2016 Recognition Awards

These awards recognize individuals who have made a major international impact in the field of transplantation. The awards are given out at each International Congress of The Transplantation Society.

David Cooper studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital Medical School of the University of London (now merged with King’s College London), where he also carried out research in heart storage for the PhD degree. He subsequently trained in general and cardiothoracic surgery in Cambridge and London bef­­ore taking up an appointment in cardiac surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. There, with Winston Wicomb, he developed a hypothermic perfusion device to store donor hearts, initially in large animals and subsequently in the clinical program. With Dimitri Novitzky, he investigated the detrimental effects of brain death on donor organ function in pigs and baboons before establishing thyroid hormone therapy in the management of potential organ donors in clinical transplantation. In 1987, he relocated to the Oklahoma Transplantation Institute in Oklahoma City where he continued to work in both the clinical and research fields; with colleagues, he identified the importance of the Gal antigen in xenotransplantation. After 17 years as a surgeon-scientist, he decided to concentrate his attention on research, initially in the TBRC at the MGH and subsequently at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 25 years, his major interest has been the xenotransplantation of organs or islets in pig-to-nonhuman primate models.

After receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Jordan completed a pediatric internship and residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed three fellowships: one in pediatric nephrology at UCLA, one in experimental pathology in the Department of Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, and the third in dialysis and transplantation at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. He is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric nephrology and diagnostic laboratory immunology.

For more than two decades, Dr. Jordan has performed extensive research into various aspects of immunology and transplantation, funded by dozens of research grants and awards, including two prestigious National Institutes of Health controlled clinical trials in kidney transplantation grants. He has written hundreds of articles and abstracts published in scientific journals, presented findings at medical and scientific organisations and authored about two dozen book chapters. Dr. Jordan's ground-breaking research in transplant immunology led to the development of a drug therapy protocol that significantly reduces the risk of a transplanted kidney being rejected.

Dr. Jordan has extensive experience with desensitization for incompatible kidney transplantation and currently has six investigator-initiated clinical trials examining novel therapies for desensitization and treatment of antibody-mediated rejection. He and his team pioneered the use of intravenous immunoglobulin to reduce the risk of rejection in difficult cases in which other medications failed. He also created a technique to detect post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in its earliest stages.

Dr. Visist Dhitavat has been the Director of the Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre since it was established in 1994. He is responsible for the development, maintenance and expansion of the whole process of organ donation and transplantation system in Thailand. He spends time and effort in giving knowledge and education, as well as in promoting positive attitudes toward organ donation both to the public and to healthcare professionals. He has been supported widely by all sectors: private, governmental and the media. Public awareness of organ donation has been raised through many means: news, educational materials and campaigns. He has developed good collaboration among healthcare professionals by visiting hospitals throughout the country to educate and persuade them to participate in organ donation process, and to push the organ donation to be a part of their routine work. In addition, he has set-up networks of in-house transplant coordinators at each hospital. Through these efforts, the rate of organ donation has increased by more than 10% per year.

For the last decade, Dr. Dhitavat collaborated on organ donation and transplantation meetings organized by the WHO. His aim is to achieve national self-sufficiency for organ donation and transplantation.

Jan Lerut, MD, PhD, trained in surgery at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium, under Prof. J. Gruwez; at the H. Heine University of Dusseldorf, Germany, under Prof. K. Kremer; and at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium, under Prof. P.J. Kestens.

From the start of his surgical career, Dr. Lerut has been involved in organ transplantation. This interest resulted in a transplantation fellowship at the Universities Paris-Sud-Centre Hépatobiliaire Paul Brousse under Prof. H. Bismuth and at Pittsburgh Medical Centre under Prof. Thomas E. Starzl. He was Director of the Abdominal Transplant Program at the Inselspital University of Bern, Switzerland, from 1987 to 1991 (Prof. L.H. Blumgart).

Dr. Lerut is currently Professor of Surgery and co-Director of the Department of Abdominal and Transplantation Surgery, and Director of the Starzl Abdominal Transplant Unit at the University Hospital Saint Luc and the UCL Transplant Centre in Brussels.

Dr. Lerut has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, 24 book chapters and 24 scientific films. He made more than 600 communications on national and international congresses, mostly devoted to liver transplantation. He co-edited the book Regenerative Medicine Applications in Organ Transplantation. His research interests focus on the development of technical refinements in liver transplantation, the value of liver transplantation in hepato-biliary oncology, the use of minimal immunosuppression and tolerance induction.

Professor S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi is the founder of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Pakistan which started in 1971 and has progressed into the largest urology, nephrology and transplant centre of South Asia. It is based on the model of community government partnership. As a humanitarian, Prof. Rizvi’s mission has been to prove that everyone has the right to the best treatment that can be offered, and all of it free of cost.

Prof. Rizvi founded a high ethical standard transplant programme in Pakistan, the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). SIUT has performed over 5000 living related kidney transplants with lifelong follow-up and immunosuppression free with dignity. He performed the first deceased kidney transplantation and initiated live related liver transplantation in the country with the help of Kings College and the Shiraz Organ Transplant Centre.

He has played a pivotal role in the campaign against transplant tourism and helped in the promulgation of transplant legislation to increase altruistic transplants and allow deceased donation. He is a Past President of the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation; the Asian Society of Transplantation; the Nephrology, Urology, and Transplantation Society (NUTS) of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC); and the Transplantation Society of Pakistan. He is a well known figure in the international scene and has been given several awards for his immense contributions in the field of medicine and transplantation, which include the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the St. Paul’s Medal, the Hunterian Professorship, the Felix T. Rapaport Award, the National Kidney Foundation Medal, and the Pioneer Award of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN).