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

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Molecular Microscope

2.1 - Molecular Microscope: Unmet need for precision pathological diagnosis; Introduction to molecular microscopy; Advances and insights from standardized molecular measurements

Presenter: Philip F. Halloran, Jon Kobashigawa, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Authors: Philip F. Halloran, Jon Kobashigawa

Dr. Halloran is a clinician-scientist with a focus on organ transplantation and organ diseases, at both the clinical and basic levels. He received his MD and nephrology training from the University of Toronto and his PhD from the University of London. He served on the faculty of the University of Toronto before joining the University of Alberta where he holds the title of Distinguished University Professor.

His research interests are focused on the mechanisms of organ transplant rejection and the effects of immunosuppressive drugs. He has explored the mechanisms of T cell-mediated rejection, and described antibody-mediated kidney rejection, now recognized as the leading cause of late kidney transplant loss (1;2). He has also explored the mechanisms of acute and chronic organ injury and their relationships to disease progression (3;4). He studied the mechanism of action of immunosuppressive drugs and has been an investigator in many of the clinical trials that shaped immunosuppressive drug strategies in organ transplantation (5).  Dr. Halloran is an author of over 300 peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Halloran developed the Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre (ATAGC) into the world’s leading center for molecular studies of organ transplants and organ diseases, based on biopsies (http://atagc.med.ualberta.ca/). He has recently developed the Molecular Microscope Diagnostic System (MMDxTM), a system for reading organ transplant biopsies using microarrays that is now being licensed commercially (6).

Dr Halloran currently leads four ongoing international clinical trials are at various stages of completion towards the organ-specific MMDx test: kidney transplants - INTERCOMEX ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01299168; heart transplants - INTERHEART ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02670408; lung transplants - INTERLUNG ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02812290; liver transplants - INTERLIVER ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03193151. All are directed at changing care in organ transplantation: new understanding and new tests to support decisions.

He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the world’s leading transplantation journal, the American Journal of Transplantation, with the editorial office at the University of Alberta from 2000 to 2010. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Roche Organ Transplant Research Foundation, a Swiss-based charity. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He is the first recipient of the Paul Terasaki Award from the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Other awards include the 2016 medical research Prix Galien for Canada; an honorary degree from the University of Paris (Sorbonne); and the 2018 J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research by the University of Alberta.

Jon Kobashigawa's Bio:

Jon Kobashigawa, MD serves as the Director of the Advanced Heart Disease Section, Director of the Heart Transplant Program and the Associate Director of the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute. He is the DSL/Thomas D. Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is also Clinical Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Kobashigawa is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the heart transplant field. He is a past President of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, a past chair of the American College of Cardiology Committee on Heart Failure and Transplantation, and a past member of the National Thoracic Committee of the United Network of Organ Sharing. He has served on the Executive Program Committee for the World Transplant Congress in 2014. He is the immediate past Chair of the Thoracic Committee and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation. Dr. Kobashigawa is a productive writer and has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and monographs in the field of heart transplantation and has chaired several multi-center heart transplant studies. He has published in prestigious journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. He has also organized and chaired ten International and National Consensus Conferences to discuss pertinent questions in the field of heart failure and heart transplantation. In addition, he has served on several editorial boards including the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, the American Journal of Transplantation, the European Heart Journal and Cardiology today. Dr Kobashigawa lectures at universities around the world and has mentored several young physicians who have ascended to important academic positions throughout the country.

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