2019-2020 - TTS Education Committee’s Precision Medicine Webinar Series

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System Biology and Precision Transplantation Medicine

1.1 - System Biology and Precision Transplantation Medicine: The Complexity of the human and transplant model and the different layers of biological information; Current applications; Composite scores: clinical applications

Presenter: Maarten, Naesens, ,
Authors: Maarten Naesens, Valeria Mas

Maarten Naesens' Bio:

Prof. Dr. Maarten Naesens is Clinical Director of the Nephrology and Renal Transplantation unit of the University Hospitals Leuven. He is co-directing the kidney transplant program, with special focus on renal allograft histology, antibody-mediated rejection, HLA sensitization, living donation and ABO-incompatible transplantation. He directs the protocol biopsy program of the University Hospitals Leuven and the “Biobank Renal Transplantation” at this same institution. He is appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Leuven. In his translational research performed at this institution, he integrates clinical, histological, pharmacokinetic, pharmacogenetic and gene expression data, to get an integrated view on the determinants of histological damage progression of renal allografts and late graft loss. Prof. Dr. Maarten Naesens is principal investigator of the FP7 project “Biomargin” of the European Commission, focusing on biomarker research for kidney transplantation by using omics strategies and systems medicine, and of the FWO TEMPLATE project for epitope matching in kidney transplantation. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts in international journals, amongst others in New Engl J Med, J Exp Med, Sci Transl Med, Nature Comm, J Am Soc Nephrol, Transplantation, Am J Transplant and Kidney Int. He has established collaborative projects and networks with several European and American research centers. He has received investigator awards from the European Society of Organ Transplantation, from the American Transplant Society and from The Transplantation Society. He is appointed Young Key Opinion Leader of The Transplantation Society and elected Councillor of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT).

Valeria Mas' Bio:

Valeria Mas has a broad background in transplant immunology and molecular biology. She is currently the Director of the Transplant Research Institute that is part of the Methodist University Transplant Institute associated with University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Until few months ago, she was the Director of the Molecular Transplant Research Laboratory at University of Virginia, and previously, she was the Director of the Transplant Genomics Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been conducting studies in genomics and proteomics related to kidney and liver transplant recipients during the last 18 years. Her research projects are mainly focused to: (1) evaluate the molecular pathways that associate with graft fibrosis development and loss of function post-kidney transplantation, (2) test the effects of organ donor biology in short-and long-term outcomes post-transplantation, and (3) identify early biomarkers that distinguish those organs at high risk of post-transplant dysfunction. She uses integrative approaches (proteomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics) for understanding the role of immunological and non-immunological factors in transplantation outcomes as well as the effect of the genome collision from the donor and recipient as determinant of final phenotype post-transplantation. As the PI, co-PI, and co-Investigator of multiple federal and non-federal grants, she established a unique biorepository linked to a detailed data base that constitute the foundation of our research initiatives. She has extensive experience using different high-throughput technologies and strategies (SNP detection, non-coding RNA, gene expression, DNA methylation, proteomics, gene editing, flow cytometer, among others) for executing translational research in transplant recipients.

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