Newsletter 2019 Volume 16 - Issue 3

President’s Message

Since the start of my presidential term in 2018, we have been focusing on what changes may be necessary to better address the needs of our members. The fundamental purpose of TTS has always been to provide international leadership in the science, education, ethics and legal practice of transplantation, and while our goals remain the same, our approach must not.

As such, 2019 has seen unprecedented activity on an international scale, with the purpose of engaging the global transplantation community on more regional and local levels. In order to ensure a more inclusive approach we have been focusing on regional needs to address the disparities that unfortunately exist in access to and quality of healthcare in different locations around the world. In this context, the China, India, and Africa Relations Committees were formed and the very first Regional Meeting of TTS was organized in Istanbul on 28–29 March, 2019. The success of this initial meeting made it clear that regional meetings should be organized on a regular basis – particularly in underserved areas such as Africa or Mid Asia – in order to effectively extend our reach and provide maximum benefit to the TTS member base.

In addition to reaching out to members on a more local level, the Regional Meeting was an opportunity to highlight another of TTS’ major goals, which is to combat unethical and illegal transplant practices. One of the most effective ways in which we can achieve this is by meeting the organ demand entirely with deceased donation. This will not only result in the reduction of unethical transplantation activities, but will also make an enormous difference to those patients awaiting transplants in which living organ donors are not an option. In addition to brain death, circulatory death is increasingly becoming an issue that requires our attention and in our role as international leaders in the field, TTS will be organizing an international consensus meeting on the topic of donation after circulatory death in Montréal in April 2020.

Our other scientific and educational activities have also continued full swing. Our Committees have continued to organize workshops on various topics in TTS endorsed congresses as well as webinars that can be accessed through the TTS website. By making educational resources available to all our members, we offer a platform for discussion and ensure that they are kept up-to-date with current practices.

Finally, preparations are continuing for the 28th TTS Congress to be held in Seoul on September 12–16, 2020. Our Scientific Program Committee is making progress to ensure a comprehensive and innovative program. In addition, the website has been launched and abstract submission continues online at We encourage all of you to submit your work before the submission deadline on February 18, 2020.

2019 has been a busy year indeed and with so much still to be achieved, there is no doubt that we will continue with the same energy through the coming year. In the meantime, I would like to wish all of you joy these holidays and a happy, healthy, and successful 2020.  

TTS 2020 - Call for Nominations

In 2020, three Officer positions will be vacated and 7 of the 12 Councilors-at-large representing the Regions will be changing. The elections will take place early in 2020 and those elected will assume their new roles starting at the 2020 TTS Congress in Seoul.

Members can access the online nominating form by clicking here. Since each nominee must have his or her form signed by three supporting members (including him/herself), the online process allows for efficient and rapid circulation.


Please note:

  • As successive presidents may not be from the same Region, members from the North America region who would have otherwise been eligible to become President-Elect are not eligible in these elections.
  • Only members who have served a full term on Council and have paid their dues are eligible for the Officer positions (President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer).
  • Only full members who have paid these dues are eligible to be nominated for Council.
  • Only full members who have paid their dues may nominate and/or vote.

For more information on elections, visit the TTS website and consult the By-Laws in the “About” section.

Nominations are being sought for these positions

Officer Positions:

  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

TTS Regions:

  • Asia (2)
  • Europe (1)
  • Latin America (2)
  • North America (2)


TTS Endorsed 3rd Joint Congress of the Turkish Transplantation Society and the Turkic World Transplantation Society

For the past 25 years, TTS President Professor Mehmet Haberal and his team at Baskent University have been working with colleagues in the Mid Asia region to assist them in establishing successful treatments for end stage organ disease. In addition to the education and training of doctors and nurses from various fields, several transplant surgeries were also performed for the first time by Prof. Haberal and his team, such as the first pediatric liver transplants in Kazakhstan in 2014, and the first pediatric kidney transplant and the first living-related transplant between spouses that were performed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2018.

In an effort to encourage further collaboration and to answer the needs of these states, the Turkic World Transplantation Society (TDTD) was founded in December 2014. The first congress of the Society was held shortly thereafter in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 20–22, 2015, followed by the first Joint congress with the Turkish Transplantation Society (TOND) in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2016 and then in Ankara, Turkey in 2017. On October 10–11, 2019 the 3rd Joint Congress of TOND and TDTD took place in Uzbekistan with great success.

The Congress, which was organized and chaired by Prof. Haberal, boasted 24 invited speakers from the world over, all leaders in their respective fields and more than 450 participants from 25 countries. The meeting was endorsed by The Transplantation Society as well as the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, with Deputy Minister of Health Prof. Abdukhakim Khadjibaev acting as Chair of the Local Organizing Committee.

The Opening Ceremony of the congress drew a large number of participants and was attended by the Minister of Health Prof. Alisher K. Shadmanov. In his welcome remarks, Minister Shadmanov drew attention to the important contributions that Prof. Haberal had made to the Republic of Uzbekistan and, in reference to a private meeting they had held prior to the congress, the important steps they would continue to take based on Prof. Haberal’s recommendations and with his continued support. Following these words of praise, the Minister presented Prof. Haberal with Honorary Professorship of the Tashkent Pediatric Institute and Prof. Haberal presented the Minister with a plaque commemorating the congress.

Among the guests at the ceremony was a group with special meaning to Prof. Haberal – these were the first patients to receive transplants from Prof. Haberal and his team in Uzbekistan. Living healthy lives for the first time, they welcomed Prof. Haberal with great fondness and gratitude.

Following a day of scientific sessions, the guests and congress participants gathered at the Gala Dinner that showcased traditional Uzbek dances and singing. Minister Shadmanov was once again in attendance, and opened the dinner with a speech thanking Prof. Haberal once again for his efforts for the people of Uzbekistan and the region and then presented him with an official seal in recognition of his valuable contributions to medicine and patient care in Uzbekistan.

The scientific program continued through the next day, with special emphasis on the experiences of the Turkic states in transplantation. The Executive Committee of TTS took this opportunity to also meet and discuss various issues, including the upcoming 2020 Congress and other society initiatives.

Also coming together to discuss future plans was the Council of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation, who finalized the dates of their next congress as 3–5 December, 2020 to be organized in Muscat, Oman.

This congress was also the occasion when several awards were presented for the first time. During the closing ceremony, Dr. Farhod Khadjibaev received the Nebil Büyükpamukçu Award for Best Poster Presentation while Prof. Handan Özdemir was selected as the recipient of the Nevzat Bilgin Award for Best Oral Presentation. Following these, the Roy Calne Clinical Transplantation Award was presented to Prof. Seyed Ali Malek-Hosseini, the Wesley Alexander Research in Transplantation Award was presented to Prof. Marwan Masri, and the Ihsan Doğramacı Distinguished Mentor Award was presented to Prof. Nancy Ascher.

Prof. Haberal closed the Congress with a final word of thanks to all attendees and everyone involved in the organization and presented a gift to Deputy Minister Prof. Khadjibaev for his support of and contributions to the meeting.

The 3rd Joint Congress of TOND and TDTD proved to be a great success, with high positive feedback from all who were in attendance. Realizing that education and public awareness of the availability of medical services is essential for transplant programs to flourish, the organization of congresses and use of the mass media becomes paramount to support such efforts in all regions. The cooperation between TDTD and TOND is one such example and this congress was no exception in its goal to create a platform for collaboration resulting in enhanced education, training, and knowledge-sharing.

Education Committee Update

A joint group of the TTS Education Committee and representatives from STALyC organized the pre-course symposium. The goal of the pre-course symposium was to increase organ donation and transplantation in Latin America, in particular from deceased donors.

The topics included the history of organ donation and transplantation in Latin America, education of transplant professionals on organ donation and transplantation, donor derived infections, donor derived malignancies, expanded criteria and other high-risk donors, organ preservation strategies, tissue typing and kidney paired donation.

Invited speakers included: Dr. Eduardo Santiago Depin (Puerto Rico), Dr. Maria Paula Gómez (Spain), Dr. Michael Ison (USA), Dr. Milagros Samaniego (USA), Dr. Marcelo Cantarovich (Canada), Dr. Stefan Tulius (USA), Dr. Anat Tambour (USA), Dr. Dorry Segev (USA). The pre-course symposium was attended by 700+ participants, including surgeons and physicians from all specialties related to solid organ transplantation.

The TTS Education Committee is committed to contributing to the organization of symposia (educational topics are tailored to local needs), in collaboration with National or International Societies worldwide.

National or International Societies are welcome to contact the TTS Education Committee to organize joint symposia. For further information, please contact Ms. Jennifer Olechowski, TTS Special Initiatives Coordinator, at, who will coordinate with the Education Committee Co-chairs, Drs. Medhat Askar and Marcelo Cantarovich.

Young Members Committee Update

One of the most important aspects of a transplant professional’s career is their research contributions. In my previous article, I reported Dr. Jeremy Chapman’s thoughts on preparing a manuscript, yet I skipped several steps. The first basic step is to come up with a research idea, but how exactly does one do that? One of the earlier pieces of advice I “Read other peoples’ research and you will come up with the ideas,” someone had advised me. Someone else recommended attend conferences around the world and be inspired. But these are general recommendations, how does one narrow it down and come up with a unique research question to develop and explore? In this article, I got the opportunity to ask this question to Dr. Dorry Segev who is considered to be one of the most prolific transplant researchers with over 450 publications.

As an individual practicing medicine, most of us have busy clinical careers. Thus, the first thing I wanted to know from him is why do research? His answer is simple: because it is fun. It is fun to either discover or describe something new and to contribute to medicine and science and the advancement of one’s field. As someone in the pits doing the groundwork and seeing patients daily, Dr. Segev believes clinicians are often in the best position to think of a research question and to answer them. “We know the relevant clinical questions, we have access to patients and samples and we have collaborators who want to work with us”, he states. Based on our training, we are either content experts or have expertise in the methods. Use it to further science.

Our continued series contributing tips and advice from lead figures in the field of transplantation. If you have any suggestions for topics or people to interview, please do get in touch!

Then I just straight up ask him how do I come up with a good research idea. He states to look into your daily clinical practice. Think of the time a colleague asked you a question and you were not sure of the answer or when you are not sure of how to treat a patient or when you do not know how the biology works. You may have stumbled upon a potential research question. Do the background research and make sure it has not been already answered. When I ask him to delve into more details, he gives me a big disclaimer that his expertise lies in clinical medicine and this may not apply to everyone. While one can always have a Eureka moment, he shares that a good start is to think of novel populations, novel exposures, novel treatments, and novel outcomes. He further expands on this.

Novel populations are a distinct category of patients who might respond differently to treatments than the general populations. He cites examples of his work with elderly patients, non-Caucasians and HIV positive patients. If there is a subgroup of patients that one takes care of that acts differently than the rest, then this is a research question. As someone working in Baltimore, he constantly saw HIV positive patients and he knew this a novel population with a lot of unanswered questions. This laid the foundation for his work with these patients and has greatly contributed to progress in transplantation and policy in HIV positive recipients and donors.

Novel exposures may entail risk factors that have not been looked at, such as his decade long work looking at frailty and community health factors in transplant populations. As a clinician, he saw that some recipients despite being middle-aged did poorly after a transplant and some 70+-year-old patients had great outcomes. He collaborated with experts in this field and assembled a knowledgeable and keen team of researchers, including Dr. Mara McAdams DeMarco, which led to some incredible work in frailty.

Novel treatments might be things one does to their patient that others might not do or might not do a lot of. As an example, he cites the work of Dr. Robert Montgomery who has spent his career on developing and refining desensitization in incompatible transplantations, which was not being done previously. I reminded him of his work with paired kidney exchange, which is another example. I remember him joking at a conference that he had the idea of exchanging kidneys and his mathematician wife helped him create the algorithm.

For novel outcomes, he recommends thinking beyond graft and patient outcomes, such as cost, quality of life, patient-centered outcomes and hospital re-admissions. Decreasing health care costs and improving the quality and delivery of care is a priority for most governments around the world. These types of analyses have tremendous potential to be funded and to influence policy and health services.

One thing I have personally witnessed him doing is refining methods of previously conducted research. This is where the earlier advice given to me of reading and reading a lot comes in handy. Read other people’s work to see if it can be better answered. For example, Dr. Segev's reanalyzed the risk of end-stage renal disease after donation which until then was not reported to be higher. When his team re-analyzed the data, with a properly matched cohort, they reported that kidney donors do have an increased risk of end-stage renal disease. Refining methods of previously conducted research is another way to come up with a good research idea.

I then asked him what should be one's role in research and what training to get. He derives an analogy from his musical background. He states you can choose to be soloist, an occasional soloist or chorus. A soloist is a hard-core researcher and this means one dedicates most of their time to research. Success in this can be only achieved with dedicated training in research methods, ideally with a Ph.D. This can be done before residency, during or after. An occasional soloist is one that spends a certain percentage of their time with research and research training is strongly recommended. He suggests a chorus is that you work as a collaborator. You spend some of your time doing research but you contribute to science as one voice amongst many. Decide what fits your goals best and then ensure you obtain the training to succeed in it.

An undertone in his advice is collaborations. He absolutely agrees. A great team is essential to executing research successfully; however, he states that there are two bigger elements to succeed in research: a supportive institution and an excellent mentor. Find an environment that supports you and that will help alleviate the barriers that young researchers constantly face such as clinical work, poor infrastructure and lack of leadership. He also strongly advises that one finds an excellent mentor. They are rare and the list describing their qualities is endless. An excellent mentor will help you develop a research idea, navigate funding sources, introduce you to potential resources and collaborators, and teach you the peer-review method. A mentor should also be one of your biggest critics.

He concludes by saying “write and apply for grants”. Grants make research possible. He recommends talking to your mentors and to know your institutional funding. Most societies and foundations have funding sources as well. These are really good sources for early-career funding and will help you apply to the bigger grants thereafter and embark on the research career you decide. With this he concludes and may just have given me the idea for my next article.

Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group Update

Self-sufficiency in transplantation speaks to an individual country’s ability to meet the transplantation needs of its residents, by the donation of organs by its residents or by equitably sharing resources with other countries or jurisdictions1. Although self-sufficiency focuses on an individual country, what is happening in neighbouring countries and the greater region influence the different countries’ ability to gain self-sufficiency. A disproportionate number of foreign patients may be seeking, though legal and illegal avenues, transplant services in a particular country, because its neighbour countries are not able to provide these services to their own residents. Transparent and traceable data is needed to address regional issues in organ donation and transplantation.

The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG), together with the Latin American and Caribbean Transplantation Society (STALyC), generously funded by the Dr. Irani Foundation, held a pre-congress workshop on 22 October 2019 in Merida, Mexico, with the focus of increasing Transparency in Transplantation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Government-appointed representatives from 13 countries presented donation and transplantation data from their national registries, creating an opportunity to share what they have learned and how they address issues of transparency in their country. While some countries have been capturing data on patients’ country of origin, relatively little traceable data of foreign donors and recipients are being recorded in national registries.

Transparent national and regional registries, with the ability to trace and verify donations and transplantations that occur outside of the patient’s country of origin, are needed to understand the complex nature of donation and transplantation of foreigners. Cooperation and trust between countries, as well as individual countries abilities to care for its’ own residents’ needs, are built on transparency.

The workshop gave clear motivation for a regional transplantation policy in Latin America and the Caribbean that go beyond country boundaries and governments.

1. Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group. The 2018 Edition of the Declaration of Istanbul. Published 2018.

Women in Transplantation Update

It has been a busy summer and autumn for Women in Transplantation as we celebrate 10 years as an Initiative of The Transplantation Society. In keeping with our mission to advance and inspire women transplant professionals and to champion issues of sex and gender in transplantation, and with the overall aim of worldwide gender equity and inclusiveness in transplantation, we hosted both (and will be hosting future) symposia and networking WIT events at 5 international transplant meetings across the globe. Our speakers are carefully selected for their knowledge, expertise and experience, and span a broad range of transplant specialties as well as diverse geographical locations.

WIT activities this year kicked off with a successful Networking event at the American Transplant Congress ( in Boston in June 2019, where special guest Dr. Julie Ingelfinger spoke on her career and role within the New England Journal of Medicine. This event was attended by more than 125 people.

We then followed this up in September with another well-attended networking event at ASHI/Banff ( in Pittsburgh where Dr. Ann Thompson (Vice Dean and Professor of Critical Care Medicine, UPMC) talked about unrecognized bias.

Europe then beckoned in October with IXA 2019 ( in Munich, Germany, where Dr. Megan Sykes and one of our Executive members,
Dr. Christine Falk, spoke in a Lunch & Learn session on behalf of WIT on career development in the field of xenotransplantation and sex and gender in transplantation. Participants were primarily young female researchers and veterinarians in the field of xenotransplantation who, in particular, gave positive feedback to the topic of career development.

Also in October, WIT moved on to South America for the Brazilian Transplant Congress or ‘ABTO’ (, hosted by WIT Steering Committee member, Dr. Ligia Pierrotti. Dr. Lori West and Dr. Elaine Reed, Executive and Advisory members, both took part in Scientific Sessions in Campinas. Most exciting was the formal announcement of the Brazilian chapter of WIT, with a networking cocktail event and two early morning WIT scientific sessions. This evolution of WIT Brazil was the culmination of several months of planning by Dr. Pierrotti and ABTO Organizer Dr. Marilda Mazzali, past TTS Council member, Dr. Maria Gerbase de Lima, together with a number of dynamic and enthusiastic women transplant professionals. They have based their plans for upcoming activities on developing a program and vision in alignment with WIT’s major goals, and continuing to work with WIT Central going forward. We could already see the impact of their work by the strong presence of women as speakers for all three ABTO plenary sessions and throughout the program.

Again in October, we were thrilled to have had a presence at the 2019 Asian Transplant Week ( in Gyeongju, South Korea. Facilitated by Dr. Curie Ahn, WIT Steering Committee member, specialists from Mongolia and Malaysia shared their experiences as women transplantation professionals, whilst Dr. Kin Thida Thwin from Myanmar facilitated a panel session on mentoring. This was followed by a networking event.

We then concluded the year in Novermber at the 2019 ISODP Organ Donation Congress ( in Dubai with a dynamic set of lectures from local experts Dr. Mona Al-Rukhaimi and Dr. Eyman Thabet on several topics ranging from the first kidney transplant in Dubai to effects of gender on transplantation.

Having refreshed our look with new branding this year, we are harnessing social media through our newly activated Twitter account (@WIT_TTS) and we also look forward to formally launching our new website later in 2019. The new website will include a database of women transplantation professionals who are or who aspire to be speakers, moderators, chairs and panel participants on relevant WIT-related topics (and all topics!) at conferences and meetings. With an aim for this database to be available to conference organizers internationally, we anticipate that this will become a valuable tool to encourage inclusion of women in prominent roles in educational and professional activities internationally.

WIT is organized into two pillars. Pillar 1, led by Dr. Christine Falk (Hannover), has the goal of supporting and promoting women transplant professionals around the world. Pillar 2, led by Dr. Bethany Foster (Montreal), focuses on promoting research on the influence of sex and gender in transplantation and advocating for sex and gender equity in transplantation. WIT is extremely proud that an article written by Pillar 2 member Dr. Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze, with contributions from co-authors Dr. Bethany Foster (WIT Pillar 2 lead) and Executive member Dr. Lori West, was published in Transplantation, and featured on the cover of the September issue. Sex and Gender Considerations in Transplant Research: A Scoping Review.

We take this opportunity to salute the vision of Prof. Kathryn Wood, who founded WIT during her TTS Presidency, seeing the abundant possibilities inherent in engaging and supporting the voices of the women in our field. We celebrate our tenth anniversary with gratitude for the continued support of TTS, our many partnering societies and our loyal industry supporters, as well as excitement and anticipation at having the opportunity to work with new partners. This support has enabled us to continue to spread the message of WIT globally.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Women in Transplantation, supporting us, being put onto our mailing list, attending a WIT event, or simply hearing more about who we are and what we do, please contact Katie Tait, our representative at TTS or visit

Transplantation Journal

The Transplantation Journal has been the journal of record and the journal of progress in transplantation since 1966. The official journal of The Transplantation Society and the International Liver Transplantation Society, the journal is growing from strength to strength, with a rapidly-rising one-year Impact Factor, which is now at 4.734, up from 3.96.

Importantly, there were 25,000 total citations of the journal in 2018, and more than 10,000 people read the journal online through their subscriptions to TTS or ILTS or via their library subscription to Ovid.

Transplantation Direct

Original articles and overviews provide a chart of the development of transplantation clinical and basic sciences. We also try to challenge the field to think outside our own area of interest and provide reviews of potential game changer science and research highlights for the month. We provide reviews of activity around the world and put the spotlight on significant individuals contributing to the field, either in the clinic or the lab.

Please contribute to the journal through submitting your work – but be aware that only 1 in 5 gets published, usually after one or two revision. You can also consider offering your services as a peer reviewer to the journal, to join the many colleagues who advise on how to improve articles and whether or not they can make the grade for publication in Transplantation.

All suggestions on any further improvements that you would like to see to our journal should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, Transplantation at the Transplantation Editorial Office:

Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society Update

On September 21–25, 2019 the Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society held its 16th Congress in Greece on the beautiful island of Lesvos. The meeting had 68 delegates from 20 countries and this small size resulted in a very pleasant interactive meeting with great networking and discussions between delegates.

Just as our Society, the program was diverse and broad, but with important common interests and aims. Speakers discussed advanced technical issues of enzymatic digestion, scaffolds encapsulation, engraftment and stems cells versus differentiated cell replacement. A wide range of cells, for example MSCs, beta-cells, amniotic epithelial cells and hepatocytes replacing or regenerating different organs, diseases or immune processes were presented. The program also included talks on clinical cell tracking, gene editing and bioethics. New approaches to preservation of cells, tissues and organs as well as new sources for organ and tissue donors were hot topics.

We look forward to 2021 when we will host a joint congress with the International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association and the International Xenotransplantation Association in San Diego, California on October 20–25, 2021. Hope to see you there!

International Xenotransplantation Association Update

Xenotransplantation is more relevant now than at any time in the past, and as the premiere organization dedicated to this field, and with the support of The Transplantation Society, the International Xenotransplantation Association is prepared to address the challenges of the future with determination.

The 15th Biennial IXA Congress was recently held in Munich in the inspiring venue of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, chaired by Bruno Reichart and Eckhard Wolf and included wide-ranging areas of interest. Presentation topics included regulatory issues, the state of the art in pig genetics and growing human organs, strategies for cell and tissue engineering, replacement of organ function, and the state of xenotransplantation in general. Several new and well-attended opportunities were devoted to young investigators.

Agnes Azimzadeh was announced as the new President of the IXA, taking over from Leo Buhler. Wayne Hawthorne was announced as the new President-Elect. We also welcomed Shaoping Deng, Shuji Miyagawa, and Burcin Ekser as new Councilors. We would like to thank the IXA immediate past President Peter Cowan and outgoing Councilors Curie Ahn and Muhammad Mohiuddin for their dedication and hard work as we wish our recently elected colleagues success in their new roles. We would especially like to thank Leo Buhler for his diligence and commitment in guiding us for the last two years.

This year’s Carl-Gustav Groth Xeno Prize for the best paper submitted to our official journal, Xenotransplantation, was awarded to Kazuhiko Yamada of the Columbia University Medical Center ( David Sachs and Bruno Reichart were awarded the Keith Reemtsma and IXA Honorary Membership Lectureships, respectively. The TTS-IXA Scientific Congress Awards were bestowed upon several promising young researchers: Yuichi Ariyoshi, Paolo Brenner, Angela Chen, Wenlong Huang, Abdulkadir Isidan, Xioqian Ma, Raza Naqvi, Kazuhiro Takeuchi, Takayuki Yamamoto, and Chang Ho Yoon. Congratulations to all of our colleagues on their well-deserved recognitions!

We would like to encourage all those who attended the Congress to become a member of the IXA (, as well as to submit their presented data to our journal Xenotransplantation by the end of the year ( By joining our dedicated Association, researchers become part of a community committed to similar interests as their own. Publication in our journal will ensure that their work is disseminated to the widest and most interested audience. Xenotransplantation is on the cutting edge of medicine, looking for pioneers to bring it into fruition in the same way that giants such as T.E. Starzl, and C. Barnard brought organ transplantation into our lives. The IXA is guiding the way to the future. We invite you to join us.

International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Update

The 14th Congress of the International Society for Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (ISVCA) was held in New Delhi, India (September 30-October 1). The theme of the meeting was “Learning from the past, Preparing for the future”.

More than 100 participants from 18 countries participated in the meeting. The meeting was preceded by a 2-day hands on workshop at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences in New Delhi, where 24 participants observed pioneers like Warren Breidenbach, Laurent Lanteri and others demonstrate donor and recipient VCA procedures on soft embalmed cadavers. There were ample opportunities for hands-on surgical training in recovery and transplantation techniques.

The scientific program of the main conference spanned two days of sessions highlighting world updates in VCA including successful outcomes and complications as well as progress in experimental research and innovative advances with clinical impact. Special breakout sessions included those on psychosocial aspects in VCA, prosthetics versus VCA, bioethical dilemmas in VCA and the ISVCA and ASRT working group presentations on defining success and failure in hand and face transplant.

A total of forty oral and poster presentations from various VCA centers across the world were selected for the meeting, including promising clinical studies, experimental work on transplant immunology, and novel strategies for immunomodulation and graft surveillance. Two abstracts were selected for the prestigious TTS travel awards.

Dr. Emmanuel Morelon, the ISVCA President and Dr. Subramania Iyer from India served as the Congress Chairs. The Scientific Programme Committee was chaired by the incoming ISVCA President, Dr. Vijay Gorantla; and Dr. Mohit Sharma from India. The meeting was co-located at the same venue with the Asian Transplant Congress (CAST). This allowed ample opportunities for interaction between ISVCA delegates and CAST faculty from other solid organ transplant specialties. The CAST plenary sessions on face transplant outcomes and organ engineering by the faculty from ISVCA, were some of the key highlights of the CAST meeting.

Following the main congress, a Satellite Symposium was organized in the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in the southern Indian city of Kochi on October 4th. The satellite meeting focused on groundbreaking advances and concepts involving the interface of emerging fields such as regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and nanomedicine and their relevance to the future of VCA. The symposium was attended by more than 60 clinicians and basic scientists. Topics addressed innovation in bioengineering, robotics and drug delivery with potential applicability to VCA. Use of artificial intelligence and robotics in prosthetic development, organ engineering in VCA, newer avenues of research in immunomodulation, development of tolerance and targeted drug delivery were highlighted at this symposium.

We look forward to the 15th biennial meeting of the ISVCA and welcome attendance from all our colleagues across interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary fields.

The winners of the 2019 ISVCA Travel Awards were Pranitha Kamat (University of Zurich, Switzerland), and Zhi Yang Ng (Massachusetts General Hospital, USA). Congratulations Pranitha and Zhi Yang!

Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation Update

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the 2019 SPLIT Annual Meeting in Houston a tremendous success. This was the first Annual Meeting since SPLIT became an official TTS section, and we are delighted to share with you that the attendance was a record number of 244! Thanks to you all!

Special thanks to the SPLIT Education committee chaired ably by Dr. Saeed Mohammad and Dana Mannino, who worked closely with the Houston local team led by Melissa Nugent, Diesa Samp, Dr. Dan Leung, and Julie Economides. This collaboration led to a stellar program comprised of topics including ICU management, hepatoblastoma, organ allocation, and challenging cases. The Meeting also provided us with multiple opportunities to network with like-minded passionate colleagues collectively focused on optimizing the outcomes of pediatric patients requiring life-saving liver transplantation.

We are also very happy to share with you that for the first time, the recorded scientific sessions from the Annual Meeting are now available to SPLIT Section members and Annual Meeting attendees. We continue to look forward to sharing new SPLIT initiatives and activities with you via the TTS triannual member newsletter. The next edition will be available to members in Spring 2020.

If you have not already done so, please register to become a SPLIT Member! And if you have done so, please encourage your team’s surgeons, fellow hepatologists, all consultant physicians (including but not exclusive Infectious Diseases, Interventional Radiology, Diagnostic Radiology, Anaesthesia, Nephrology, Cardiology, just for starters), allied health team, and trainees to become a SPLIT member. All membership information is available at

Looking forward to your collaboration and participation as we celebrate SPLIT’s 25th Anniversary in Pittsburgh, PA on October 1st-2nd 2020!

TTS Officers and Councilors 2018–2020

To consolidate its position as the leading global organization, the Council has representation from all six regions of the world: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/Africa, North America and Oceania.


Mehmet Haberal
Marcelo Cantarovich
Nancy Ascher
Elmi Muller
John J. Fung
Stefan G. Tullius
Minnie Sarwal
Randall E. Morris
Jean-Pierre Mongeau

Executive Director


Hiroto Egawa
S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi
Peter J. Friend
Martí Manyalich Vidal
Maria Gerbase De Lima
Gabriel E. Gondolesi
Mustafa Al-Mousawi
Medhat Askar
Peter G. Stock
Megan Sykes
Karen Dwyer
Steven J. Chadban



Staff Directory


The Transplantation Society
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