IPITA Congress 2011 Report
The 13th Congress of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA) was held in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, on June 1-4, 2011. The Congress was an outstanding success. It was attended by 421 registered participants from 35 countries, and provided an excellent opportunity for the exchange of information on novel achievements and emerging challenges on the road to a cure for type 1 diabetes using beta cell replacement.
The Scientific Programme included 60 lectures by top experts invited from all over the world, 151 oral and mini-oral presentations and 166 posters. The presentations provided a “state of the art” review of key aspects of the fields of whole pancreas transplantation and islet transplantation, as well as transplantation of insulin-producing tissue from alternative sources. In addition, there were 6 parallel early morning workshops covering some of the practical aspects of pancreas and islet transplantation: assessment of the islet preparation, assessment of the pancreas donor, long-term islet survival, pancreas transplantation techniques, pancreas preservation and islet immunoisolation. Two half-day pre-meeting symposia covered the topics of “Immunosuppression in Pancreas Transplantation” and “Ongoing Challenges of Human Islet Isolation.”
As an acknowledgement of their outstanding contributions to the fields of pancreas and islet cell transplantation, David Sutherland from Minneapolis received the Richard Lillehei Award, and Daniel Pipeleers from Brussels received the Paul Lacy Award. An excellent Gala Dinner held at the splendid Zofi Palace complemented the scientific part of the meeting. The IPITA Council would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Local Organising Committee chaired by Frantisek Saudek for organising such a memorable meeting, and to Thierry Berney for all his hard work as Chair of the Programme Committee.