International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association Update


Over the past year, the Council of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association has continued to work hard to develop initiatives that provide value to our members, improve and mature our organization, and enhance the fields of pancreas and islet transplantation worldwide. New initiatives include differential membership fees according to geographical region, the introduction of a Senior Advisory Committee, and plans for an Opinion Leaders Forum in 2014 to identify the key areas for research development in our fields. The highlight of the IPITA calendar however, is the biennial IPITA Congress. We are therefore, eagerly anticipating our 14th World Congress of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association being held in Monterey, California from September 24–27, 2013.

The Congress is a joint venture between IPITA, TTS, and the University of California, San Francisco. Under the Chairmanship of Peter Stock, the Congress Program Committee has worked tirelessly to develop an outstanding program that addresses the key issues in the fields of whole pancreas and islet transplantation. Our plenary sessions involve a broad range of world-renowned invited speakers from around the world. Particular highlights include sessions on beta cell regeneration, immune strategies for beta cell therapy, and current challenges of whole pancreas transplantation, and a debate on beta-cell replacement versus insulin treatment from a diabetology perspective. We have omitted poster presentations from our Congress this year to increase the opportunity for more delegates to give oral presentations (oral, mini-oral, or rapid-fire). The Program includes two emphases that mirror the current Council's priorities, namely bringing the whole pancreas and islet transplant communities closer together, and encouraging young clinicians and young scientists to carry the baton forward for our fields. We also have included a specific session for Nurse Specialists. The Congress celebrates the 25th Anniversary of IPITA, and we are pleased that we will have the opportunity to honour some of IPITA's Founding Members during the Congress.

Monterey is a perfect setting for presenting and discussing good science, having opportunities to meet old and new colleagues, and taking time out of our busy schedules to relax in a breath-taking location. I do hope you will join us in Monterey for what is certain to be an excellent and memorable meeting.