Press Release - PROF. JEAN-PAUL SOULILLOU IS AWARDED THE 2016 MEDAWAR PRIZE DURING THE 2016 WORLD TRANSPLANT CONGRESS
August 21, Hong Kong, CN: The Transplantation Society (TTS) has recognized Jean-Paul Soulillou for his lifetime contributions in the field of transplantation with its highest distinction, the Medawar Prize.
About the recipient: Over decades, Professor Soulillou has created a major reference center for clinical and fundamental research in Europe. He has been the director of several INSERM Units, was the founder of the Institute of Transplantation as Nantes University Hospital, one of Europe's largest centers for kidney and combined kidney-pancreas transplantations, as well as the founder of RTRS "Centaire", a French translational network for transplantation sciences.
He is currently the Emeritus Professor of Immunology, "Classe Exceptionnelle" at the University of Nantes, as well as a Member of the Institut Universitaire de France, since 2002
PRINCIPAL SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS
Anti donor class II antibodies: In 1978, Prof. Soulillou published a report, demonstrating a marked association between appearance of anti-class II antibodies after renal transplantation and the onset of treatment-resistant rejection. This was the first demonstration of the importance of anti-donor class II antibodies as a detrimental factor in the function and survival of renal transplants in patients. This important discovery has subsequently been substantiated by numerous other investigators and is now considered as a fundamental concept in this field. Results were published in the Lancet 1978.
Transcriptional biomarkers and spontaneous operational renal allograft tolerance: A small fraction of renal allograft transplant recipients who discontinue their immunosuppressive medications develop "operational tolerance" spontaneously. Prof. Soulillou and colleagues developed a new paradigm for studying these patients through examining microarrays of cDNA libraries from operationally tolerant and non-tolerant allograft recipients. Using this paradigm, "footprints" of expressed genes promise to allow clinicians to know which patients can safely be taken off of immunosuppressive drugs, thus avoiding the complications often caused by these drugs. This was the first demonstration of an association between a panel of transcriptional biomarkers and spontaneous operational renal allograft tolerance.
Inhibiting the CD28:B7 pathway: Prof. Soulillou developed a new approach to inhibiting the CD28:B7 pathway. This was done by designing a new single chain antagonist fusion molecule, Prof. Soulillou has produced a drug that inhibits activation of alloagressive T cells through CD28 without inhibiting activation of regulatory T cells through CTLA4. This was a new, highly original and safe approach of inhibition CD28, sparing CTLA4/B7 interaction. The initial publications were in Blood (2002), and in POE in the primate (Science Translational Medicine), which is now licensed to J&J.
Anti-IL2 receptor: Prof. Soulillou performed the first introduction and pilot randomized study of anti-IL2 receptor. These results were published in the Lancet 1987, NEJM 1990, and Lancet 1997.
CNI IS and cancer: First demonstration of a quantitative link between CNI IS and cancer. These results were published in the Lancet (1988).
Research on operational tolerance in humans: This research suggested for the first time the role of B regulatory cells and obtaining a first signature (a series of remarkable papers following the PNAS 2007).
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.
About The Transplantation Society: The Transplantation Society is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which serves as the international forum for the world-wide advancement of organ transplantation.
The Transplantation Society