In April I had the pleasure of attending the 20th Anniversary meeting of the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation. Although a relatively small group, they have been leaders in medical education and transplant medicine within Asia. Also present was Vasant Sumethkul, Kriengsak Vareesangthip and other members of the Thai Transplantation Society Council in a spirit of co-operation for the upcoming 2016 meeting. Whilst at the meeting, I had the opportunity to meet with the local liaison committee to discuss plans for the upcoming international congress of our Society that will be held in Hong Kong in 2016. Plans are well advanced and all the relevant committees have been set up and tasks allocated. The visit also gave me an opportunity to familiarize myself with the city once again. The site of the congress centre on Victoria Harbor makes for a magnificent setting right in the heart of one of the most vibrant and safe cities in Asia.
President Philip J. O’Connell and attendees at the 20th Anniversary Meeting of the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation (HKST).
(front row, left to right) Mrs. Belinda O’Connell, Prof. Philip J. O’Connell, Prof. Yonson Ku, Mrs. Ku, Mrs. Chan, and Dr. C.C. Luk (Chief Executive of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong). (back row) Prof. Adisorn Lumpaopong (Thai T.S.), Dr. Stanley Lo (Host Country Liaison Committee (HCLC) member), Dr. Wei-Leung Chak (HKST President, member of the TTS 2016 Scientific Committee), Dr. Ka-Foon Chau (HCLC member), Prof. Vasant Sumeethkul (Thai T.S., member of the TTS 2016 Executive Committee), Dr. Kwok-Lung Tong (HCLC member), Prof. Kriengsak Vareesangthip (Thai T.S. President, member of the TTS 2016 Finance Committee), Mrs. Vareesangthip, Dr. Cindy Choy (HCLC member), Prof. See-Ching Chan (Immediate Past President of HKST, member of TTS 2016 Executive Committee), and Dr. William Lee (Vice-President of HKST, member of TTS 2016 Finance Committee)
The visit to Hong Kong was an excellent lead up to the planning of the program for 2016 Congress. The program committee led by Jeremy Chapman met with all the sub-committee chairs in Philadelphia during the American Transplant Congress. Most of the themes for the meeting are well advanced and there was an excellent response from the membership to a call for topics and symposia. These suggestions have been passed on to the wider program committee and the difficult task of finalising the formal program is ongoing. As the meeting takes shape, there will be ongoing updates on the web-site and I urge you all to visit it to find out the latest developments.
[Transplantation Direct’s] mission is to capture specialist and general transplant-related publication material as well as important publications such as guidelines and registry reports that often are not cited in the medical literature and can be difficult to access
In addition to the planning of the 2016 Congress, the Council and Executive Committee have been busy with the business of the Society and furthering our mission of science, education and public policy. Earlier this year, there were two important events for the Society. First was the launch of the first issue of Transplantation Direct (see advertisement in this issue of Tribune). This is a new open access journal that is a joint initiative of TTS and Wolters Kluwer Health. Its mission is to capture specialist and general transplant-related publication material as well as important publications such as guidelines and registry reports that often are not cited in the medical literature and can be difficult to access. The journal is very much seen as a adjunct to Transplantation. We have been very fortunate in recruiting Edward Geissler as editor of Transplantation Direct. The editorial team is linked very closely with the new editorial team of Transplantation which is now under the direction of Jeremy Chapman. The reform of the editorial structure for Transplantation and the launch of Transplantation Direct has been a major boost to our promotion of Science and Education. The second issue of the journal has just been released and can be accessed by the following web address: http://journals.lww.com/transplantjournal/Pages/Transplantation-Direct.aspx
an important initiative [between TTS and IPTA] will be to develop new members in Asia and other developing regions where pediatric transplant recipients are often under the care of an adult-based health care worker
The second important event was the official partnership between TTS and the International Pediatric Transplantation Association (IPTA). Following their congress in San Francisco on March 28-31, IPTA joined as an official Section of TTS. This brings advantages to both societies. IPTA now operates under the wider transplant umbrella of TTS with access to extensive educational material and expertise in science and public policy. For TTS, this brings to the Society an important area of expertise that had been under-represented within our membership. An important initiative will be to develop new members in Asia and other developing regions where pediatric transplant recipients are often under the care of an adult-based health care worker. The opportunity now exists to foster this important subspecialty within these new regions and with it improve the outcomes for some of our most vulnerable of patients. Personally, I would like to thank Ron Shapiro (Immediate Past President of IPTA) for his vision in making this happen and I would like to welcome Dr. Burkhard Tönshoff and the new IPTA Council to the greater family that is TTS.
As we move forward, there are many challenges and opportunities for the Society. In June, the Council will have its retreat to discuss future strategies and initiatives that we hope to bring to fruition in 2016. We have plans to reinvigorate research and development in clinical trails of immunosuppression and we are fully aware that there are many unmet clinical needs in this area. After a period of rapid development, there is now a feeling that momentum in clinical transplantation is lagging at a time when it should be flourishing. In the coming months, I hope to tell you of new initiatives that TTS is developing to reinvigorate interest in our specialty and allow transplant patients to gain from the future benefits of personalized medicine.