Incoming President’s Message

I am both honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as President of The Transplantation Society for the 2018-2020 term.

TTS is the only global transplantation society that encompasses all of the disciplines in the field of transplantation and has grown exponentially since its establishment just over 50 years ago. Today, the society has 6500 members from more than 100 countries. Currently, there are eight separate official sections to meet the varying needs and areas of expertise of its members, and 34 affiliated national and regional societies are gathered under the umbrella of TTS.

Since its inception, TTS has driven global action in the development of the science and clinical practice, scientific communication, continuing education, guidance on ethical issues and legal practice. While the focus and activities of our members’ work may vary within their respective fields, extending the reach of our efforts has never been more important. The changing needs of patients and professionals alike necessarily impact social, medical, ethical, and legislative structures.

We cannot ignore that there continue to be striking disparities in transplantation throughout various areas of the world. However, TTS continues to take the lead in establishing best practice in institutions throughout the world. The ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centers Program and the newly created TTS-ILTS Paired Transplant Centers Program are prime examples of the difference that such initiatives can make in the creation and development of kidney and livertransplant programs in low- and middle-income countries. In the coming years we shall persist in this vein, with the ultimate purpose of establishing transplantation in every country with comparable standards of care for the patients.

In so doing, we will continue to support the activities of the Declaration of Istanbul, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2018. The important changes in legislation and practice that have taken effect in various countries – and most notably in China – are a testament to how fundamentally it has addressed the needs and concerns of the international transplant community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to this end. Our aim as the transplant community should now be to work towards a system of meeting the organ demand entirely with deceased donation. This will not only result in the reduction of unethical transplantation activities, it will also make an enormous difference to those patients awaiting transplants in which living organ donors are not an option.

TTS will continue to play a major role in tackling ongoing educational, legal, regulatory, ethical and public health challenges, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, national governing bodies, as well as national, regional and international societies. Among our primary concerns will be the ethical means of meeting the growing demand for organs through ethical organ donation and procurement, promoting scientific understanding and equality in standards of clinical practice and patient care, transparency in transplantation activities, and of course educational programs to meet the needs of our members. Communication has been particularly effective this past term, with a noticeable increase in electronic communications with the membership, especially with the implementation of the weekly electronic bulletin, Tribune Pulse. In addition, the Transplantation and Tranplantation Direct journals have also been flourishing, with an improved impact factor and rising quality of published papers.

We have an exciting term ahead of us. We will begin planning the 28th TTS Congress in Seoul in 2020. Building on the strong work done by my predecessors, our leadership team will also be reviewing the strategic plan of the society and will work towards advancing the priorities it sets out. By firmly establishing our vision and mission, we will better be able to determine and realize the impact we wish to make scientifically, socially, legally, and ethically. We will be taking important strides to ensure that equal attention is given to the 6 regions that are represented within TTS, thereby ensuring that members from all regions are given equal chance to access TTS activities and educational opportunities.

Our membership will play an important role in this process and we look forward to receiving your thoughts and suggestions.  

Mehmet Haberal
Incoming President

Mehmet Haberal MD, FACS (Hon), FICS (Hon), FASA (Hon) is a pioneer in the fields of transplantation and burn treatment since 1975. After training with Thomas Starzl in Denver, he returned to Turkey and performed the first successful kidney and liver transplants in the country. In addition to several burn societies, he is Founder and Immediate Past President of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation, and Founder and President of the Turkish Transplantation Society, the Turkic World Transplantation Society, and the International Haberal Transplantation and Education Foundation. He served as President of the International Society for Burn Injuries (2006-2008), and as TTS Councilor for the Middle East and Africa (2004-2008). He received the TTS Millennium Medal in 2000. He is currently Governor and Turkey Representative of the ACS. He is Founder and Founder President as well as President of the Executive Supreme Board of Baskent University, which has established 10 hospitals/outpatient clinics and more than 20 dialysis centers throughout the country.