International Pancreas & Islet Transplant Association Update
INTERNATIONAL PANCREAS & ISLET TRANSPLANT ASSOCIATION UPDATE
IPITA has a number of new initiatives focused on increasing and broadening the impact of the Association on the practice of pancreas and islet transplantation and providing greater value to its membership. At an IPITA strategic planning session held during the Monterey Congress, the Council reaffirmed important goals for the Association: 1) Increasing the utilization of pancreas and islet transplantation across the world through education of and collaboration with diabetes care teams, our administrators, payers, regulatory agencies, and organizations that coordinate donor pancreas allocation; 2) Promoting clinical research including randomized clinical trials; and 3) Promoting basic and translational research. To address these goals, the IPITA Council established six taskforces: Advocacy, Research, Finance/Sponsorship, Education, Outreach and Communication and Membership.
Highlights of a few upcoming events, recent developments and ongoing new initiatives:
- IPITA and TTS will co-sponsor a Key Opinion Leader Meeting in Oxford in May 2014 to chart the path forward in critical research issues in beta cell replacement. Experts from around the world, the NIH, and other foundations will gather and discuss the current state-of-science in many areas of research such as islet isolation, encapsulation, xenotransplantation, and stem cell-derived beta cells. A summary report of this conference will be drafted and distributed to the membership.
- A major objective of advocacy efforts will be to engage endocrinologists in the continued development, evaluation, and increased utilization of pancreas and islet transplantation.
- The Association anticipates an important role for the newly formed Senior Advisory Committee to assist IPITA in recording the Association’s history, securing additional sponsorship, and serving in an advisory role to Council.
- The Education taskforce will be active in the intermeeting years in forming a Young Investigators Committee to support and connect future leaders, and in establishing a new award to advance the careers of scientists and physicians in developing economies.
- Look for some changes and new additions to the IPITA website, www.ipita.org, in the coming months.
- IPITA recently established a membership category for Allied Health Professionals. If you are a nurse, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, technician, or social worker involved in pancreas or islet transplantation, consider becoming a member and playing an active role in IPITA. Sessions devoted to topics of interest to allied health professionals were debuted at the Monterey Congress. In an effort to encourage membership from continents such as Asia and South America where many investigators work on pancreas and islet transplantation, IPITA will establish geographical links through which we wish to engage and support our colleagues.