Newsletter 2012 Volume 9 - Issue 3

or click on individual articles below.
The Start of a New Era

TTS has developed a new relationship with Transplantation

This new relationship now enables Online and iPad access to Transplantation for all TTS members (dues paid up to date) and access to the ETOC (electronic table of contents) of each Transplantation issue. A print subscription will still be available for all TTS members at a much-reduced cost.

TTS wishes to encourage members to access Transplantation as its official Journal. A metric of Journal performance to the future will not only be the impact factor by published citations but also by reader access.

Wolter’s Kluwer/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, the publisher of Transplantation has also agreed to publish of TTS biennial meeting abstracts and those of TTS Section conferences held in their biennial years, all in fully searchable format in the Journal.

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The Editors of Transplantation have been most supportive of these developments and have cooperatively enabled TTS to call for the appointment of Regional Associate Editors throughout TTS Regions of the world that include Asia, Africa/Middle East, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania.

These developments highlight the value of being a TTS member. Other benefits include free access to educational materials on the TTS website, reduced registration fees at TTS symposia congresses and meetings, access to TTS Newsletter Tribune that updates members regarding global events and Section meetings, and access to grants, awards and fellowships. The reduced registration fee for the 2014 World Transplant Congress in San Francisco will be substantial for TTS members.

Meanwhile, TTS has an invigorated relationship with its Journal's publisher and an enhanced collaboration with the Transplantation editors that we are now confident will lead to further improvements to the Journal.

President’s Message

Presence (Globally)

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Francis L. Delmonico,
TTS President

I write to all TTS members at this exciting time of strategic planning following the Berlin Congress—that will engage TTS in projects of organ donation and transplantation throughout the world. Indeed, the focus of the strategic plan for 2012–2014 is to fulfill the mission of TTS in having global presence, engagement and partnership. These three words, presence and engagement and partnership, will be the cornerstones of TTS activity for the next two years.

TTS wishes to exercise a vital role in the development of transplantation through expansion of deceased organ donation and with the proper oversight of living donor transplantation, consistent with WHO and Declaration of Istanbul principles. A 5th anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul is currently planned for April 2013 in Doha, Qatar. TTS intends to work closely with National Ministries of Health in securing resources for the development of deceased organ donation, especially in those locations of the world in which no such program exists.

TTS will work with the WHO in an ongoing project of vigilance and surveillance—the “Project Notify”, intended to assemble a comprehensive database of information regarding the transmission of infectious disease and malignancy from organ donors.

We plan to expand membership in the Society, which has increased from 2000 in 2006 to more than 5000 in 2012. The approach of national (country) society affiliation will be continued. Currently, there are more than 1000 members from developing countries and TTS mission of providing information throughout the world will now be best accomplished through our official Journal Transplantation being distributed to all TTS members electronically with each issue.

Under the leadership of our Education Committee, a Transplantation Society Academy will be developed for those interested in education and prospering their careers by learning how to teach. More will follow soon on this development by electronic notice to all TTS members.

TTS is eager to facilitate professional relationships between the other major stakeholders in transplantation; and thus, a liaison is being developed with ISHLT, ILTS, IPTA and ISN.

Again, the three words of the strategic plan for the next 2 years are encapsulated by presence (globally), engagement and partnership as the modus operandi for TTS as we go forward together.

It is indeed an honor and privilege to serve as TTS President at this time.

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2012 Medawar Prize Recipient

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David E.R. Sutherland | 2012 Recipient

The Transplantation Society is fortunate to have a great wealth of scientific talent among its membership. This year, the Medawar Prize Committee received nominations for many highly qualified individuals who have greatly contributed to the field of transplantation. After much deliberation, we are delighted to announce the result of the selection process and introduce to you the 2012 Medawar Prize recipient, David E.R. Sutherland.

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The Medawar Prize is funded from a generous endowment provided by Novartis Pharma AG to The Transplantation Society (TTS) and honors Sir Peter Medawar who has often been called “the founding father of transplant immunology”.

Dr. Sutherland founded and has been the Director of the University of Minnesota Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation since 1994, and is holder of the Dobbs Diabetes Research Chair.

As a transplant surgeon, Dr. Sutherland has trained numerous surgeons heading organ and pancreatic transplant programs worldwide and has overseen more than 2,000 pancreas transplants at the UM. He performed the world’s first clinical islet transplant in 1974 alongside his mentor Dr. John Najarian, and he developed minimally invasive beta cell replacement therapy as an alternative to insulin therapy on pancreas transplantation to treat diabetes. He also initiated preservation of beta cell mass by islet auto-transplantation at the time of total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis in 1977, with nearly 435 such procedures completed to date. In 1980, Dr. Sutherland founded the International Pancreas Transplant Registry.

Dr. Sutherland has been of service for national and international organizations and societies, including serving as President of The Transplantation Society (2002-2004), the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (1996-1997), the Cell Transplant Society (1994-1996), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (1990-1991). He has also served on the editorial boards of many journals, including Cell Transplantation, Diabetes, Transplantation, Transplantation Proceedings, and Pancreas. He has been Editor-in-Chief for Clinical Transplantation since January 2007.

Dr. Sutherland’s principle scientific achievement is his role as the major force in the development of beta-cell-replacement (BCR) for the treatment of diabetes. In the early 1970s, he began work on islet transplantation to make BCR minimally invasive. He recognized the long-term challenges, and simultaneously refined techniques of pancreas transplantation to avoid problems that plagued earlier series. In the late 1970s, he resurrected clinical pancreas transplantation at the University of Minnesota, while persevering with islet research.

In 1977, Dr. Sutherland showed that islet autografts could preserve insulin-secretion after total-pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis, establishing a new treatment for the disease, now proved metabolically durable. The first successful series of single-donor islet allografts occurred under his direction. In 1980, he established the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Registry, one of the most useful registries ever, publishing outcome analyses for nearly 30 years.

The unique contributions that Dr. Sutherland has made to pancreas transplantation include the first living-donor segmental-graft (1979), aiming not simply to solve organ shortage but to decrease the rejection rate in the pre-calcineurin-inhibitor era. He also first described isletitis with selective beta-cell destruction and recurrence of diabetes in pancreas isografts (identical-twin donors) and allografts (1984), a linchpin in establishing the disease as autoimmune. Finally, more than anyone in the field, he emphasized pancreas-transplant-alone (PTA) in nonuremic patients whose diabetes was more severe than the side-effects of immunosuppression, comprising a quarter of the first 1,000 cases at the UM, a series now greater than 2,000. The field would not have developed as it did without Dr. Sutherland’s passion and numerous contributions

The Medawar Prize is funded from a generous endowment provided by Novartis Pharma AG to The Transplantation Society (TTS). The prize honours Sir Peter Medawar, who has been called “the founding father of transplant immunology.”

Past Medawar Prize Recipient Leslie Baruch Brent Was Honored During the 2012 Berlin Congress

tts ns 2012v9i3 3-3It was only fitting for TTS to pay special homage to Leslie Baruch Brent in Berlin–the city that marks his escape from the Holocaust at the young age of 13. Prof. Brent is a Past TTS President and Medawar Prize Recipient. During his acceptance speech, Prof. Brent remarked at how proud Peter Medawar and Rupert Billingham would be, knowing that tolerance remains a very much discussed topic and that the “Holy Grail” of induction of tolerance in solid organ recipients appears on the horizon. He also thanked Ray Owen, the grandfather of tolerance and presented Prof. Opelz with the plates from his original PhD thesis for the TTS historical library. To learn more about Prof. Brent, pick up a copy of his autobiography entitled Sunday’s Child.

Director of Medical Affairs Report

Changes at IHQ Montreal:
Growth and Reorganization
— to Better Serve

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Henrik Ekberg,
Director of Medical Affairs

The Transplantation Society is once again increasing its capacity at the International Headquarters (IHQ) in Montreal to better serve its constituencies (TTS Membership, the seven TTS Sections and the fifteen Affiliated Societies).

We have been developing more efficient tools and methods for communication with the TTS membership. We currently provide communication and information through e-Blasts, the Tribune (newsletter), the TTS and Section websites, the Declaration of Istanbul website and live webinars, and through the dissemination of membership and meeting brochures or leaflets. More recently we have deployed a “smart” device-friendly version of the website and the ability to view and download meeting presentations directly on your phone or tablet.

Over the past few years, TTS has been developing its meetings organization capabilities to enable greater efficiency and independence from external meetings organizers. This has coincided with rapid increase in the number of meetings undertaken by TTS itself and also on behalf of its Sections. Furthermore, the need for enhanced education and collaboration has necessitated more face-to-face meetings, often with a more specialized focus: for example, Consensus meetings on antibodies and on CMV, and Symposia on Development of Deceased Donation in South-East Europe and in South Africa. From the IHQ perspective, this means greater involvement from the staff. Our vision is that we can best be served by a staff fully dedicated to the success of TTS, its Sections, and Affiliated Societies. To help accomplish this, we are improving the organizational structure of IHQ as well as increasing the capacity by adding more staff.

tts ns 2012v9i3 4-2With the specialization of our Sections, we have also seen an increased need to provide coordinated services between both the TTS Sections’ Councils and the Section Meetings’ organizing committees. Our new structure includes a staff member who will be dedicated to our Sections, ensuring a fully coordinated approach with the meetings staff.

Finally, the TTS finances have grown increasingly complex requiring both enhanced capacity and oversight. A full-time controller, who will report directly to the TTS President and Executives through the Treasurers, will now head the finances group at IHQ.

The position of Director of Medical Affairs (DMA) will not be renewed as of 2013; the duties of the DMA thereafter to be performed by the Executive Director, the Treasurers, other TTS Officers and members of TTS Council.

We are currently in the process of recruiting new staff members needed under this structure and will report back to you in the next issue of Tribune.

We are very excited about this new organizational structure as it will permit us to better fulfill our mandate and enhance our ability to serve our constituencies.

IHQ Organizational Chart and New Recruits

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We are pleased to announce the following recent additions to the International Headquarters team of TTS:

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Geneviève Leclerc has jointed TTS as its Director of Meetings. Geneviève brings more than 20 years of experience in congress management. As Director of Meetings, Geneviève is responsible for all meetings organized by TTS, both for the Society and its Sections. She is also responsible for managing and developing the meetings staff. Geneviève is fluently bilingual (English and French), and has earned the designation of CMP (Certified Meeting Planner).

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Maria Mavros has joined TTS as its Controller. Over the last decade or so, Maria has worked for one of the big four accounting firms as well as a large multinational. She brings over 5 years of internal and external audit experience in a variety of industries: service, financial, nonprofit and manufacturing. Maria is fluently bilingual (English and French), and is a CPA, CA (Chartered Professional Accountant).

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Laura Aliaga has joined TTS as Administration/Registration Coordinator. Laura has nine years of experience in administration, both in the corporate and academic fields. She has spent the last five years in administration coordinator roles in the medical research departments of two of Montreal’s key medical research facilities. Laura is trilingual (English, French and Spanish) and was an Advertising Major in university.

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Kathy Tsandilas has joined TTS as Meetings Manager. Kathy has many years of experience organizing meetings and congresses around the world. Most recently, she has managed all aspects of large congresses in Europe and Latin America for another medical society as well as lead a team to develop, restructure, standardize and implement procedures to conform to the organization’s vision. All of Kathy’s education and training has revolved around organizing meetings and congresses. Kathy speaks English, French, Spanish and Greek.

2012 Recognition Award Recipients

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The 2012 TTS Recognition Awards were presented at the 24th International Congress of The Transplantation Society in July to individuals who have made a major international impact in the field of transplantation

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Luc Noël, France

Luc Noël received his medical degree from the University of Grenoble and specialized in clinical biology, haematology and blood transfusion in Lyon and Paris. As a consultant, he contributed to the reorganization of the French Transfusion Service, culminating in a single national blood transfusion organization, the Etablissement français du sang. In particular, he contributed to setting up the system of vigilance and surveillance of adverse reactions known as haemovigilance and to optimizing the clinical use of blood components. In 1999, he was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Coordinator of Blood Transfusion Safety. In 2004, he led the Clinical Procedures (CPR) unit, responsible "for ensuring efficacy, safety and equity in the provision of clinical procedures in surgery, anaesthetics, obstetrics and orthopaedics, particularly at the district hospital level". The CPR unit is also "in charge of promoting the appropriate effective and safe use of cell, tissue and organ transplantation, including surveillance of risks, in particular in xenotransplantation trials.” A global meeting organized in Madrid in November 2003 led to Resolution WHA57.18 of the 57th World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2004 that revived the topic of transplantation at the WHO. In the last 5 years, the WHO, with the help of Member States and civil society, including the scientific and professional community, has worked at raising awareness of access, safety and ethical issues in cell, tissue and organ transplantation.

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Gabriel Danovitch, USA

Gabriel Danovitch is recognized as one of the foremost educators in clinical organ transplantation—at his own institution at UCLA, in the US and internationally. Dr. Danovitch received his medical degree from St Bartholomew’s Hospital of the University of London; he completed his residency training in London and in Bersheeba, Israel and his nephrology fellowship training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He served on the faculty at Albert Einstein and then directed the nephrology unit at Soroka Hospital in Israel. He is currently Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

(Distinguished Professor as of July 2012) and is the longtime Medical Director of its renowned Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program. Dr. Danovitch has devoted his recent career to various aspects of clinical kidney transplantation. He has published over 180 original articles and 50 book chapters. He has mentored a generation of transplant physicians and leads on of the longest functioning kidney transplant medicine fellowships in the US. Dr. Danovitch is an internationally recognized authority on transplant immunosuppression, clinical transplant care, transplant ethics and public policy. He has served on the board of the American Society of Transplantation and the United Network for Organ Donation (UNOS) and is the current Chair of its International Relations committee. He is a founder member of the Custodian Group of Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism. He is a Medical Director of OneLegacy, the organ procurement agency of Southern California. His classic textbook, the “Handbook of Kidney Transplantation”, now in its fifth edition and translated into four languages, has become required reading for those entering the field.

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Pierre A. Clavien, Switzerland

Pierre Clavien completed his medical study and surgical residency at the University of Geneva and Basel, Switzerland; afterwards performing a PhD in Immunology at the University of Toronto, Canada, on endothelial cell injury during organ preservation. He then completed an ASTS accredited fellowship in liver transplantation and the Toronto General Hospital and Hospital for Sick Children, and was subsequently recruited for a junior faculty position. He then moved in 1994 to Duke University, NC, as Chief of the Division of Transplantation. At Duke, he started as an Assistant Professor and reached the rank of full Professor within five years. In 2001, he moved back to Switzerland to take the position of Chairman of the department of Surgery at the University of Zurich. He also created the Swiss center for HPB surgery and liver transplantation. Since 1994, he has run an active laboratory, continuously funded through NIH, Swiss National Foundation and other competitive funding. His main contribution has been in liver regeneration, partial liver grafting, and organ preservation, with publications in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine. His laboratory made the discovery of serotonin as a key mediator of regeneration (Science, 2008). He has also been active in clinical research with many studies related to transplantation, including several investigator-driven randomized controlled trials. Dr. Clavien has also developed a simple system, the “Clavien Classification”, to evaluate complications after surgery. This system is currently the gold standard to record complications after many procedures, such as the evaluation of the results of living related liver transplantation in a large US cohort study. He is on the editorial board of most transplant and surgical journals and was the editor of the forum on liver transplantation for the Journal of Hepatology. He is currently one of four associate editors (the first from Europe) of Ann Surg and the Journal of Hepatology. He has also written several books, including “Medical Care of the Liver Transplant Patient” and a large atlas of upper GI and liver surgery. Finally, he is President of the European-African HPB Association and President-Elect of the European Surgical Association and the Swiss Society of Transplantation.

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Yves Vanrenterghem, Belgium

Yves Vanrenterghem has devoted a life-long career to clinical research in transplantation medicine. As a renal physician and head of the department of Nephrology at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, he has been involved during the last three decades in the examination of novel immunosuppressive compounds in renal transplantation in numerous randomized controlled trials. He has designed and advised on many phase III and phase IV clinical studies in drug development, as principal investigator or chair. He has authored more than 340 scientific publications and book chapters, including 80 papers on clinical trials. Dr. Vanrenterghem is a world-renowned invited speaker at many large transplantation conferences including the International Transplantation Congress, the American Transplant Congress, the European Society of Organ Transplantation, the European Society of Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, and the International Society of Nephrology. His clinical expertise focuses on (novel) immunosuppression, minimization protocols and complications of transplantation. He has been President of Eurotransplant for over a decade, for which he received an Honorary Award from the Belgian King Albert II. He has been councilor of the TTS for Europe and has been member and chair of many international conferences on transplantation and editorial board member of several scientific journals.

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Henrik Ekberg, Sweden

Henrik Ekberg is Senior Transplant Surgeon at the University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden, and Professor of Transplant Surgery at Lund University, Sweden. Designed by Dr Henrik Ekberg about 10 years ago, the ELiTE-Symphony study is the largest and most important investigator driven clinical trial in kidney transplantation in recent years. The study had already attracted a great interest at its initiation and 83 sites in 15 countries participated, enrolling 1,645 patients. The aim of the study was to compare reduced doses of calcineurin inhibitors or mTOR inhibitors in addition to induction and mycophenolate mofetil—the regimens of greatest interest at this time. The one-year results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 and the three-year results in the American Journal of Transplantation in 2009 (both by H Ekberg et al). More than 20,000 hard copies were ordered before the first publication. Many sites all over the world have taken the Symphony Study results into account when updating their immunosuppression protocols. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered the study results when accepting the tacrolimus/MMF combination as a comparator regimen in clinical trials in May 2009. Ad hoc analyses of the study database have followed and ten more publications appeared in 2009-2011. Analyses were performed on variation of results in different countries (Demirbas et al), pharmacokinetics (Grinyo et al), target concentration compliance (Ekberg et al), quality of life (Oppenheimer et al), uric acid (Meier-Kriesche et al), toxicity of reduced doses (Ekberg et al), acute rejection risk factors (Frei et al), metabolic syndrome (Claes et al), tacrolimus concentration/MMF dosing and renal function (Ekberg et al), and pharmacogenetics (Lloberas et al). In brief, the Symphony Study was an outstanding clinical trial with major impact on current clinical practice.

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Kathryn J. Wood, United Kingdom

Kathryn Wood is Professor of Immunology in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford where she runs the Transplantation Research Immunology Group. Achievements in transplantation immunology by Dr. Kathryn Wood are enormous. Since she joined the Nuffield Department of Surgery at the Radcliffe Hospital in 1982, she first focused on the cellular mechanisms of rejection cascade. The research, then, gradually moved to immunological tolerance, with which she determined the significance of regulatory T cells, so called CD25+ CD4+ FoxP3 T cells, and associated molecules and cytokines in tolerance induction. Her interest then moved from experimental immunology to clinical transplantation immunology. Along with confirming the immunological determined in rodents, she explored those in clinical cases, particularly how to induce and expand regulatory T cells, and determine biological or genetic markers for tolerance. Recently, she engages to explore the impact of memory T cells, and the role of stem cell biology in transplantation surgery. Along with these past achievements, she has been honored by many national and international awards. She is a former President of The Transplantation Society, and acting as a Councilor for various distinguished scientific societies.

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Hans Sollinger, USA

Hans Sollinger was proposed for this award in recognition of his monumental work in making RS-61443 (now CellCept) available as an immunosuppressive agent. In 1988, Dr. Tony Allison, representing Syntex, approached Dr. Sollinger to test a mycophenolate acid derivative termed RS-61443. At this time, neither Syntex nor any other investigator had any evidence that the compound could be used in a clinical setting. Dr. Sollinger agreed to carry out experimental testing and used a dog model as a precursor for possible future human studies. Early on, Dr. Sollinger recognized that the dose recommended by Syntex was much too high to be tolerated by the Gl tract. Dr. Sollinger accordingly systematically lowered the dose of RS-61443 and combined it with lower doses of Cyclosporin A and Prednisone. This regimen proved to be highly successful and Dr. Sollinger thus provided the first evidence of RS-61443's potential clinical efficacy. Dr. Sollinger also predicted and demonstrated that RS-61443 lacked nephro-, neuro- and hepatotoxicity. Syntex was initially reluctant to develop RS-61443, but after a special meeting where Dr. Sollinger presented his data and made a strong recommendation to proceed, Syntex reversed course and drug development was carried out. Dr. Sollinger subsequently performed Phase I/II and the pivotal Phase III trials, which brought the drug through the stringent FDA approval in record time. RS-61443 continues to be used across the entire spectrum of organ transplantation. It is estimated that more than 500,000 patients world-wide have received the drug and it has become one of the most successful drugs in the history of transplantation. The fact of the matter is, that if it were not for Dr. Sollinger's scientific prowess, initiative, perseverance, and steadfast leadership, CellCept would most likely never have become available for the immunosuppressive management of countless thousands of transplant recipients of all transplantable organs. This represents one of the major contributions to organ transplantation over the past 50 years.

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Shaf Keshavjee, Canada

Shaf Keshavjee is a thoracic surgeon, Director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program, Surgeon-in-Chief and James Wallace McCutcheon Chair in Surgery at University Health Network, and Professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1985. He subsequently trained in General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto, followed by fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of London for airway surgery and heart-lung transplantation, respectively. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1994 and was promoted to full professor in 2002. He served as Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2004 to 2010 and was the inaugural holder of the Pearson-Ginsberg Chair in Thoracic Surgery. He is a scientist in the McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine at UHN. His experience in the pioneering days of lung transplantation in Toronto stimulated him to develop a career in lung transplantation. He leads a leading research team and is widely published in the field. His research interest is in lung injury related to transplantation. His current work involves the study of molecular diagnostics and gene therapy strategies to repair organs and to engineer superior organs for transplantation.

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Camille Nelson Kotton, USA

Camille Kotton has a leadership role in international transplantation infectious diseases. In the field of vaccine development, Dr. Kotton developed novel oral Salmonella and Listeria-based vaccines for HIV and influenza. In preliminary human studies, excellent immune responses have been observed. She has also been the lead investigator on multicenter clinical projects on influenza vaccination in the immunocompromised host. Dr. Kotton has established a dedicated Transplant and Compromised Host clinic to serve the Massachusetts General Hospital community with numerous referrals for meticulous and expert clinical care coordinated with medical and surgical colleagues. Her reviews on zoonoses and vaccination have appeared in the Transplant ID and general ID literature. Dr. Kotton’s greatest strength has been as a leader in international education. As President, Dr. Kotton has revitalized the Transplant Infectious Disease section of The Transplantation Society with growing active membership, a strong journal and, perhaps most importantly, well-attended international meetings. She has been the prime organizer of these fully international meetings with strong programs focused on common challenges as well as major problems in underserved areas of the world. She has been invited to travel worldwide to share her expertise. It is a tribute to Dr. Kotton that she brought together the major experts in the field around consensus guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cytomegalovirus—which are a centerpiece of clinical programs worldwide.

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Faissal A.M. Shaheen, Saudi Arabia

Faissal AM Shaheen is the Founder/Director of the Jeddah Kidney Center since 1990—one of the largest transplantation centers in Saudi Arabia. Since 1993, he is also the Director General of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, the national supervising organ procurement center in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Shaheen is an Editor for various journals, including the Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation, Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, and Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation and is an author of 160 full papers and 168 abstracts. He is a member of 28 national and international societies, and has served on the Councils of The Transplantation Society (Councilor), the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement (Councilor), the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation (President and Councilor), the World Health Organization-Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (Councilor), and the Madrid Consultant Conference on Organizing Global Organ Donation (Steering Committee Member). Dr. Shaheen works to exchange expertise in the field of organ donation and transplantation within the Middle East region and serves as a representative of Saudi Arabia on the Gulf Cooperation Council organ transplantation committee to establish successful organ sharing program in these countries. His main areas of interest include updating guidelines and establishing policies and procedures for organ donation and transplantation, treatment of chronic kidney diseases, renal replacement therapy and prophylaxis.

2012 Young Investigator Award Recipients

The TTS – Astellas Young Investigator Awards were presented during the Berlin Transplantation Congress to the following recipients who submitted abstracts and received the highest scores from an international panel of reviewers. These awards were made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Astellas. Congratulations to all the recipients! The Transplantation Society will profile these Young Investigator recipients in upcoming issues of TTS Tribune during 2013.

Award Recipients

  • Esmé Dijke, Canada
  • Vivek Kute, India
  • Gisele Meinerz, Brazil
  • Miwa Morita, USA
  • Nicolas Poirier, France
  • Thomas Rogerson, Australia
  • Moritz Schmelzle, USA
  • Tina Schmidt, Germany
  • Adnan Sharif, UK
  • Simo Syrjälä, Finland

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Basic Science Committee Update

Basic Sciences at the 24th International Congress of the Transplant Society

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Anita Chong alongside TTS-British Transplantation Society Recipients
Maria Hernandez-Fuentes (Mentor) and Estefania Nova Lamperti (Mentee)

The International Congress of the Transplant Society in Berlin was a great success and basic science contributions were excellently represented. There was a record high of 289 abstract submissions, with 48 selected for oral and 28 for mini-oral presentations. In addition, key opinion leaders in basic science provided updates in one Basic Science Plenary, eight Sunrise and another eight State-of-the-Art sessions, all extremely well attended and informative. The Plenary Session on Tolerance: Strategies on the Verge of Translation was one of many excellent sessions in which Drs. Qizhi Tang, Hans-Dieter Volk and Herman Waldman detailed the pathway towards achieving transplantation tolerance in the clinic.

The basic science networking and award presentation was one of the many highlights of the meeting for basic scientists attending the Congress. Over 100 participants engaging in lively discussions attended the event. A total of 22 Mentee-Mentor Travel Awards were jointly awarded with the Australian/NZ, Canadian, European, French, German, Japanese and UK Transplantation Societies. Five additional awards supported solely by TTS were awarded to applicants from developing (China and Columbia) and non-collaborating (USA) countries. This year, the Basic Science Committee also gave out four TTS International Basic Science Research Exchange Fellowship awards—three for Trainees and one for Faculty—to facilitate opportunities for pre- and post-doctoral trainees and faculty in the basic science of transplantation to travel from their home institution to another laboratory for research training opportunities and for developing collaborations.

The Transplantation Society continues to strongly support basic research in transplantation, and we, as the co-chairs of the basic science committee of TTS, encourage all of you with basic science interests to participate in TTS sponsored meetings and activities.

Please join us at the 2013 ESOT/TTS Basic Science Symposium, which will take place in 2013 (dates to be posted shortly on website).

Women in Transplantation Update

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The WIT initiative went from strength to strength during the 24th International Congress in Berlin. We were delighted by the enthusiasm shown for the initiative by both women and men, and the attendance at the various WIT sessions.

The TTS booth at the meeting had a dedicated WIT desk, where we welcomed many visitors. Women were able to sign up for the initiative and pick up some of the WIT postcards, now available in 11 different languages including: Arabic, Dutch, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and Thai.

The now traditional networking event was attended by over 100 women and, much to our delight, a few men as well. The lunchtime meeting provided the opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet face-to-face, often for the first time, and the attendees made the most of the opportunity to establish contacts. Elmi Muller gave a very entertaining and well-received talk intriguingly entitled “Do You Treat Rottweilers or Poodles?”.

The WIT sunrise symposium was delivered by three extremely interesting speakers who gave thought-provoking talks on feminization in medicine and different perspectives on being a female professional in the field of transplantation.

It was very encouraging to see so many people, again both men and women, attend the innovative WIT oral abstract session on the Wednesday afternoon. Highlights included: the consideration of gender and how it impacted on decisions about living donation; the situation and number of women in various spheres of the profession; a personal account of collaboration in a married couple—a transplant surgeon and maths professor; outcome data; and, political, organizational and social changes and their effects on women in transplantation.

We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who visited us and took part in the WIT sessions in Berlin—it was a dynamic meeting and a pleasure to see so many interesting and varied people involved in and supportive of the WIT initiative.

International Xenotransplantation Association Update

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tts ns 2012v9i3 11-4Preparations are well under way for the upcoming IXA 2013 congress to be held in Osaka, Japan, and we take this opportunity to kick off a membership drive illustrating the benefits of being involved as a member. As one of the new benefits, we are pleased to announce that, in conjunction with Wiley, we are supporting a new “Xeno Prize” award. The 7,000 USD annual award, open to IXA members, for the best paper published in Xenotransplantation will be presented at the IXA and TTS Congresses. Visit our website for more information about the award and membership—

Transplant Infectious Disease Section Update

tts ns 2012v9i3 11-2The Transplant Infectious Disease section of The Transplantation Society had an excellent and very well attended 6th International Transplant Infectious Diseases Conference in Berlin, with over 150 attendees from all over the world. State-of-the-art subjects included HIV+ organ transplants, hepatitis C, composite tissue transplants, best management of post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder, as well as multiple other topics. Further information can be found at, and TTS members can download talks from the meeting via the TTS website.

Another international consensus meeting took place in Saint-Saveur (just north of Montreal, Canada) from October 25-26 on the management of cytomegalovirus after solid organ transplantation. Over 40 international experts convened to develop updated guidelines on management of the most common infection after solid organ transplantation.

Multidisciplinary guidelines regarding management of infections and composite tissue transplantation are nearly complete. New members are warmly welcomed by the Transplant Infectious Disease section throughout the year.

Cell Transplant Society Congress Update

tts ns 2012v9i3 11-1In July of 2013, world-renown scientists and keen young investigators will meet in Milan to share the latest discoveries in the fields of cell and stem cell transplantation and regenerative medicine. An expected 500 delegates will be exposed to a blend of ground-breaking science along with the stunning historical and fine art attractions of Milan. In fact, in addition to being the Italy’s largest industrial city (hosting the World EXPO in 2015), Milan has a centre pervaded by an ancient atmosphere (Mediolanum).
The scientific sessions will cover both basic and clinical research in the area of cell transplantation treatment for neurological, endocrine, cardiac and gastrointestinal diseases. Plenary sessions, sessions with short (5–6 minute) oral presentations, and poster discussions are planned during the meeting’s 4-day duration, allowing as much time as possible for new and original findings and young investigator research.

The venue will be in the unique setting of the University of Milan, designed in the 15th Century by the architect Filarete to host the Hospital Ca’ Granda, one of the oldest general hospitals in Italy.

International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement Update

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During the ISODP Council Meeting in Berlin, the strategic plan to focus and promote its objectives i.e. increase donation internationally, enhance available resources to improve donation and establish an integrated network of donation professionals has been addressed on high priority. Several councilors in three groups are engaged in formulating a work plan to be hopefully implemented before the 2013 meeting in Sydney.

The current membership of ISODP has less than 5% transplant professionals from countries with emerging economies where transplant activity has picked up appreciably. Therefore there is a need to promote cooperation, education and exchange among transplant professionals from emerging nations. TTS has taken the lead by offering membership fees at substantially reduced rates to increase its membership. The ISODP is planning to adopt a similar policy, opening its door to the developing world in need of ISODP expertise for promotion of transplantation. The TTS council in Berlin was very appreciative of the idea and ISODP Council is also supportive. A working paper is being developed to implement this as soon as possible; it will provide ISODP members the opportunity of becoming a part of the leading TTS global network of physicians, surgeons and basic scientists involved in transplantation, free access to educational material on the TTS website, online access and reduced rates for journal and reduced registration fees at conferences.

The 12th Congress of ISODP will be held in Sydney, Australia November 21–24, 2013. The organizing Committee, under the Chair of Jeremy Chapman, is planning scientific and educational programs to present the issues, ideas and innovations in the fields of donation and procurement in meaningful, detailed and accessible ways, to stimulate debate and discussion and to hear the best ideas from across the world. The negotiations with South Korea are in final stages to host the next ISODP Congress in Seoul in 2015 while the bids are invited to host the ISODP Congress in 2017.

International Hand and Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Society Update

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The IHCTAS program at the TTS Berlin Congress included two state-of-the-art symposia and a concurrent oral presentation in vascularized composite allografts. Topics included rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic studies, immunogenicity of a vascularized composite allograft (VCA), costimulation blockade in large animal models, cell therapy, cortical reintegration, future challenges, unresolved problems in the musculoskeletal system, and updates on case reports and clinical series.

Excellent presentations were given by Lionel Badet, Vlodek Siemionow, Gerald Brandacher, Stefan Tullius, Josef Kurtz, Rolf Barth, Theresa Hautz, Annemarie Weissenbacher, Vijay Gorantla, Manfred Stangl, Palmina Petruzzo, Andrew Lee, Maria Siemionow, Stefan Schneeberger, Scott Levin and Michel Desmurget.
We look forward to welcoming you in IHCTAS Poland in August 2013!

Intestinal Transplant Association Symposium Update

tts ns 2012v9i3 10-3The biannual meeting of the Intestinal Transplant Association will take place in Oxford, UK from June 26th to June 29th, 2013, providing a combination of theme-orientated plenary sessions integrated with abstract presentations that will allow practitioners of every discipline to contribute. Current controversies will be debated and sessions devoted to discussion of complex individual cases will be held. The opportunities for abstract presenters will include full oral and mini-oral presentations as well as posters. Pre-congress post-graduate courses will address specific aspects of the treatment of patients with intestinal failure: medical and nutritional management, the surgery of intestinal failure, and the specific issues that concern Allied Health Professionals.

This will be a compact and congenial meeting that will take place in the stimulating and historical ambience of the university city of Oxford. Balanced with the hard work of the event, an enjoyable programme of social events has been planned and, of course, sightseeing for those that wish.

In the News

tts ns 2012v9i3 2-3TTS President Francis L. Delmonico and TTS Secretary Gabriel Danovitch are receiving the Shumakov Medal from Professor Sergey Gautier, Director of Medical Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs of Ministry of Health of Russian Federation. The Medals were given in recognition of their lifelong career dedication to organ donation and transplantation at a ceremony in Moscow on September 27, 2012.



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