Women in Transplantation

The Women in Transplantation Initiative held two exciting educational events for women transplant professionals at the TTS 2016 Congress in Hong Kong. The highly successful WIT Workshop and Networking Cocktail, chaired by Professor Nancy Ascher, featured career development seminars by Dr. Megan Sykes, the Michael J. Friedlander Professor of Medicine at Columbia University; Imke de Lanversin, of Novartis Global; and, Mayumi Chida, of Novartis Japan. The expert panel provided key insights into how to position yourself to achieve your career goals.

The WIT Scientific Symposium, chaired by Professor Lori West and Professor Ascher, featured two innovative talks focused on Sex and Gender in Transplantation. Dr. Nithya Krishnan, a consultant transplant nephrologist at University Hospitals Coventry, UK, kicked off the session discussing her research study entitled “Are Women in Transplant Leadership Roles Judged More Harshly than their Male Colleagues?” Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Scientific Director of the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, provided a stimulating and thought-provoking lecture on “Why Sex and Gender Matter in Transplantation Research”.

In addition to these events, and based on WIT input into the scientific program content, Dr. Kathryn Tinckam gave an excellent talk entitled “Biologic Impact of Gender/Sex on Outcomes of Transplantation and Living Donation”.

WIT would also like to congratulate the 2016 Women in Transplantation Award recipients. Dr. Lori West received the Women Leader in Transplantation Award and Dr. Elmi Mueller and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram
were co-recipients of the WIT Hero Award. (see 2016 Women in Transplantation Awards).

Two recent autumn WIT events kept with the theme of “Sex and Gender in Transplantation”. The WIT Networking Breakfast at the ASHI Annual Meeting was held on September 29th, in St. Louis. Dr. Lori West presented Dr. Tannenbaum’s talk to a large and highly engaged audience, covering clinical, scientific and policy as well as career aspects of the topic.

Paving the way toward future collaboration, on October 14th, in Pittsburgh, WIT held a Networking Cocktail during the International Transplantation Nurses Society Symposium. Moderated by Sabina De Geest, once again the event was very well-attended and active. Guest speakers Nancy L. Stitt and Kandy Yarris Newell presented “Turning Vision into Reality - A Story of the History and Future of ITNS”, followed by speaker Sandra Couples who briefly presented on the future focus of ITNS and continued partnerships, which included TTS and WIT. TTS IHQ Membership Coordinator, Amanda Mayer, spoke on behalf of WIT, touching on the origins and goals of the Initiative, and how to become a WIT member.

We are also pleased to report on the success of the first WIT Round Table dinner meeting on October 13, 2016 in Los Angeles supported by Novartis. This inaugural WIT dinner event was attended by over 45 women and men transplant professionals from Los Angeles, many of whom had never attended a WIT educational event before. Moderated by Alyson Huff from Novartis, the event featured Dr. Elaine Reed, UCLA Professor of Pathology, and participants engaged in a lively discussion on how transplant professionals can increase awareness of sex and gender issues in Science and Medicine.