerism in the peripheral blood, which correlates with better clinical outcomes. This study provides new insights into the underlying mechanism of blood mixed chimerism and paves the way to develop new strategies to reduce graft rejection and achieve tolerance.
Dr. Fu received her MS on Chemical Biology from Peking University in China, and PhD on Cancer Biology and Immunology from University of South Florida. She is now a fellow at the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology at Columbia University. Under Dr. Megan Sykes’s mentorship, Dr. Fu’s research is aimed at decoding the bidirectional alloreactivity after intestinal transplantation and investigating the phenotype and function of gut hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, with the ultimate goal of eliminating graft rejection by inducing long persistent blood mixed chimerism.
Dr. Barbara Kern received a TTS Young Investigator Award for her work on “Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) as indication for Liver Transplantation in Europe - Clinical Analysis of over 37.000 patients”. This study investigates all adult patients with NASH, who underwent LT in Europe between 2002 and 2012 in collaboration with the ELTR registry in order to define risk factors and recommendation for this new epidemic.
Dr. Kern received her medical degree from the Medical University of Vienna. She is now a permanent resident at the Department of Visceral-, Transplant- and Thoracic Surgery at the Innsbruck Medical University, where she is also actively enrolled in the PhD program. To finish part of her thesis, she also spent one year abroad as a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, in Baltimore, USA. Her research interests are in the field of liver, small bowel, and reconstructive transplantation.
Qiang Liu was granted a Young Investigator Award for his research on triglyceride exportation and lipid metabolism in the preservation of discarded steatotic human livers using 24 hours ex vivo normothermic machine perfusion. The study was the first to determine the lipid profile of the perfusate in ex vivo human liver normorthermic perfusion, and indicate that active triglyceride metabolism and exportation occur ex vivo regardless of transaminase release and bile production. It is the basis to reduce steatosis in human donor liver prior to transplantation by using prolonged perfusion and/or proper pharmacological intervention for eventually expanding donor criteria.
Dr. Liu earned his MD in China, mastering in medical imaging; and his PhD in biomedical science at the University of Leuven in Belgium. He also has a MSc in applied statistics. After working in Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, he is currently doing research at the Cleveland Clinic with interest on ex vivo organ perfusion, assessment, and resuscitation prior to transplantation
David Nasralla was awarded a Young Investigator Scientific Award for his presentation of the results from a multinational randomised controlled trial comparing normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) with static cold storage (SCS) in human liver transplantation. This is one of several trials being conducted by the Consortium for Organ Preservation in Europe (COPE) and required 220 livers to be transplanted in 7 transplant centres in 4 EU countries. NMP was shown to substantially improve early graft function as measured by the peak-AST (primary outcome, p<0.01) and early allograft dysfunction rates (p<0.01) despite better organ utilisation and longer preservation times in the NMP group.
David graduated from the Oxford University Medical School in 2005 and is currently completing his surgical training in the Oxford Transplant Centre whilst writing up his DPhil under the supervision of Prof. Peter Friend. In parallel to this, he is collecting the longer-term follow-up data from the trial and remains actively involved with further NMP studies including planning the next phase of clinical trials. Other aspects of his research have been concerned with the uptake of bile salts during ex-vivo liver perfusion and using NMP to immunologically modify an organ.
Kevin Tak-Pan Ng was granted a Young Investigator Award for his research paper: Up-regulation of GSTA2 at early-phase after liver transplantation increases the risk of late-phase hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence. The study has demonstrated that up-regulation of hepatic and plasma GSTA2 at early-phase after liver transplantation indicates not only an increased early-phase hepatic injury and but also a higher risk of late-phase HCC recurrence after liver transplantation. GSTA2 played important roles in liver cancer cells to adapt the dynamic change of ROS condition during the course of liver transplantation. Targeting suppression of GSTA2 is possibly a novel strategy to reduce the likelihood of HCC recurrence after liver transplantation.
Dr. Ng received his PhD degree in the Department of Surgery, at the University of Hong Kong. Currently, he is working on identifying biomarkers and therapeutic targets that can predict and overcome liver cancer recurrence after liver transplantation. He is also a 2-time recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the International Liver Transplantation Society.
Thomas Schachtner was granted a Young Investigator Award for his research paper: Kinetics of CMV-specific T-cells from pre- to posttransplantation predict outcomes in CMV-seronegative kidney transplant recipients. His work suggests that monitoring CMV-specific T-cell kinetics from pre- to post-transplantation offers superior risk stratification of CMV-seronegative kidney transplant recipients from CMV-seropositive donors. He proposed that patients with stable/increasing CMV-specific T-cells are suspected to have protective immunity against CMV, and qualify for safe discontinuation of CMV prophylaxis. In contrast, patients with undetectable/decreasing CMV-specific T-cells are at increased risk of CMV-infection and should continue CMV prophylaxis and monitoring of CMV-specific cellular immunity.
Dr. Schachtner received his M.D. from the Charité University Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Currently, he is focused on the final year of his specialist training in nephrology and the completion of the habilitation procedure. His research interests are: characterization of virus-specific immunity in kidney transplant recipients with CMV- and BKV-infection, characterization of alloreactive cellular immunity in kidney transplant recipients, infectious complications after solid organ transplantation, and long-term outcomes of living kidney donors.
Dr. Oscar K. Serrano received a Young Investigator Award for his research project titled: Defining the Tipping Point in Surgical Performance for Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy Among Transplant Surgery Fellows: a Risk-Adjusted Cumulative Summation Learning Curve Analysis. Along with his colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Serrano performed a retrospective intraoperative case analysis to assess the learning curve of transplant surgery fellows performing laparoscopic donor nephrectomies (LDN). Based on their estimates, transplant surgery fellows require between 35 and 38 cases to become proficient with LDN but demonstrate a tipping point of learning the procedure by approximately 24 to 28 cases. This project is significant for setting standards for the training of transplant surgery trainees and defining a benchmark on the number of LDN operations needed to become proficient.
Dr. Serrano received his MD from Stanford University and his MBA from the Johns Hopkins University. He completed his General Surgery residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is now a fellow in Transplant Surgery at the University of Minnesota. Clinically, he is interested in all facets of abdominal organ transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery and his research interests integrate practice improvement with biomedical research innovation to improve patient care. He also takes great interest in the education and training of surgical trainees in the modern era.
Rashmi Shingde received a Young Investigator Scientific Award for her systematic review of unexpected donor-derived infectious transmissions in kidney transplants. Under the supervision of Associate Professor Germaine Wong at the Centre for Kidney Research, Westmead, Australia, her work showed that unexpected donor transmissions can have significant patient morbidity and mortality. Whilst rare, the true incidence of such events is unknown due to the lack of a standardised global reporting framework.
Ms. Shingde is currently studying Medicine at the University of New South Wales and has an interest in renal and endocrine medical research.
Umang G. Thakkar was granted a Young Investigator Award for his research paper on Stem cell therapy for post-traumatic paraplegia and for renal parenchymal diseases. Autologous/ allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be generated in vitro from adipose tissue. MSCs have no HLA markers, are tolerogenic and immunomodulatory. Hence they can be used in immune disorders/ transplantation/ regenerative medicine. Neuronal differentiated autologous adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) along with hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) infused into cerebrospinal fluid for post traumatic paraplegia. Allogenic Ad-MSCs and HSCs were infused into portal, thymic and renal circulation for remission of renal parenchymal diseases. Post traumatic paraplegia which has no hope of recovery, can be treated with neuronal differentiated autologous Ad-MSCs and HSCs. Progression of RPD to ESRD can be arrested/ halted by Ad-MSCs and HSCs.
Mr. Thakkar earned his DCH (Paediatrics) from India and is experienced in the field of regenerative medicine. Currently he is working at the G.R. Doshi and K.M. Mehta Institute of Kidney Diseases & Research Centre (IKDRC) - Dr. H.L. Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences (ITS), Ahmedabad, India. His research interests are stem cell therapy for treatment of various neurological disorders, cardiac disorders, autoimmune diseases like type-1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematous etc.
Mirjam Tielen received a Young Investigator Award for her work on medication adherence after kidney transplantation. In collaboration with Emma Massey, Assistant Professor Health Psychologyof the Erasmus Medical Centre of Rotterdam, she has performed several studies on adherence of kidney transplant patients. In this particular study it was found that patients who reported being non-adherent to immunosupressive medication had a lower 4-year graft survival compared to adherent patients.
Ms. Tielen is a nurse practitioner with more than 10 years’ experience in the field of adult kidney transplantation at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. In her work as a nurse practitioner she works mainly at the outpatient clinic, evaluating transplant candidates and their living donors as well as providing post-transplant care. She obtained a PhD degree on 6th April 2016. She is an active member of several nursing organizations and was, for example, the President of the Dutch Workgroup of Transplant Nurses for 5 years. Currently, she is a board member of the Nurse Practitioner Society in the Erasmus Medical Center of Rotterdam and has also been board member of the foundation of OWVS (supporting scientific research among nurse practitioners) since 2013. In the future she will continue her work on medication adherence after kidney transplantation and she will focus on interventions to promote adherence to improve clinical outcomes.
Thomas Vanhove received a Young Investigator Award for his research related to connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). CTGF expression in 3-month renal allograft protocol biopsies was predictive of the progression of interstitial fibrosis on repeat 5-year biopsies, together with donor age. This indicates that, in a cohort of low-risk renal recipients with favorable histology at 3 months, significant differences may exist in the activation of profibrotic pathways, with implications for the development of long-term fibrosis. These findings are largely in agreement with previous microarray data that suggest important profibrotic and inflammatory activity, even in allografts with benign histology.
Thomas Vanhove received his MD from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University Hospitals Leuven and currently works as a research fellow at the Department of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation. His research focuses on tacrolimus pharmacology and identifying predictors of long-term renal allograft histology.
Georgios Vrakas received a Young Investigator Award for his work on the immunological impact of simultaneous intestinal and vascularized composite allograft transplantation at the Oxford Transplant Centre. The development of de novo donor specific antibodies (DSAs) after an intestinal transplant, in line with other organ types, is detrimental to the long-term outcome of the graft. So far, the Oxford data suggests that combining an abdominal wall vascularised composite allograft with an intestinal transplant does not increase the incidence of de novo DSAs. Dr. Vrakas received his MD from the
University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece, his M.Sc. from the Dimokrition University, Alexandroupolis, Greece and his Ph.D. from the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece. He was a resident for General Surgery at Drama and Papanikolaou General Hospitals, Greece. After his board certification as a Specialist for General Surgery, he completed transplant fellowships at Guy’s Hospital, London, UK and Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK. Currently he is a Consultant Transplant Surgeon at Oxford University Hospitals. Clinically he is interested in intestinal and multivisceral transplantation and in renal autotransplantation following ex vivo resection of conventionally unresectable renal neoplasias. His research interests are: determining sentinel markers tracing status of the transplanted organ and remote, patient led, monitoring.
Johannes Wedel received a Young Investigator Award for his work on the identification of DEPTOR as a novel regulatory molecule in the alloactivation of CD4+ T cells. DEPTOR is a first-in-kind cell intrinsic modulator of mTOR, which Dr. Wedel demonstrated is expressed in T cell subsets and serves to enhance immunoregulation in vitro in cell culture models and in vivo in a fully MHC mismatched model of cardiac allograft rejection. The survival of wild type grafts in DEPTOR transgenic (overexpressors) is significantly prolonged (p<0.05). His studies provide for the intriguing possibility that targeting the regulation of DEPTOR in T cells has promise as a future therapeutic.
Dr. Wedel received his MD from Heidelberg University, Germany, and his PhD from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He is currently training as a research fellow in the Briscoe Laboratory and the Transplant Research Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, USA. He is interested further developing his career as a physician scientist in transplantation, and wishes to develop a research effort focused on alloimmunity and the identification of intracellular signals pathways pertinent to T regulatory cell survival and function post-transplantation.
Dr. Cheng Yang received a Young Investigator Award for his work on the cyclic helix B peptide inhibition ischemia reperfusion-induced renal fibrosis via the PI3K/Akt/FoxO3a pathway. In collaboration with Prof. Yaqiu Long in SIMM, Chinese Academy of Sciences, they recently synthesized a novel proteolysis-resistant cyclic helix B peptide (CHBP) that exhibits promising renoprotective effects. In this study, Dr. Yang evaluated the effect of CHBP on renal fibrosis in an in vivo ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) model and in vitro TGF-β-stimulated tubular epithelial cells (TCMK-1 and HK-2) model. Their findings demonstrate that CHBP attenuates renal fibrosis and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of tubular cells, through suppression of the PI3K/Akt pathway and thereby the inhibition FoxO3a activity. CHBP may become a promising new drug for the treatment of renal fibrosis.
Dr. Yang received his MD and PhD from the Fudan University in Shanghai. He then completed his surgical residency at Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University. During the PhD training, he visited University Leicester and collaborated with Prof. Bin Yang on the research of acute kidney injury. He is now a resident in the Department of Urology at Zhongshan Hospital. In addition to TTS, Dr. Yang is a member of AST and ESOT. His research interests include acute kidney injury, rejection and tolerance, immune regulation in transplantation and cell apoptosis/necroptosis.
Oscar Yeung received a Young Investigator Award for his work with the topic "Transforming growth factor beta receptor III (TGFβR3) induced tumor promoting macrophages via complement component C5a in liver cancer". Following his previous study on the identification of M2 macrophages as one of the critical mediators in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development, Dr. Yeung shifted his research focus to the mechanisms of tumor cells used for recruiting and stimulating the macrophage populations in the tumor microenvironment. In the study, he showed that that loss of the TGFβR3 contributed to the increased M2 macrophages in HCC through activating the complement component systems.
Dr. Yeung received his PhD from the University of Hong Kong and currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Surgery. His research projects focus on the innate immunology particularly macrophages in liver transplantation and HCC.
The Transplantation Society (TTS) along with the collaboration of its Affiliated Societies celebrates the contributions of basic science to the field of transplantation by recognizing the efforts of basic scientists who have advanced our understanding of transplant science/immunobiology and/or treatment of transplant recipients, and the young investigators who will be the future leaders in transplantation.
Prospective Treatment and Novel Biomarkers of BK Polyomavirus Associated Nephropathy
Minal Borkar received Mentee-Mentor Award for her work “Prospective treatment and novel biomarkers of BK polyomavirus associated nephropathy”. This project gave significant piece of information about the mechanisms by which BK polyoma virus causes these changes eventually leading to graft loss and patient morbidity. It will also help in the identification of novel biomarkers of cell death and Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition which will eventually lead to better diagnosis and prognosis of BK nephropathy. The more research on understanding the mechanism will help in establishing clinically proven effective antiviral treatment for BK PVAN.
Minal Borkar is a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Lee Anne Tibbles at University of Calgary since November 2012. She has received Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP) fellowship in 2014 and cleared another CNTRP- Alberta Transplant Institute Fellowship in 2015. Minal worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Spain and Scientist in Department of Medical Genetics at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, India. She is the recipient of various awards like Mentee-Mentor Award BSM 2013 Paris, AST-IDCOP Travel Award in American Transplant Congress 2016, CNTRP Travel Award for World Transplant Congress 2014 and twice Nick Norgan award for the best paper of the Journal in 2010 and 2012
Metabolites Associated with Bariatric Surgery Reverse Accelerated Rejection and Augmented Alloimmunity in Obese Allograft Recipients
Dr. Markus Quante received the International Transplantation Science Mentee-Mentor Travel Award in for his work on the impact of obesity on alloimmune responses in a mouse transplant model. He showed that obesity accelerated allograft rejection linked to a more pronounced pro-inflammatory immune response. Weight loss subsequent to bariatric surgery, in contrast, prolonged allograft survival and skewed the immune response towards Th2 dominated conditions. Metabolic changes that were linked to bariatric surgery modified alloimmune responses and prolonged graft survival. These results will serve as a basis for a future detailed mechanistic analysis.
Dr. Quante received his MD from the Hannover Medical School, Germany, completed his surgical residency at the University Hospital Leipzig, and afterwards a member of the IFB Integrated Research and Treatment Centre Adiposity Diseases. In July 2013, Dr. Quante joined the Transplant Surgery Research Laboratory at Brigham and Women´s Hospital in Boston as a postdoctoral research fellow. Dr. Quante is currently at the Department of General-, Visceral-, and Transplantation Surgery in Tuebingen, Germany.
Cell-free Mitochondrial DNA Activates DCs in an Age-dependent Fashion and Compromises the Survival of Older Grafts
In 2016 Sebastian Stead was awarded the International Transplantation Science Mentee-Mentor Travel Award in recognition for his abstract entitled: Dendritic cell phenotype and function modification with targeted porous silicon nanoparticles. His work is focused on identifying novel treatments within the field of nanomedicine, providing alternative methods for delivering immunosuppressive medications in an acute, localised fashion. Functionalisation of the nanoparticles has shown the ability to provide enriched delivery to myeloid dendritic cells, one of the least abundant cells within the body. The composition of the nanoparticles allows them to be tailored for specific therapy, capable of being loaded with a myriad of drugs or coated with different antibodies, permitting cell specific targeting.
Sebastian is currently a PhD candidate in Medicine, at the University of Adelaide in Australia, under the supervision of Professor P. Toby Coates. His research is focused on utilising nanoparticles to induce antigen specific tolerance within type 1 diabetics, and if successful, it may have the potential to improve the lives of millions of sufferers. The clinical applications could also be tailored to help deliver drugs to treat cancers more specifically than current chemotherapeutic methods, or have positive ramifications in the manufacture of more effective vaccines.
Peripheral NK-cell Repertoire Distribution in Chronic Allograft Dysfunction after Renal Transplantation
Sailaja Kesiraju completed her Post-doctoral fellowship at Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Centre, Hyderabad. Her current on-going five year research project has the rubric “Non Invasive Diagnosis of Acute Rejection and Methods to Monitor Graft Survival in Renal Transplant Patients”; the work is being carried out in the Immunology department at the Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Centre. Dr.Sailaja received her Doctor of Philosophy award from Osmania University and her thesis was on the topic “Oxidant-Antioxidant Status of Serum and Roncho-alveolar Lavage in Common Respiratory Disorders”.
Dr. Kesiraju’s primary research goal is to find a non-invasive, accurate, sensitive and rapid diagnostic test for the early detection of rejection, chronic allograft dysfunction as well as tolerance of the allograft. A sensitive non-invasive test that is able to detect acute and chronic injuries in the transplant will be a very useful adjunct in clinical practice to monitor the graft function.
Impact of Single Centre Kidney Paired Donation Transplantation to Increase Donor Pool in India
Vivek Kute received the International Transplantation Science Mentee-Mentor Award 2016 recognizing his work on “Impact of Single Center Kidney Paired Donation Transplantation to Increase Donor Pool in India” under mentorship of Prof HL Trivedi and Prof PR Shah.
Vivek Kute is Associate Professor of Nephrology and Transplantation at Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center and Dr. HL Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences, (IKDRC-ITS) and the Gujarat University of Transplantation Sciences (GUTS) Ahmedabad, India. He has received various awards for his major contributions in the field of transplantation, including a Young Investigator award 2012 in Berlin, Bansal Oration and Janseen-Cilag award by Indian Society of Nephrology, and Udupa Memorial Lecture 2015 by ISOT. He is a mentor for the Young Nephrologist Mentoring Program for ISN. He has published over 100 research papers in peer reviewed journals and made oral presentations in various national and international conferences. His research involves expanding donor pool with kidney-paired donation transplantation.
Development of De-novo Donor Specific Antibody (DSA) and Vitamin D Status after Renal Transplantation
Ultra-high Resolution Non-contrast Imaging for Chronic Rejection Monitoring and Procedural Planning in Reconstructive Transplantation
Shailesh B. Raval received a Mentor-Mentee Award for the developmental work on the non-invasive, non-radiation, contrast-free, ultra-high resolution (UHR), 3D nerve and vascular MRI imaging method in conjunction with RF imaging system. Our approach is renal-toxic-contrast and radiation-free, increasing its safety in Reconstructive transplantation (Craniofacial or Upper Extremity) or even Solid Organ transplantation (especially renal transplant) applications for sequential non-invasive graft monitoring of Chronic Rejection (CR). These could include intimal, luminal and flow parameters reflective of CR related vascular changes that may result in ischemic graft attrition or loss in RT or in SOT. In addition, Nervetractography can monitor neuroregeneration after transection, repair or transplant related nerve outcomes.
Shailesh is completing his PhD in Bioengineering (in collaboration with Radiology and Plastic Surgery) from the University of Pittsburgh. His current work includes development of unique RF imaging systems and exploring cutting edge medical imaging applications in various body organs.
Imbalance of T Helper 17 Cells and T Regulatory Cells is Associated with Chronic Active Antibody Mediated Rejection in Renal Allograft Recipients
Brijesh Yadav is a final year PhD student under Prof. Narayan Prasad in the Department of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India. His PhD thesis is on “Regulatory, effector and cytotoxic T cell profiles in chronic renal allograft dysfunction”, profiling regulatory, effectors and cytotoxic T cell subsets frequency by Flowcytometry, Serum and PBMC culture supernatant cytokines by ELISA, intragraft infiltrations of above T cell subsets by quantitative real time PCR and Immunohistochemistry in biopsy proven renal allograft recipient patients of chronic active antibody mediated rejection, calcineurin inhibitor toxicity and idiopathic transplant glomerulopathy. He has been awarded with Newton-Bhabha Fellowship for research training at Cambridge University by the British Council, Best Abstract award by the Asian Society of Transplantation Singapore (CAST-2015), Young Scientist awards by Invertis University India, Abstract of Distinction award by Gujarat University of Transplantation Science, and the DST-INSPIRE Senior Research Fellowship by DST, Govt. of India.
Systemic Therapy of Regulatory Dendritic Cells Derived Form Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells allows Allogeneic Cardiac Grafts Acceptance
Songjie Cai received a Mentee-Mentor Award for her work with systemic therapy of regulatory dendritic cells. In collaboration with Dr. Xiao-Kang Li’s lab at National Research Institute for Child Health and Development (Tokyo), dendritic cells (DCs) were generated and characterized from murine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Dr. Cai identified that donor-type iPSCs derived DCregs (iPS-DCregs) could lead to permanent acceptance of fully MHC-mismatched murine allogeneic cardiac grafts, but rejected third-party allografts. She also found that preconditioning of donor-type iPS-DCregs to recipients generated antigen-specific regulatory T cells (Tregs), which is in association with TGFβ.
Dr. Cai got her MD in clinical medicine from Shanghai Jiaotong University (China), completed her Surgery residency at Shanghai East Hospital, and her PhD on medicine science from Osaka University (Japan). Her research interests are immunobiology of dendritic cells during immune response to transplantation alloantigen. Under Dr. Shiro Takahara’s mentorship, Dr. Cai’s research focused on understanding the basic processes that control dendritic cells maturation, activation and migration with the ultimate goal of enabling clinicians to cell therapy and immunosuppression monitoring.
Various Pathogenic Microbes Induce CNI-resistance in B-cells Responding to Blood Group Antigens through TLR–MyD88 Pathway
Hiroshi Sakai received a Mentor-Mentee award for his work with pathogenic microbes. He focused on the influence of toll-like receptor signaling, through the binding of bacterial-derived ligands, on B cell activation in response to blood group carbohydrate-antigens, because bacterial infection following ABO-incompatible organ transplantation has been reported to be associated with refractory antibody-mediated rejection. This study provides the first evidence that B-cells responding to blood type A carbohydrate, in the presence of toll-like receptor-MyD88 signaling, show the sIgM+CD5dim/-B-1b phenotype, and lose susceptibility to inhibition by CsA, following ABO-incompatible transplantation.
Dr. Sakai received his MD from Hirosaki University, and is now a PhD student in Gastroenterological and Transplant Surgery at Hiroshima University. Under Dr. Hideki Ohdan and Dr. Yuka Tanaka’s mentorship, Dr. Sakai’s research is aimed at regulating B cells responding to carbohydrate antigens in allo- and xeno-transplantation.
Clinical and Immunological Significance of Controlling Portal Vein Pressure in Living Donor Liver Transplantation
Belatacept Fails to Inhibit Donor-reactive Tfh-B Cell Interaction but Favors a Regulatory Transitional B Cell Profile Over Tacrolimus
Gretchen de Graav received a Mentee-Mentor award for her research on the effects of belatacept on follicular T helper-B cell interaction in kidney transplantation. Under supervision of Dr. Carla Baan at the Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the donor-antigen driven formation of plasmablasts was compared between cultures spiked with belatacept and tacrolimus. Cells were obtained from 40 kidney transplant patients randomized to a belatacept-based or tacrolimus-based immunosuppressive regimen. Unlike in animal studies, plasmablast formation was not inhibited by belatacept, but only by tacrolimus. The survival of regulatory IL10+ transitional B cells was, however, favored in the presence of belatacept, but diminished by tacrolimus. The question remains which patients can benefit from and which patients are burdened with the attenuated inhibitory effects of belatacept on Tfh-B cell interaction.
Dr. de Graav received her MD from the Erasmus Medical Center University. Currently, she is finishing her PhD project and she will start her Internal Medicine Residency at the Maasstad Hospital, Rotterdam.
Interleukin-34 is a Treg-specific Cytokine and Mediates Transplant Tolerance
Dr. Séverine Bézie received a Mentee-Mentor Award for her work on Interleukin-34, a Treg-specific ucytokine that mediates transplant tolerance, Under the mentorship of Dr. carole Guillonneau. In a translational study from rat to human, she showed that IL-34 has immunoregulatory properties, inducing tolerance to the allograft and delaying GVHD. Moreover, it was shown that this cytokine is specifically expressed by Foxp3+Tregs and involved in their suppressive function, but also modulated macrophages polarization to expand Tregs in a feedback loop. These properties make it a promising candidate as tolerance inducer treatment.
Dr Bézie got her PhD from the Université de Nantes, France, focused on the identification of new immunoregulatory molecules in a rat model of transplantation. She currently works at the INSERM 1064 Center of Research in Transplantation and Immunology in Nantes, with interests in new therapies promoting allo-specific Tregs.
Pre-transplant AT1Rabs are Associated with Acute Rejection in 2-Haplotypes Kidney Transplant Recipients
Surface Modification of Porcine Aortic Endothelial Cells with Corline Heparin Conjugate (CHC) Protects Against Xenogeneic Thrombosis and Inflammation
Anjan K. Bongoni received a Mentee-Mentor Award for his work on the surface modification of porcine aortic endothelial cells. In this study, the feasibility of using CHC to protect pig vascular endothelial cells against xenogenic coagulation and inflammation was tested in an in vitro pig-to-human xenotransplantation setting using a whole blood coagulation assay that closely mimics the in vivo small vessel endothelial surface-to-blood volume ratio. Results demonstrated that surface immobilization of the multi-arm heparin conjugate CHC has the potential to prevent the establishment of pro-coagulant and pro-inflammatory environment induced by xenotransplantation and thus may support the survival and function of porcine xenografts. Therefore, this strategy provides a possible therapeutic option to attenuate thromboinflammation in xenotransplantation.
Dr. Anjan Bongoni received his PhD in immunology from the University of Bern, mainly focused on the functional evaluation of multi-transgenes in genetically modified pigs for xenotransplantation. Currently, he is working as a post-doc fellow in the Immunology Research Centre (IRC) at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. His research interests are: identifying and testing novel reagents and regulators of the intravascular innate immune system (complement, coagulation and inflammation) in mouse models of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury and heart allotransplantation. He received Young Investigator Awards in the past from the International Xenotransplantation Association and The Transplantation Society.
Disruption of CD8-coreceptor Cinding Abrogates Tolerance Induction via Liver-directed Expression of Donor MHC Class I
Dendritic Cell Phenotype and Function Modification with Targeted Porous Silicon Nanoparticles
In 2016 Sebastian Stead was awarded a Mentee-Mentor Award in recognition for his work with dendritic cell phenotype and function modification. His work is focused on identifying novel treatments within the field of nanomedicine, providing alternative methods for delivering immunosuppressive medications in an acute, localised fashion. Functionalisation of the nanoparticles has shown the ability to provide enriched delivery to myeloid dendritic cells, one of the least abundant cells within the body. The composition of the nanoparticles allows them to be tailored for specific therapy.
Sebastian is currently a PhD candidate in Medicine at the University of Adelaide, under the supervision of Professor P. Toby Coates. His research is focused on utilising nanoparticles to induce antigen specific tolerance within type 1 diabetics.
Risky Organs: Trends in Comorbidities among Potential and Actual Australian Organ Donors in New South Wales 2010-2015
Imogen Thomson received a TTS/TSANZ Mentee-Mentor Award in conjunction with her supervisor, Associate Professor Angela Webster, for her abstract 'Risky Organs: Trends in Comorbidities among Potential and Actual Australian Organ Donors in New South Wales 2010-2015’. Ms Thomson’s research centred on characterising disease burden among organ donor referrals, and the impact that this has on the likelihood of a potential donor proceeding to donate.
Ms Thomson is currently in her second year of the Doctor of Medicine Program at the University of Sydney, and completed her undergraduate studies in Biomedical Science at Bond University, Australia. Under the mentorship of Associate Professor Webster, she is also undertaking a Master of Philosophy (Medicine) alongside her medical studies, with a focus on identifying opportunities to increase organ donation rates in New South Wales. She hopes to pursue a career in the field of transplantation in the future.
Effect of Epigenetic Modifications in Graft Kidneys Progressing to Chronic Allograft Dysfunction
Dr. Sai Vineela Bontha received a Mentee-Mentor award for her work with epigenetic modifications in grafts. Mentored by Dr. Valeria Mas, this work evaluates the differences in DNA methylation patterns between renal allografts with histologic evidence of interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy which progress to chronic allograft dysfunction and those with normal histology and function. Differential DNA methylation patterns were studied in association with changes in gene expression patterns downstream using an integrative approach. Future studies are planned to identify the timeline associated with the changes in DNA methylation patterns and to delineate a cause-effect relationship between DNA methylation and allograft dysfunction.
Dr. Bontha received her PhD from Leibniz Graduate School on Aging and Jena University Hospital in Germany. She is currently a post-doctoral research associate at the Translational Genomics Transplant Laboratory at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include the identification of noninvasive biomarkers that predict short- and long-term graft outcomes, as well as furthering understanding of the underlying mechanisms leading to chronic renal allograft dysfunction.
Human Anti Thrombotic Genes do not Obviate the Need for Anticoagulation in Aiding Long-term Xenograft Survival
Joshua Chan was awarded a Mentee-Mentor Award for his work on the use of multi-transgene expression for prevention of cardiac xenotransplantation-associated consumptive coagulopathy. The novel use of six-gene modified cardiac xenografts, particularly the inclusion of humanized factors TFPI, DAF, and EPCR, was found to be associated with improved levels of multiple factors in the coagulation-fibrinolysis cascade. Prevention of post-xenotransplant critical consumptive coagulopathy may have significant implications for the potential clinical application of cardiac xenotransplantation.
Dr. Chan is a research fellow in the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). His primary interest is in cardiac xenotransplantation, specifically in xenoimmunology, transgenic engineering, and transplant rejection. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Biology at New York University (NYU) and subsequently earned his medical degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine (USC). He went on to complete his internship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he matriculated from his 3rd year general surgery resident prior to his current research sabbatical.
Vascular Sequestration of Donor-specific Antibodies Protects Allogeneic Islets from Humoral Rejection
Chien-Chia Chen was granted a Mentee-Mentor Award for a translational research project in which he combined the analysis of clinical samples with the use of murine models to explore the mechanisms of resistance of allogenic islets to antibody-mediated rejection. His work led to the conclusion that endothelial chimerism combined with vascular sequestration of alloantibodies explains why the rate of attrition of islet graft was not accelerated in the presence of alloantibodies. These results suggests that the alloantibodies should be seen as 'marker' of rejection rather then 'maker' in islet great recipients.
Dr. Chen received his MD and completed his surgical residency at the National Taiwan University. He is currently a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Thaunat in INSERM U1111, Lyon, France. His researches focus mainly on deciphering pathophysiology of antibody-mediated rejection.
CD45RA Identifies TSDR Demethylated Regulatory T Cells with a Stable Phenotype and Suppressive Cytokine Profile
Rebeca Arroyo-Hornero was granted a Mentee-Mentor Award for her research paper “CD45RA Identifies TSDR Demethylated Regulatory T Cells with a Stable Phenotype and Suppressive Cytokine Profile”. Regulatory T cells are currently being tested as a cellular therapy in transplant patients aiming at promoting transplant tolerance and reducing levels of immunosuppression chemotherapy. Stable bona fide regulatory T cells can be accurately identified by the demethylated status of a specific DNA region called TSDR. However, for cellular therapy is crucial to identify cell surface markers sufficient to isolate cells that remain stable and potent after expansion and in the presence of immunosuppressive drugs. In comparison with CD45RA- regulatory T cells, CD45RA+ regulatory T cells retained more stable suppressive properties after in vitro expansion, also in the presence of low levels of calcineurin inhibitors. All suggests that CD45RA+ regulatory T cell population is a promising candidate for cell therapy and should be studied further.
Ms. Arroyo-Hornero received her Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology from the University of Murcia in Spain. Currently, she is a PhD student at the University of Oxford, studying cellular therapies for transplantation. She is interested in discerning how regulatory T cells suppress the immune response and the possibility of genetically modified regulatory T cells to potentiate and stabilize their suppressive activity.
AMP-activated Protein Kinase Attenuated Marginal Liver Graft Injury via Promoting Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Respiratory Function
Liu Jiang received a Mentee-Mentor Award for his work on the AMP-activated protein kinase attenuates marginal liver graft injury via promoting mitochondrial biogenesis and respiratory function. The specific gene favoring improving marginal graft survival was studied using hundreds of clinical liver transplant samples, rat model with small-for-size orthotopic liver transplantation and AMPK transgenic mice received I/R injury plus major hepatectomy. The key findings provide a possible way to ameliorate fatty graft injury by increasing activity of the kinase. Further study applying activators for activating this kinase is needed for clinical application.
Dr. Liu received his bachelor and master degrees in clinical medicine from Medical School of Nankai University in China. He is a current PhD student in the University of Hong Kong. His research interests are: mitochondrial function and marginal graft injury after liver transplantation, metabolism alternation during fatty graft injury, and surgical treatment for late phase liver diseases. He received a Young Investigator Award in the past from the International Liver Transplantation Society.
The Clinical Significance and Potential Therapeutic Role of GPx3 in Tumor Recurrence after Liver Transplantation
Qi Xiang received Mentee/Mentor Award as mentee for his research paper “The Clinical Significance and Potential Therapeutic Role of GPx3 in Tumor Recurrence after Liver Transplantation”. Under the instruction of Prof. Man, the research team identified that the down-regulation of GPx3 in small-for-size liver graft was significantly associated with HCC invasiveness in a rat model and lower plasma GPx3 was an independent predictor for poor overall survival of HCC patients after liver transplantation. Moreover, they found that GPx3 was not only a predictor for prognosis, but also suppressed HCC invasiveness through JNK-cJun-MMP2 signalling pathway. Therefore, in addition to prognostic value, GPx3 may possess the therapeutic potential targeting at HCC recurrence after liver transplantation.
Dr. Qi earned his MD in clinical medicine from mainland China and PhD on surgery from The University of Hong Kong. Currently, he works as post-doctoral fellow in Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong. His research interests are: explore the role of functional biomarker for tumor recurrence after liver transplantation. He received Mentee-Mentor Awards twice in the past from The Transplantation Society and is a 2-time recipient of a Young Investigator Award from The Liver Transplantation Society.
The Transplantation Science Committee of The Transplantation Society and Transplantation are pleased to announce the best manuscripts submitted to the Journal in 2016. Named after two pioneering giants, a selection committee that included editors of Transplantation, The Transplantation Society, in addition to members and chairs of the Transplantation Science Committee selected two winners amongst a very competitive group of applicants. An extended article on these awards will be published in the January 2017 edition of Transplantation.
Naohiro Takemoto, et al
The Leslie Brent Award for the Best Publication in Basic Transplantation Research went to Naohiro Takemoto and co-workers from Kyoto University for their work showing that “coaggregates” of pancreatic islets and regulatoryT cells resulted in improved transplant outcomes in experimental models of islet transplantation.
Donna Lucas, et al
The Anthony P. Monaco Award that recognizes the best translational submission went to Donna Lucas and co-workers from Johns Hopkins University for their clinical study investigating antibody responses in renal patients across different MHC mismatches, with the aim of improving donor-patient matching and to better apply immunosuppression
Both the Leslie Brent and the Anthony P. Monaco awards are wonderful opportunities to highlight outstanding publications in Transplantation. We are presently looking forward to reviewing the best submissions of 2016 and will accept applications until June 30th, 2017.
For more information on these and all of our affiliates, please visit the Affiliated Societies page on the TTS website.
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