Prof. Wayne Hawthorne

Westmead Hospital
University of Sydney, Australia

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to invite you and your colleagues to attend our upcoming IPITA-IXA-CTRMS Joint Congress to be held in San Diego, California on October 26 - 30, 2023. We are expecting close to 600 delegates from all over the world. As part of this experience, leading experts and opinion leaders from around the globe will present the latest data and address important aspects of clinical and experimental transplant therapies. Specific sessions will be devoted to the latest xenotransplantation being undertaken, along with presentations in all aspects of transplant biology, islet cell and whole pancreas transplantation and various stem cell therapies among some of the amazing themes being presented. We are keen to have you attend for what we are sure will be an enjoyable experience, with an in-person meeting and a fabulous line up of speakers including those in the Plenary, State-of-the-art, workshops, and abstract sessions. The young investigators also have several exciting, dedicated sessions at this fabulous venue.

Over the last few decades as a xenotransplant community we have faced a huge number of hurdles and hardships. Not only in the development of the science and obtaining research funding but also including government moratoriums, condemnation, and ridicule from both the scientific and lay community for what we were trying to achieve for our patients and the world. We have been successful and can now provide a fundamentally better, more readily available, and never-ending supply of donor organs and cells to be able to transplant the very unwell patients on our extensive transplant wait lists. Together we have pushed the boundaries of what is possible and we will soon see the advent of clinical xenotransplant trials.

Many have said that “Pigs May Fly” before we get to the clinic with Xenotransplantation, but now, we see that we are close to commencing clinical trials with several groups undertaking xenotransplants into both live and brain-dead recipients. We have successful heart and kidney xenotransplants in patients running for several months post-transplant! It now seems fitting to use the term, “Pigs Will Fly!” So, look out for your “flying pig” in San Diego. Most certainly, very exciting days are ahead!

In landmark news, as part of the ongoing work by our President-Elects’ amazing team at the University of Maryland, they have transplanted the world’s second pig xeno-heart into a live patient. Once again, the team have transplanted a transgenic pig heart (with 10 genetic modifications) into a 58-year-old man who is a Navy veteran facing death from heart failure. Due to his significant other underlying health issues, he was ineligible for a traditional allo-heart transplant. In these critical and early days immediately post-transplant, we wish Muhammad and his team success in caring for their patient and this world leading xenotransplant.

Also, we have had several other groups performing kidney xenotransplants into “brain dead” recipients and studying them for longer time periods. The group from the Langone Transplant Institute, New York City, conducted the 5th xenotransplant at their institution, in which a genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a 58-year-old brain-dead patient who was maintained on ventilator support. The team recently announced the kidney functioned normally for 61 days at which time the experiment was terminated but was the longest running successful pig-to-human kidney xenotransplant. Another group from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Heersink School of Medicine, have also performed a further study in which they successfully xenotransplanted a set of 10-gene–edited pig kidneys into a nephrectomised brain-dead recipient. The group reported the kidneys produced urine almost immediately following reperfusion and produced more than 37 liters within the first 24 hours. The recipient was followed and demonstrated no rejection and normal renal function for a period of 7 days with comprehensive details published in JAMA.

As reported in our last IXA newsletter, part of the IXA’s ongoing mission is to inform and educate its membership and the broader transplant community. I encourage you to visit our Media Resource Centre page on the IXA website where you will find the latest news articles and podcasts that deliver interesting lectures that will be of interest to the broader xenotransplant audience.

Click here to access the Media Research Center

We look forward to receiving both feedback and suggestions from members across all levels. If you have an interesting topic for discussion as a podcast, or if you have any feedback, please email the Sections Manager, Suzanne Landis at, who will direct this on to Prof. Rita Bottino and our team for review.

Best Regards,

Professor Wayne J. Hawthorne
IXA President

Dr. Jay A. Fishman

Associate Director, MGH Transplant Center
Massachussetts General Hospital

As we approach our joint meeting in San Diego, and as Professor Hawthorne outlined above, this is an exciting time in Xenotransplantation. In addition to preclinical trials, multiple groups are preparing regulatory submissions in Asia, Europe, and North America to continue the road to clinical xenotransplantation. Our Young Investigators group (see below) has been reinvigorated by new membership and leadership – and represent the future of our field. With an eye on clinical trials and safety, new data on immunosuppression and pig microbiology have been published. We are also well along in planning for the next IXA Congress for 2025 – The venue will be revealed at our Business Meeting!


The recent IXA elections have been completed; Muhammad Mohiuddin will assume the President’s role at the IXA Business meeting as well as other newly elected board members who represent the breadth of interest worldwide in xenotransplantation.

IXA Special Lectures, Business Meeting and Awards

Please join us in San Diego,Saturday, October 28 at 2:00pm (San Diego local time)!

Line up includes:
  • 2023 Keith Reemtsma Lecture Award / Chung-Gyu Park
  • 2023 IXA Honorary Lecture Award / Richard Pierson III
  • 2023 Agnes Azimzadeh Lecture Award / Linda Scobie
  • Announcement of the 2022 Xeno Prize
  • Announcement of the 2023 David Cooper Award
  • Announcement of the IXA Scientific Abstract Travel Awards
  • Announcement of the TTS Scientific Abstract Travel Awards
  • IXA Business Meeting
    • President’s Message– Wayne Hawthorne
    • IXA Financials and Membership Updates - Rita Bottino
    • Farewell and thanks to outgoing Council members
    • Welcome to incoming Council members
    • Introduction to President (2023-2025) – Muhammad Mohiuddin
    • Announcement of 2025 Congress

Young Investigators Committee

Raphael P. H. Meier, MD, PhD of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA is Chair of the IXA YIC 2023 which includes 10 members from seven different countries and four continents. The IXA YIC will strive to develop the younger generation of researchers and clinicians in the field of Xenotransplantation, including initiatives in public outreach, social media, and scientific content publication. This group includes a diverse and expert group of young scientists and physician scientists. The committee has worked hard to develop content for the program and Social Events for our IXA IPITA CTRMS Congress in San Diego. Among these:

  • Young Investigators Orientation Session
    Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 15:45-16:15
  • Cutting-Edge Technologies Session
    Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 16:15-17:15
    Includes a talk on multimodal deep phenotyping of genetically modified pig kidney xenografts in human recipients and AI in cell and organ function assessment and in drug discovery.
  • Career Development Session
    Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 16:00-17:30
  • Fun Run/Walk
    Sunday, October 29, 2023 | Departing from the hotel lobby at 07:00

Best regards,

Dr. Jay A. Fishman



International Xenotransplantation Association
C/O The Transplantation Society
International Headquarters
740 Notre-Dame Ouest
Suite 1245
Montréal, QC, H3C 3X6