David H. Sachs awarded the 2014 Medawar Prize during the 2014 World Transplant Congress
July 29, 2014 - San Francisco, CA – The Transplantation Society (TTS) has recognized David H. Sachs for his lifetime contributions in the field of transplantation with its highest distinction, the Medawar Prize.
About David H. Sachs
In a career now spanning more than four decades, Dr. Sachs has worked consistently at the interface between basic science and clinical applications in the field of transplantation. His accomplishments can be measured not only in terms of basic science and clinical achievements, but also in terms of scores of scientists and clinicians who have been mentored by him and gone on to become leaders in the field in their own right.
Dr. Sachs is the Paul S. Russell Professor of Surgery and Immunology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
For more information about Dr. Sachs and to view his acceptance speech and interview, visit:
Principal Scientific Accomplishments
- Induction of transplantation tolerance through mixed chimerism: Dr. Sachs and his colleagues demonstrated in the late 1980's, that the survival of a small percentage of MHC-mismatched donor cells following bone marrow transplantation was sufficient to induce tolerance without the complications associated with complete marrow replacement. Since the original description of this phenomenon, called "mixed chimerism", in mice, pioneering studies have extended this work to large animals and most recently to clinical applications, including the first successful clinical protocol for the induction of transplantation tolerance across HLA barriers in patients receiving renal transplants.
- Discovery of class II antigens: In 1973, Dr. Sachs was the first to report the serologic detection of cell surface antigens determined by genes in the mouse MHC that were expressed predominantly on B cells and which subsequently became known as MHC class II antigens.
- Development of miniature swine as a large animal transplantation model: More than 40 years ago, Dr. Sachs recognized the need for a large animal model for studies of transplantation and chose miniature swine because of their appropriate size (comparable to humans), physiologic and immunologic similarity to humans, and their breeding characteristics. The latter have made possible the establishment of MHC-homozygous and recombinant lines, making miniature swine the only large animal model in which one can reproducibly study the effects of selective genetic differences within the MHC. In their role as a preclinical animal model, these animals have provided numerous insights for understanding tolerance and histocompatibility.
- Xenotransplantation: Dr. Sachs and his colleagues have utilized modern genetic engineering techniques to develop one inbred subline of miniature swine as an exceptionally appropriate donor for organ xenografts. In addition, they are at the forefront of extending transplantation tolerance induction to this field.
About The Medawar Prize
The Medawar Prize, named after Society co-founder Sir Peter Medawar, is recognized as the world's highest dedicated award for the most outstanding contributions in the field of transplantation. The Medawar Prize has been awarded at each of our Society's biennial Congresses since 1990.
The award recognizes the outstanding investigators whose contributions have had such a profound influence on the field of organ transplantation. The Medawar Prize is universally considered to be commensurate with the most outstanding world prizes for scientific achievement.
For more information about the Medawar Prize, including a list of past recipients, visit: http://www.tts.org/about-tts-5/awards-a-grants/medawar-prize
About The Transplantation Society
The Transplantation Society is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which serves as an international forum for the world-wide advancement of organ transplantation.
To learn more information, please contact:
Jean-Pierre Mongeau, Executive Director
The Transplantation Society
1255 University Street, Suite 605
Montreal, QC, Canada H3B 3V9