International Xenotransplantation Association Update

extensive knowledge sharing and networking, and a Bavarian experience

As the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere are drawing to an end, IXA is ramping up its final planning of the upcoming 15th Congress of IXA, which is this year’s highlight of our organization.

We look forward to welcoming over 200 established researchers and trainees of all levels to Munich, Germany for 4 days of extensive knowledge sharing and networking, and having fun.

The program will include presentations on new strategies to move safety of xenotransplantation to a clinically acceptable level. World-leading scientists will provide overviews of the state-of-the-art in xenotransplantation of organs and tissues. For the first time, regulatory authorities from the USA, Europe and Asia will discuss relevant issues. And that’s only the beginning!

During the following days, in-depth presentations of the latest breakthroughs in preclinical kidney, heart and islet xenotransplantation will be compared with presentations on alternative strategies, such as hemodialysis, mechanical assist devices, closed-loop artificial pancreas systems, and stem cell-derived tissues. A keynote lecture on the derivation of human tissues in animal hosts (by blastocysts or organ complementation) will be followed by an ethical discourse of these strategies. Other topics, such as advances in genetic engineering of donor animals, immune mechanisms including tolerance and public perceptions of xenotransplantation will be covered by dedicated sessions with short and rapid-fire presentations, along with more than 170 posters.

IXA 2019 will welcome a large number of students, fellows, and post-docs. IXA and TTS are supporting the Congress by providing 10 travel awards for trainees, junior members, and/or residents of economically emerging countries. The Vanguard Committee has put together an exciting satellite program for these trainees including a “ask your burning career questions” session, as well as one-on-one mentoring/coaching opportunities between the trainees and mentors. The “Basics in Xenotransplantation” session that will start off the meeting will give a comprehensive overview and provide a discussion forum for trainees as well as newcomers to the field.

We look forward to treating all participants to a fun Bavarian experience from beginning to end. The Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München (LMU) promises to be a beautiful and historical venue, right in the heart of Munich. Did you know that it is one of the leading research universities in Europe with 547 years of history? All sessions and the Welcome Reception will take place at the LMU. The Congress Dinner has been planned at the Hofbräuhaus, which is Munich’s oldest and most famous beer hall. Get your Dirndl and Lederhosen ready.

We look forward to welcoming you in Munich this October!