International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association Update

The IPITA Council is actively working on exciting new initiatives drafted by taskforces that will be of interest to many IPITA members. For example, the taskforce on Advocacy is bringing together an international group of renowned endocrinologists and IPITA Council members with the goal of writing a brief expert opinion report of recommendations for which patients with type 1 diabetes are appropriate candidates for islet and/or pancreas transplants. The Research taskforce is very near completing a summary report of the Key Opinion Leaders Meeting held this past spring in Oxford, England, which will be published in Transplantation. The report will summarize the state of the clinical and basic research fields of islet allotransplantation, pancreas transplantation, islet xenotransplantation, encapsulation, stem cells, regeneration, immune tolerance, and the artificial pancreas. The Outreach and Communications taskforce will be enacting improvements to the website in the near future and will be launching a new webinar series this winter. The Education Taskforce is actively developing a Young Investigator Expert Forum. This web-discussion platform will be designed to facilitate and stimulate the interexchange of know-how between young investigators in the field of pancreas and islet transplantation and associated biological fields including immunology, regulatory issues and new technologies. In addition, the Education committee is forming a Young Investigators Committee in order to stimulate interest in society affairs as well as to reach out to new scientists entering the field. With these numerous new initiatives taking shape, there is much for IPITA members to be excited about.

Applications will be open soon for the Derek Gray Distinguished Traveling Scholarship Award.

This award provides $10,000 to a research or post-doctoral fellow or trainee having a PhD, MD, or MD/PhD degrees who demonstrates scientific merit and future potential for academic research and mentorship of trainees in the fields of islet and/or pancreas transplantation. This award is to support travel to 2-4 institutions across the world in order to broaden the laboratory-based research experience of the scholar during his/her formative research training, and to provide an opportunity to learn from established laboratory investigators in the field(s) of islet and pancreas transplantation biology.

Planning for the IPITA-IXA-CTS Joint Congress is well underway.

The Joint Congress will be held in the charming and gastronomical city of Melbourne, Australia from November 15-19, 2015, under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Kay.

This meeting will be held in tandem with the 14th Transplantation Science Symposium in Lorne, Australia from November 11-13. The organizational structure of the meeting has been set. Preliminary scientific and social programs are being developed and fundraising is underway. Not only are we excited that this “quadruple” Congress will be truly multidisciplinary, we are equally confident that it will carry on the tradition of excellence and innovation that we have enjoyed at prior IPITA Congresses.

The IPITA Council recently sought our member’s opinions on their preferred location for the 16th World Congress of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association in 2017.

The Council received three strong bids from Lyon, France; Manchester, England; and Oxford, England. The final city selection will be determined based on several factors, including most importantly the preference of our members. Thank you for voting and offering your opinion! The Council will review the opinion poll and incorporate this information into a final analysis that will culminate in a final announcement of the host city for the 2017 IPITA Congress.