Newsletter 2019 Volume 16 - Issue 1

President’s Message

02 01

It is custom for the Council of The Transplantation Society to meet in person at least once every year. One of these is always organized to coincide with the biennial congress and the other is organized as a retreat in the alternate years. This year the retreat was organized immediately prior to the 1st Regional Meeting of TTS in Istanbul on March 28-29, 2019.

A full day was reserved for the retreat, which was attended by the Society Officers, Councilors and committee Chairs. The object of the meeting was to formulate and discuss various topics of importance in the future of TTS, including solidifying and embellishing our relationship with our Sections, and expanding our reach and global responsibilities through affiliations with regional and national societies. It has also become clear over the past years that each region represented within TTS should receive equal attention from the Society and equal opportunities to organize meetings and ensure access to educational materials. Locations of past congresses had not always been selected with this in mind, which has resulted in a highly unbalanced distribution of congresses among the regions. In order to ensure equality among the regions in the future, the council agreed that a fixed rotation could be applied, with the 2024 Congress to be organized in the Middle East/Africa Region for the first time in TTS history

In line with these goals, TTS has established 3 new country/region-specific relations committees for China, India and Africa. Their mission is to create lines of communication and establish and maintain relations with the transplant communities in these countries and with their ministries of health to assist in developing transplantation where the need exists and implementing ethical transplant activities based on international guidelines.

In our efforts to support the development of ethical and legal transplant activities around the world, in December 2018 we distributed a memo entitled, “Call for an End to Unethical Transplant Practices: A Concerted Effort by the Transplant Community,” to our membership to remind them of the importance of adhering to the guidelines for ethical transplantation and to request that the transplant community to take a firm stance against unlawful and unethical activities. This was distributed in the weekly Tribune Pulse and published in the April issue of the Transplantation Journal.

Perhaps the most important issue on the agenda was the overview of the strategic plan and what the focus of TTS should be over the coming 5 years. In line with our Society’s mission and vision, we will concentrate on the following 4 areas:

It is also my great pleasure to inform you that following the deliberations of the WHO at its 144th session in January 2019, the WHO Executive Board decided to maintain The Transplantation Society in official relations with the WHO for another term, until January 2022. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved in and supported our work with WHO.

In the meantime, organizations for the TTS 2020 Congress are continuing and the scientific program has begun to take shape. We look forward to welcoming all our members to Seoul for what we hope will be a highly successful congress.  

TTS 1st Regional Meeting Review

02 01

The first Regional Meeting of The Transplantation Society was organized with great success on March 28-29, 2019, in Istanbul.

In an effort to ensure that members of all TTS regions were provided with equal access to TTS scientific activities and educational opportunities, it was decided that regional meetings would be organized regularly in a different region in turn.

Recognizing that although organ transplantation has become the treatment of choice for end stage organ disease, organ shortage remains one of the greatest challenge facing the field of organ transplantation today. In light of these concerns, the theme “Deceased Donation: Expanding the Donor Pool,” was selected for the meeting to provide valuable insights into medical, legislative, ethical, cultural, and social hurdles that must be overcome to increase deceased donation rates in the region as well as the world.

With over 350 registrations from 49 countries, the 2-day meeting was TTS’s major event in 2019. The Scientific and Local Organizing Committees, comprised of international leaders in transplantation, were committed to providing a program that reflects current concerns and perspectives presented in an environment and format that encourages interactions between scientific disciplines and across international borders.

In addition to the 45 invited speakers who discussed a variety of best practices, scientific and ethical issues in organ donation that ranged from donor consent, organ preservation, donor registries and transplant tourism, among many other topics, 29 oral abstracts and 38 posters were presented during the scientific sessions. The Education and Ethics Committees also held their own symposia on donor-derived infections and malignancies and optimal utilization of the deceased donor.

The meeting was a great success and the sessions were met with great enthusiasm by the attendees. This very 1st Regional Meeting will act as a model for such future meetings, the details of which will be shared with our membership in the coming months. As always, we welcome any comments and suggestions for locations and meeting content from our members.  

Welcome to the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation

On behalf of the TTS Executive Committee and Council, I am pleased to announce that the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) has joined The Transplantation Society as a new Section, and I would like to welcome all its members to TTS.

SPLIT is a community of physicians, surgeons, nurses and other allied health professionals whose mission is to improve the outcomes in children receiving liver transplantation through research, improving care, training and mentoring, and supporting children and families.

Up until now, membership in SPLIT was institutional with around 40 SPLIT centers. SPLIT now also offers individual membership for transplant professionals involved in the field of pediatric liver transplantation. For more information on SPLIT I encourage you all to visit their page on the TTS website:

I believe this new Section will benefit all of our membership through shared knowledge and experiences and will be an excellent complement to our other Sections. I look forward to collaborating on various projects, meetings, and initiatives with increased opportunities for cooperation and networking across specialties.

Mehmet Haberal
TTS President

About SPLIT / 24th Annual SPLIT Meeting

Why Did SPLIT Join TTS as an Official Section?

Since its inception in 1995, SPLIT steadily grew into an established collaborative, integrated infrastructure and community with synergistic platforms in research, education, patient advocacy, mentorship, quality improvement and clinical care. Over the years, SPLIT’s primary goal of improving outcomes for children who have undergone liver transplantation were powered via pharmaceutical (SPLIT 1.0), United States National Institutes of Health Grant (SPLIT 2.0), and self-funded (SPLIT 3.0) strategies. As the SPLIT Executive Council looked toward the future, it became clear that joining forces with a self-governing society with vast administrative and infrastructural support such as TTS would ensure the next chapter of SPLIT (4.0) to achieve and excel in our targeted mission to improve the lives of children who require liver transplantation.

How Do I Participate in the SPLIT Registry?

The SPLIT Registry will continue to be supported by the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) at Emmes. The Registry website and data system can be found at Participating centers will continue to be invoiced every January to provide $5,000 to support the Registry.

Contact with any questions.

What are the Benefits of Becoming a SPLIT Member?

  • Reduced registration fees to our SPLIT Annual Meeting ($100 savings)
  • Entitlement to apply for Trainee and Advocates Travel Grants to the SPLIT Annual Meeting
  • Mentorship by leaders in the field
  • Opportunities to join SPLIT Committees, Writing Groups or Research and Quality Improvement initiatives
  • Access to past SPLIT Congress educational library
  • Discount on TTS annual membership ($50 savings)

The Socierty of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) is a community of pediatric hepatologists, transplant surgeons, research coordinators, nurse coordinators and other health professionals across the United States and Canada working together to advance knowledge in pediatric liver transplantation. SPLIT was started in 1995 and has evolved from a research registry into a multifaceted organization focused on improving outcomes for children receiving liver transplantation.

Meeting highlights will focus on:

  • Unique Transplant Considerations
  • A Village Approach to Liver Intensive Care
  • Surgical & Interventional Considerations
  • The Many Faces of Rejection
  • Advocacy

FOCIS 2019 Meeting Preview

The Transplantation Society members are invited to attend the FOCIS 2019 Annual Meeting in Boston - THE meeting in translational immunology! TTS is promoting our research by hosting an exciting Member Society symposium at the FOCIS 2019 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Society members are invited to attend. The FOCIS 2019 registration fee includes access to Member Society Symposia.

The Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies exists to improve human health through immunology.

The FOCIS 2019 Annual Meeting in Boston on June 18-21, 2019, brings together an interdisciplinary group of world-renowned physicians and researchers to share the latest findings on lupus and other diseases impacting the immune system.

FOCIS 2019 Annual Meeting

With an innovative lineup of topics and presenters, the FOCIS 2019 program has something for everyone!

FOCIS registration includes more than 24 scientific sessions with more than 50 top clinicians and researchers from around the globe, speaking on cutting-edge topics across immunology and its related fields.

Register today to gain a competitive edge in your career. Join FOCIS prior to registering to secure the lowest registration rates! TTS members receive a reduced rate on FOCIS membership.

Why FOCIS 2019 is Right for You!

  • Get Ahead: See the latest developments across immunology disciplines to uncover novel solutions to the challenges facing the translational immunology community.
  • Grow Your Knowledge: Three educational courses held before the meeting to fill your knowledge gaps, including Basic Immunology in Medicine course, Cancer Immunity and Immunotherapy course, and Systems Immunology. Package registration rates
    are available.
  • Network with Colleagues: FOCIS 2019 is large enough to draw leaders from across immunology disciplines, but small enough to network with them
  • Great Location: The Boston Marriott Copley Place is the heart of Boston is ideally positioned for exploring the city, and near notable attractions, including Copley Square, The Public Garden, Fenway Park and the Prudential Center.

Your work can still be a part of FOCIS 2019! Submit an abstract to FOCIS 2019. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to present your work to leading clinicians and researchers from around the world! Travel awards are available to FOCIS members.

About The Transplantation Society Symposium at FOCIS 2019

Title: Imaging Immune Responses to Transplanted Organs
Date/Time: Tuesday, June 18, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location/Room: Salon JK

Chairs: Drs. Jonathan Maltzman, Elaine Reed, and Megan Sykes


  • Martin Oberbarnscheidt, University of Pittsburgh
  • Maria Cascalho, University of Michigan
  • Marcus Clark, University of Chicago
  • Jonathan Bromberg, University of Maryland
  • Jordi Ochando, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Anna Moore, Michigan State University

Stay ahead of the curve by making plans to attend the FOCIS 2019 Annual Meeting. With an innovative lineup of topics and presenters, the FOCIS 2019 program has something for everyone! See you in Boston! #FOCIS

Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS)
N83 W13410 Leon Road Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 | 414-359-1670 |
Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / YouTube

Education Committee Update

The TTS Education Committee (EC) is putting together educational content to be made available for TTS members online. In the second half of 2019, the EC will continue its live liver webinar series: Trends and Challenges in Liver Transplantation and will be launching a pre-recorded asynchronous webinar series on Precision Medicine in Transplantation. Be sure to stay tuned and take advantage of the educational content available online.

In addition to online educational content, the EC is continuing its collaboration with the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) to promote healthy post-transplant living and working on a school education project to promote awareness of organ donation amongst school children.  

Past Webinars Available Online:

TOPIC: Medical and Surgical Aspects of Acute Liver Failure
DISCUSSANTS: Manuel Rodriguez-Davalos MD, FACS; Jody C. Olson MD, FACP;

TOPIC: Machine Perfusion in Liver Transplantation
DISCUSSANTS: Paolo Muisan FRCS, FEBS; Peter Friend MD, FRC;

TOPIC: Multidisciplinary Care Model For Optimal Management of the NASH Liver Transplant Waitlist Candidate
DISCUSSANTS: Wajahat Mehal MD, Ph.D; Andrew Posselt MD, Ph.D.
MODERATOR: Annmarie Liapakis, MD

Ethics Committee Update

Projects pending from prior to 2018

The psychosocial evaluation of living donors (PELOD) was a project initiated during the tenure of Dominique Martin MBBS, BA (Hons Phil.), PhD as Chair on the Ethics Committee. She is overseeing the preparation of a comprehensive document/publication. Currently an Dittmer and Riadh Fadhil are putting together a summary of the topics (see following page) while the definitive document is being prepared by Dominique Martin.

Xenotransplantation Clinical Trials in Korea

Ian Dittmer was an invited participant from the TTS Ethics Committee addressing the ethical issues involved in two clinical trials that were proposed to the Korean government involving xenotransplantation of pancreatic islets and corneas. A summary of the issues involved in xenotransplantation will be included in an ethical minireview. (see below)

Commentary Requested by Executive Committee

Organ Donation by euthanasia (ODE). The Ethics Committee has been asked to address the practice of utilizing organs for transplantation removed from patients undergoing medico-legally sanctioned euthanasia. As you can imagine, this practice has the potential to “backfire” and have a negative impact on deceased organ donation. Clearly this is a challenging issue, and the committee was asked to provide commentary regarding this article and the complex issues associated with donations arising from Voluntary Assisted Dying Programs.

Kumud Dhital (Australia), Chair of the Heart and Lung Committee, has an interest in this challenging area and will take the lead on this topic in conjunction with members of the ethics committee. A recent article which was the impetus for the request for further commentary from the Ethics Committee: Bollen, Jan A.m., et al. “Euthanasia through Living Organ Donation: Ethical, Legal, and Medical Challenges.” The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, vol. 38, no. 2, 2019, pp. 111–113., doi:10.1016/j.healun.2018.07.014.

Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism

The Ethics Committee will continue to work in conjunction with the WHO task force, DICG, ONT (Organización Nacional de Trasplantes) to address the ongoing issues with organ trafficking and transplant tourism. The Ethics Committee will continue to have membership on the TTS China Committee and the TTS India Committee, and seek input from the full membership of the Ethics Committee when guidance is requested

Current Activities

The entire Ethics Committee is participating in the preparation of a document/publication for Transplantation which summarizes ethical issues which globally impact transplantation. Each of these topics, will consist of 2-3 pages of “minireviews”, with each minireview addressing the problem/issue (i.e. global kidney exchange), the ethical issues/challenges associated with each topic, and recommendations.

These topics will include:

  • Global Kidney Exchange
    Rudolf Garcia-Gallont
  • Legal Age Limit for Donation
    Kristof Van Assche
  • Guidelines for Psychosocial Evaluation of Living Organ Donors
    Riadh Fadhil
  • Living Donor Transplant for Metabolic Disease
    Ian Dittmer
  • Ethical Issues in Advanced Donation Programs
    Ifeoma Ulasi and Richard S. Trompeter
  • Ethical Aspects in Living Multivisceral Organ Transplant
    Alejandro Niño-Murcia
  • Use of Social Media
    Elmi Muller and Beatriz Dominguez-Gil
  • Xenotransplantation
    Ian Dittmer
  • Stem Cell Therapy
    Peter Stock
  • Organ Donation by Euthanasia
    Kumud Dhital
  • Ethical Issues in Setting Up Transplant Programs in Resource Limited Countries
    Richard Allen
Heart & Lung Committee Update

This report outlines the background to and actual delivery of a Heart Transplant Workshop at the Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City in June 2018. This pilot program, led by a team from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia, was made possible through the support and majority funding from the TTS for the travel and accommodation expenses of the St Vincent’s team. It was also supported by the Organ & Tissue Donation Services (OTDS) from New South Wales which funded the participation of a Donation Specialist Coordinator and by Cho Ray Hospital for local logistics and transportation.


Almost 4 decades after bitter conflict and reunification, Vietnam has emerged as one of the fastest growing Asian countries. Despite the remarkable speed of its economic success, there remain significant gaps in the delivery of healthcare to its 95 million population. In response, the communist-led government has been increasing the healthcare budget accounting for 7.5% of GDP in 2017 and expected to rise to 12.5% by 2021, a significant figure outstripping several European nations where the average healthcare expenditure is just under 10% of GDP and very short of the 17% in the USA. There is an unquestionable need to direct the bulk of these resources towards renovating old hospitals, building new ones, expanding a modern healthcare workforce and significantly increasing the capacity for local supply of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

A focused dedication to mitigating the risk factors for and to combating the significant prevalence of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) is directed by both national policies and the WHO. NCDs account for 77% of all deaths in Vietnam (1). Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for 31% of deaths with 13% of the population at high risk of CVD or with existing CVD diagnosis (2). Almost 12% of all deaths are attributable to coronary artery disease (1). The prevalence of Heart Failure (HF) is within the global range of 1-3% of population (3).

A substantial proportion of the end-stage HF patients would be eligible for heart transplantation were it not for the many barriers that are still present in respect of developing a mature and viable national heart transplant program based on deceased donation (4). Heart transplantation has been carried out in Vietnam since 2010 but the numbers remain few and opportunistic rather than from a strategically planned national program.

The latest available data (May 2017) indicates that Vietnam has performed a total of 2,425 organ transplants: 2,327 Kidneys, 77 Livers, 18 hearts, 1 heart-lung, 1 lung and single case of combined Kidney-pancreas. In the drive to increase deceased donation, the number of donors registered on the national organ donation registry numbered 8,355.

Vietnamese Heart Transplant Milestones:

  • 2010 1st Vietnamese Heart Transplant at 103 Military Hospital, Hanoi with Taiwanese support
  • 2011 1st Heart Transplant without foreign support at Central Hospital, Hue
  • 2018 Total of 20 heart transplant in 3 Heart transplant centres

Cho Ray Hospital - Ho Chi Minh City:

Originally built in 1900 during French colonial times, the hospital underwent enormous restructuring on a 55,000 m2 site with Japanese aid in 1974. It has now grown to a 1800 bedded facility providing comprehensive multi-specialty care including busy adult and paediatric cardiac surgical programs.

Milestones at Cho Ray Hospital

  • 2008 1st Vietnamese Kidney Transplant from DBD donor
  • 2015 1st Vietnamese Kidney Transplant from DCD donor
  • 2017 1st Institutional Heart Transplant (Total of 3 since)

In 2015, at the invitation of the Vietnamese Transplant Society to their annual meeting and with expert mediation by Professor Richard Allen, a number of surgeons from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, had the opportunity to see Cho Ray Hospital and meet the local Cardiology and Cardiac Surgical experts. There was easy mutual friendship, not least because the cardiac surgical department arose from the initial training delivered locally by the Australian surgeon, Dr Alan Gale and his team in 2000. Continued dialogue over the past couple of years led to the creation of a Heart Transplant workshop to be delivered locally in Ho Chi Minh City by the St Vincent’s Hospital team.

Team Members:

  • Peter Macdonald
    Heart Failure Cardiologist
  • Hong Chee Chew
    Donor Retrieval Surgeon
  • Kumud Dhital
    Transplant Surgeon
  • Michelle Harkess
    Transplant Coordinator
  • Roger Pye
    Cardiac Anaesthesia/Perfusion/ECMO Specialist
  • Suhel Al-Soufi
    Intensive Care Physician
  • Elizabeth Conquest
    ICU Nurse

The group was joined by:

  • Luke Datson
    Donation Specialist Coordinator, OTDS., NSW
  • Richard Allen
    TTS Educational Ambassador

Heart Transplant Workshop at Cho Ray Hospital, Chi Minh City, 8–9 June 2018

The concept was to deliver a comprehensive program including the following:

  • Patient selection
  • Donor Identification & Management
  • Donor coordination
  • Donor retrieval process and surgery
  • Recipient anaesthesia
  • Recipient transplant surgery
  • Management of PGD including ECMO support
  • Post-transplant intensive care from both physician and nursing perspectives
  • Adjunct therapies in ICU
  • Post-operative protocols and in-hospital care
  • Long-term graft and recipient surveillance

In order to put this in perspective, the program commenced with an appraisal of the current situation in Vietnam in regard to Organ Donation, Heart Failure management and transplant activity. These talks were all delivered by the local Faculty.

The event, held at Cho Ray Hospital was well attended by both physicians and allied health staff, with over 150 delegates over the 2 days. Logistical issues and wider dissemination of the event, a task given local responsibility, meant that a greater participation from other transplants units in Vietnam was not achieved.

A detailed tour of the hospital was taken by all the Faculty Staff, in particular through the General and Neurosurgical ICUs, General wards, Clinic areas and Operating Theatres. The volume of work being carried out was impressive and the consequent strains on the infrastructure was obvious. The very crowded neurosurgical unit, with a significant population of young patients with head injuries from road traffic accidents, was overwhelming.

The visiting Faculty all commented on the very positive aspects of the hospital management and physicians wanting to embrace changes to improve on the transplant programs. We were all impressed with the General ICU where 2 patients had been placed on VA-ECMO for myocarditis by the Intensivist and a nurse. The young adult had already been weaned and the child was responding well to therapy. The nature and breadth of cardiac surgical procedures carried out do not indicate anything but excellent technical skills and surgical judgement.

The local feedback was extremely positive and cemented a bilateral desire to try and further improve the local staff expertise and infrastructure towards developing both the environment to facilitate deceased donation as well as to uplift the heart transplant program.

We feel that the workshop was highly successful and that it adds significantly to the commitment by the TTS Executive to expand the Heart & Lung speciality within TTS. This type of clinical engagement allows the TTS to develop this niche further particularly as demand is growing in both India and China.


  • Develop a strong foundation in deceased organ donation as an over-riding priority over pursuing a DCD donation pathway.
  • The over-capacity intensive care bed status needs to be addressed, particularly in the neurosurgical ICU. The latter should have space for family/relatives and a quiet space for initiating and conducting discussions around organ donation when appropriate.
  • Resources are therefore necessary for improving Donor Identification, management and coordination.
  • The Australian Team to facilitate clinical placements and observer ships in Australia for 3 – 12 months as dictated by the role. The immediate requirement is for a heart failure specialist to spend time in Australia to learn about current HF management, care of pre and post-transplant patients particularly in respect of immunosuppression and most importantly to learn the techniques for endo-myocardial biopsies. Additional expertise required for pathology and to explore back- up double reading in Australia.
  • A proposal for this Australian support with potential hospital placements and amount of funding required will be made available within the first quarter of 2019.
  • To identify relevant staff to travel to Vietnam, if required, around the time of a future heart transplant procedure.


  1. World Health Organization. Causes of death 2008: Data sources and methods. Geneva. WHO. 2011,
  2. World Health Organization. Non communicable diseases country profiles 2014. Geneve. WHO. 2014,
  3. Reyes EB et al. Heart Failure across Asia: Same healthcare burden but difference in organization of care. In J Cardiol 2016 15, 223:163-167
  4. Tran SN et al. Current status of organ donation for transplantation in Vietnam. Presented at the
    27th International Congress of The Transplantation Society, Madrid 2018  
Young Members Committee Update

The committee also welcomes back its two co-chairs: Jayme Locke (USA) and Fadi Issa (UK), and committee members: Dierdre Sawinski (USA), Margaux Mustian (USA), Shaifali Sandal (USA), Steven Wisel (USA).

The Young Members Committee is proud to represent young, promising members within TTS and to support these members in their pursuit of careers in the field of transplantation. The YMC is most appreciative for the support it has received in the past and continues to receive from President Haberal and the TTS Council. The Committee has divided into three working groups that work closely together, an Outreach Team, Communication Team and Social Team.

The YMC welcomes new Committee Members this year:

Ala Ali is a Consultant Transplant Nephrologist from Iraq. He is passionate about nephrology and transplantation. This passion was the only motive to overcome all practice challenges in Iraq. He is ambitious and driven by the idea to do better and to achieve great goals through perseverance and hard work. He is committed to building something larger and accountable to put aside personal gain for the well-being of the team and institute.

Hillary Braun was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, attended the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) for medical school, and is currently in her third year of general surgery residency at UCSF. She was awarded the Alexion Presidential Student Mentor Grant from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons in 2015 and a Rising Star Award from the International Liver Transplantation Society in 2018 for her research in transplantation. Dr. Braun plans to pursue a fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery following completion of her general surgery residency.

Shruti Dave is a prolific basic science researcher in the field of stem cells biology-- mainly doing in vitro culture, generation, differentiation and trans-differentiation of stem cells. She has done her PhD on in vitro generation of insulin-making cells and their use in treating diabetics. Using in vitro culture conditions she has successfully generated various types of stem cells including hematopoietic stem cells differentiated from bone marrow, mesenchymal stem cells differentiated from adipose tissue, mesenchymal stem cells trans-differentiated in to insulin-secreting cells, neuronal stem cells and cardiomyocytes and latest being induction and generation of antigen(donor)-specific regulatory T-cells from mesenchymal stem cells. Her research has been clinically implemented successfully in many renal transplant recipients, autoimmune disorders, diabetes mellitus (insulin dependent, non-insulin dependent and type 1.5) and neuronal disorders. Her ongoing research on in vitro generated antigen-specific regulatory T-cells for induction of “immune tolerance in transplantation” is paving the way in the field of not only renal transplantation but all solid organ transplantations to wean off/minimize immunosuppressive medications and thus save these patients from associated morbidity and mortality apart from being a leap in saving financial burden with long term graft survival.

Yoishi Kakuta has been an Assistant Professor at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, Urology since 2017. Before that Dr. Kakuta was an Assistant Professor at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine. Dr. Kakuta was a graduate student between April. 2008– Jun. 2012 at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine Department of Urology.

Malcolm MacConmara, MB BCh., FACS, is an Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas where he focuses on kidney and liver transplantation both in children and adults. He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, completed a research fellowship immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, followed by surgery residency at Washington University and abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at Emory University. His research focuses on the investigation of NAFLD in organ donors and ex-vivo strategies to evaluate and enhance donor livers. He leads the clinical research program in normothermic machine perfusion at UTSW.

Shaifali Sandal, MD, completed residency in Internal Medicine at the SUNY Upstate Medical University, Nephrology fellowship at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Transplant Nephrology fellowship at the McGill University Health Center, and a research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. She is a Transplant Nephrologist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the McGill University Health Center. Her clinical and research interests include improving access to living donor kidney transplantation and improving long term transplant outcomes. In addition, she holds two administrative teaching positions at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and is a member-at-large of the Area of Focused Competence for the Committee in Solid Organ Transplantation for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Ismail Sert, MD, FEBS (Transplant surgery), is Associate Professor of Surgery, at University of Health Sciences, Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey. His postdoctoral training includes islet transplantation (Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland), fellowship in liver transplantation (Liver transplant Institute, Malatya, Turkey), Liver and kidney transplantation (Erasmus Mc, Rotterdam, The Netherlands), fellowship in kidney and small bowel transplantation (Tepecik Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey). He is a PhD candidate on liver transplant surgery at Inonu University, Liver Transplant Institute, Malatya, Turkey. His research interests include clinical studies in liver, kidney, pancreas and small bowel transplantation.  

Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group Update

02 01

During the recent process of updating the Declaration of Istanbul, the DICG gave the world the opportunity to contribute and comment on the core ideas and principles of the Declaration, ensuring that the 2018 Edition DoI is not just addressing current global ethical issues but still holds a set of universal ethical principles. The benefits of striving towards self-sufficiency, setting up equitable and transparent governing structures and preventing the vulnerable to fall prey to organ trafficking are true no matter where in the world transplantation are practiced.

The DICG however recognizes that in order for universal principles to be effective everywhere, it needs to be interpreted locally, taking in consideration the local health systems, cultural and societal norms of the specific region, country or centre. A diversity in policies and practices is not necessarily inconsistent with the global ethical standards reflected in the DoI and other international ethical frameworks, such as the World Health Organization's Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue and Organ Transplantation.

Therefore, we have recently published an article that is meant to be used as a tool to facilitate deeper understanding of the 11 DoI principles, as well as a guide to implementation in clinical practice. Please keep the article close when reading the 2018 Edition DoI: Strengthening Global Efforts to Combat Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism: Implications of the 2018 Edition of the Declaration of Istanbul by Dominique E. Martin, Kristof Van Assche, et al. 2019 published in Transplantation.

And because any written word, policies and declarations will always be stagnant, the DICG are planning to keep the conversation alive, local and setting specific. On 1 October, at the DICG sponsored session at the 2019 Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation, in New Delhi, India, the spotlight will be on organ trafficking specific to Asian. And on 22 October 2019, at a pre-Congress workshop of the XXXV STALYC Congress we will bring governmental representatives from 20 Latin America countries to discuss the moving nature of organ trafficking within the Latin American region. Please join us in the discussion and help us strive towards global ethical organ donation and transplant practices.  

Women in Transplantation Update

02 01

The Women in Transplantation initiative of the TTS is proud to mark 2019 as the ten-year anniversary of our creation by then TTS President, Kathryn Wood. To mark ten successful years, WIT is pleased to announce a very full calendar year of activities, including networking events that will be held at ATC, ASHI, IXA, ABTO, ATW, ITS and ISODP. More details of these events will be highlighted in the Tribune Pulse and sent to WIT and TTS members with opportunity to RSVP for each event. Our 2019 networking events will also feature new partnerships with international transplant societies and communities of practice and focus on highlighting the accomplishments of your peers in the evolving field of transplantation.

Our ten-year anniversary will also mark the launch of a new WIT website that will feature publications and review articles that members of our Steering Committee have been diligently working on. These publications will continue to shed light on issues of gender and sex issues in transplantation research, patient care and advocacy. The website will also include a new women speaker database, this feature will help foster diversity in scientific programming at international transplant congresses with an easy to search list of leaders in the transplant field.

Lastly, none of these initiatives would be possible without the ongoing support of our corporate partners. WIT is pleased to partner with Novartis, Veloxis and One Lambda to support our 2019 and 2020 initiatives.  

TTS-ILTS Paired Transplant Centers Program

02 01

The TTS-ILTS Paired Transplant Centers Program is a collaboration between The Transplantation Society (TTS) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) supporting new liver transplant programs in emerging economies, by emphasizing global partnerships. The deadline for applications is January 1st with a program start date of April 1st of each year.

Level 1 Pairs will receive $3,500 USD and if they successfully progress to Level 2, the funding will increase to $12,000 USD. Successful pairs who enter Level 3 will receive $15,000 USD in funding. The ultimate goal is for Level 3 centers to graduate and become true local centers of excellence for regional training and support.

The TTS-ILTS Paired Transplant Centers Program launched in April of 2019. The two pairs selected amongst the applicants to be part of the inaugural Level 1 Class:

  • Hospital México, Costa Rica and the University of California San Francisco, USA
  • The Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), India and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK

To find out more information about the program and how to apply, go to  

02 01

Transplantation Direct

02 01

Here are a few facts

  • Transplantation Direct is an official journal of the TTS, and has a close association with our flagship journal Transplantation.
  • Being an open access peer-reviewed journal, anyone can disseminate and reuse articles, and reuse the scientific material, provided attribution to the original authors and original source is given. Authors retain ownership of the copyright.
  • A wide variety of articles have been published in the field, including content in 22 transplantation-relevant subjects from basic science, to ethics, to the various clinical areas of clinical transplantation.
  • We have established an extensive yet streamlined review process, providing first decisions on average within 2.5 weeks.
  • Besides conventional articles, the journal serves as a resource for publication of clinical trial protocols of special high interest, new methodologies and registry data.
  • The editorial office strongly supports social media dissemination, and promotes video presentation of published articles, increasing overall exposure to the transplantation community.
  • More than 200 articles have been published to date!
Click here to visit ​​​Transplantation Direct
Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society Update

02 01

The Cell Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Society invites you all to join us for our 16th CTRMS biennial congress on September 21–25, 2019 in Lesvos, Greece. Enjoy the scientific value in a majestic and picturesque destination known for its ancient sites and stunning coastline with rich archaeology.

The congress registration fee includes two (2) island tours; Molyvos, a true island gem, built of stone houses that surround the castle once conquered by Achilles during the Trojan war; and Sigri, a crescent-shaped town with a castle built in the 18th Century nestled on a beautiful bay.

Did you ever wish you could walk the grounds of the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon and the Temple of Zeus? Enjoy our pre- and post- Athens In A Day organized congress tour option.

Visit the congress website for detailed congress information and be sure to watch this video of The Aegean Symphony to get to know more about Lesvos.  

The Scientific program offers an exciting line-up with great speakers, including:

  • Dr. Jeff Bulte
    Clinical Tracking of Cellular Therapeutics: Trials and Tribulations
  • Dr. Athanasios Mantalaris
    Metabolism & Metabolomics: The Role of Energy on Stem Cell Bioprocessing for Cellular Therapies
  • Dr. Michael Garwood
    Developing Portable MRI Scanners to Improve Access For Cell Transplant Researchers And Patients
  • Dr. Stephen Strom
    Correction of Liver-based Monogenetic Disease: Current Strategies, Future Developments
  • Dr. Jonathan Lakey
    Encapsulation Strategies for Diabetes
  • Dr. Achilleas Gravanis
    Multidynamic Collagen-based Neuroimplants for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Dr. Carl Jorns
    Neonatal Organ Donation: A Potential New Donor Source For Cell And Organ Transplantation
  • Dr. Camillo Ricordi and Dr. Shuji Terai
    joint lecture on Hot Topics in Cell Transplantation
  • Dr. Vasiliki Mollaki, Dr. Theodoros Xanthos and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson
    present Bioethics – Future Prospects
  • Also including presentations by Drs. Klearchos Papas, Apostolos Papalois, Pierre Miossec, Fabio Marongiu, Ragai Ramsis, Nikolaos Grigoriadis, Takis Vidalis, and Toshio Miki
International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association Update

02 01

The first Congress of the newly-founded Asian Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (APITA) took place at the end of February. This new “sister society” was founded thanks to the vision and energy of IPITA councilor, Dr. Duck-Jong Han. The steps leading to the Congress were taken in close collaboration with IPITA and the event was a huge success, not only because it attracted about 200 delegates from 14 countries, but also because of the quality of the science that was presented. Prof. Thierry Berney, IPITA President; Tom Kay, IPITA Secretary; and, Matt Cooper, IPITA Councilor, traveled there to address the Congress in plenary lectures. This was clearly a first step for IPITA in establishing closer ties and cooperation with a new society representing the field in Asia.

The 17th World Congress of IPITA is approaching fast. A wonderful meeting will take place in Lyon, France, from July 2–5. Professor Xavier Martin, Congress Chair and senior surgeon from one of the pioneering teams in pancreas transplantation, is at the helm. The Scientific Program Committee, co-chaired by Prof. Thierry Berney and Prof. Olivier Thaunat, have put together what will be a very attractive program. Plenary sessions and state-of-the-art symposia will deliver cutting edge science in sessions designed to be of equal interest to scientists, physicians and surgeons, beyond the somewhat artificial islet/pancreas divide. Invited lecturers will address topics relevant to everyday practice such as type 2 diabetes, the artificial pancreas, and organ preservation, and will also give insights on what might be the future of beta-cell replacement (genome editing, stem cell therapies, etc). Visit the congress website at for the full program and a portrait of the keynote speakers.

Thanks to the relentless energy of the IPITA Young Investigator Committee, under the leadership of Nathan Zammit and Sarah Cross, and with the instrumental help of a local group of young investigators, IPITA is very proud to offer to young investigators in the field, a program especially designed by them and for them.

Mark your calendars and plan to visit Lyon, France, for a great meeting in the typical IPITA atmosphere: to enjoy science, networking, friendship, and, last but not least, the world renowned Lyonnese gastronomy.  

02 01

International Pediatric Transplant Association Update

The IPTA Section has had a busy few months with the IPTA Fellows Meeting which was held in San Jose, Costa Rica, November 12–13, 2018, and was a big success with faculty and delegates learning and networking closely over 2 days.

Our Committees remain active and include Membership, Outreach, Ethics, Awards, Nominations, Publications, Allied health, Educations, and ID Committees all working together to keep the IPTA Section an active community.

Our journal, Pediatric Transplantation, has recently been taken over by Sharon Bartosh and Burkhard Tönshoff who are looking at all forms of social media to optimize the reach of the journal.

Our highlight of this year is the IPTA Congress and we are excited to have put together an exciting program for the 10th IPTA Congress, hosted in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from 4–7th May 2019.

IPTA’s goal is to promote the advancement of the science and practice of transplantation in children worldwide. This congress provided an amazing opportunity, on an international level, for all colleagues involved in pediatric transplantation to meet. The program was varied, with our hope that we appealed to all fields of pediatric transplantation so that we could learn from each other, meet up with old friends and meet new ones.

We had some interesting Pre-Congress Symposia including a Writing Workshop, and a Foundations of Pediatric Transplantation and Allied Health Symposia.

There were Plenary sessions with topics including: Machine Perfusion, Transplant Ethics, Surgical Issues, Tolerance, Infectious Disease Guidelines, and Lab Meets Clinical - Antibodies and Sensitisation. We also put together a number of State-of-the-Art lectures including MicroRNA Regulation of the Immune Response, Pediatric DCD, Strategies to Eliminate Waitlist Mortality, Obstacles to Transplantation and Transplantation in Under-resourced Settings. These together with Interactive Workshops and Poster Sessions gave lots of food for thought.

Speaking of food and not forgetting the social side of this wonderful city, we had a welcome reception as well as a social networking event at Bridges – a lovely scenic restaurant – where participants kicked off their shoes and danced the night away. For those who still had energy, we also had planned a wellness program including running, cycling and yoga.

Our thanks to all that attended!  

02 01

International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement Update

02 01

The ISODP is excited to announce the upcoming 15th Congress to be held November 14–16, 2019 in Dubai. Cutting edge technology, innovation and cultural collaboration all come together in this vibrant city that is a leading global conference destination. The Scientific Program will showcase world renowned experts in all areas of organ donation from innovative organ preservation technologies to expanded opportunities to maximize donation after circulatory death and maximize organ utilization. Dubai has emerged as one of the leading destinations for cutting edge medical and scientific advancements and is well positioned to welcome guests of ISODP with world class facilities. A modern international city, Dubai invites visitors to a clean, safe and relaxed environment. ISODP is partnering with the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation and the Emirates Nephrology Society in a broad-based commitment to engage organ donation delegates from throughout the world. It is a central destination with extensive travel options and a wide range of lodging accommodations with something for everyone.

Organ donation is grounded in the principles of death determination and this 15th Congress will highlight the 50 years since the establishment of the Harvard Criteria as well as current challenges in death determination. Keynote speakers Dr. Sam Shemie, Canada and Dr. Gene Sung, USA, will frame the congress with insights on these deliberations.

In a city rich in technology innovation Dr. Dorry Segev, USA, will showcase opportunities and strategies to apply big data and predictive analytics to the field of organ donation and transplantation. The resurgence and groundbreaking work in organ perfusion, preservation and rehabilitation will be highlighted by Dr. Peter Friend, UK. Attendees will also have multiple opportunities to engage in intensive education workshops focused on living donation and death determination.

We are also pleased to partner with the Transplant Infectious Disease Section conference to be held immediately in advance of the ISODP Congress. No doubt the learnings across Sections will be infectious!

If you are involved or interested in organ donation and the resulting life-saving transplant, this event is not to be missed. The Congress is targeted particularly to organ donation professionals, intensive care physicians and nurses and others involved in the identification, care and management of organ donors. Transplant surgeons, physicians, nurses and educators are all welcome in this community of donation and transplantation.

Dubai is a modern international city and November is the perfect time of year to experience the best of what the country has to offer. You will get to know a dynamic Dubai and enjoy your stay while advancing professional expertise and insight in the life- saving work of organ donation.

Welcome to all!  

02 01

International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Update

On behalf of the International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (ISVCA), it is our pleasure to invite you to the XIV Congress of the ISVCA. This is the first time that the biennial meeting of the ISVCA is being hosted in Asia. The venues cover both northern and southern regions of India and the dates being immediately after the monsoon makes it pleasant weather throughout India to travel around.

The scientific programme consists of a pre-conference cadaver workshop on Vascularized Composite Allo-transplantation (VCA) on 28th and 29th September 2019 at AIIMS, New Delhi. We aim to provide fresh frozen or soft embalmed cadavers for demonstration as well as hands-on practice of face and hand procurement and transplant.

The main conference will be held on September 30th and October 1st 2019, at Greater Noida, New Delhi. The themes are immunosuppression, immunomodulation, immunomonitoring, chronic rejection and complications of VCA. Emphasis has also been given on organ donation and procurement in VCA and other types of VCA apart from hand and face transplants. There are special breakout sessions on psychosocial aspects in VCA, prosthetics versus VCA, bioethical dilemmas in VCA and the ISVCA and ASRT working groups progress on defining success and failure in hand and face transplant.

The meeting will be held at the same time and venue as the 16th Conference of the Asian Society of transplantation (CAST). This will be an excellent opportunity for the delegates to interact and collaborate with the pioneers of transplant sciences from Asia.

A post conference satellite symposium will be held at Kochi in the southern state of Kerala on October 4th. The theme is based on innovative techniques to overcome barriers in VCA and open new vistas of research. World leaders and eminent faculty from across the globe are expected to attend the conference to enrich the academic content and chart out future directions in the field of VCA.

We would like to invite scientific papers for presentation and the last date for submission of abstracts is June 30th, 2019. The TTS awards 5 grants of $1000 each for presenters from emerging economic countries. Please do visit the website for further details. We look forward to hosting you and advancing knowledge in VCA staying focused on the theme of the meeting “Learning from the Past; Preparing for the Future”.  

02 01

International Xenotransplantation Association Update

Next October, Munich will be the home of one of biggest events of 2019. But first, they will host a little thing called Octoberfest! Munich is recognized for more than a popular beverage; it is known for its culture and museums, interesting old-world architecture, celebrated cafes and restaurants, and beautiful mountain scenery.

The 15th IXA Congress will take place at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, an elite university in Germany that is regarded as one of the top research institutes in Europe. With their recent groundbreaking success in the xenotransplantation of life-supporting genetically engineered pig hearts into baboons, LMU scientists and physicians continue to uphold the illustrious reputation of the University, home to one of the largest collections of Nobel laureates in the world.

Young investigators are encouraged to attend and please check the website housing link, which provides information on affordable accommodations, and do not miss updates about the IXA and TTS travel grants.

Take some time to view the Munich visitor website as well as the New York Times travel reviews and you will be inspired to visit.

2019 is shaping up to be a big year for xenotrans-plantation. With newly revised WHO guidelines and several proposed clinical trials on the horizon this promises to be an interesting Congress. It is never too early to make plans to attend. As the locals would say:
Wir sehen uns dort! (We’ll see you there!)  

02 01

Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Association Update

IRTA is proud to highlight its signature Congress which is rapidly approaching. The meeting will take place in the center of Paris on July 3–6 2019, in the prestigious Latin Quarter whose spirits will stimulate enthusiastic discussions and fruitful networking among physicians and allied health professionals for the very best of patients.

The aim of the meeting will be to demonstrate that the care of adults and children with intestinal failure has become a well-integrated mission, where gastro-enterologists, hepatologists, surgeons, anesthe-siologists, specialized nurses, social workers, are all involved along the patient’s journey. Many specialized and efficient procedures and treatments such as long-term home parenteral nutrition, lengthening surgery, growth factors administration and transplantation will be described and discussed, the ultimate goal being to help these patients to lead a “near normal” life.

The pre-meeting will be a true postgraduate course with up-to-date talks on rehabilitation and transplantation, from well-known specialists to prepare for the main meeting.

The three keynote conferences will be on the many roads of the gut-liver axis, the numerous positive and deleterious aspects of the microbiome, and spontaneous or inducible tolerance after transplantation.

The other topics addressed by speakers from all over the world will be the basics of intestinal immunology, the prevention of long term intestinal failure in neonates and adults, the challenges of daily life with parenteral nutrition, the future of rehabilitation such as hormonal therapy, the difficulties and successes of intestinal transplantation, the long-term outcomes, and the many ways to improve the patients’ life, including in less affluent countries. Registries of these rare diseases and their effectiveness will be reported.

Allied health professionals will meet in their dedicated workshop, addressing topics such as multidisciplinary approach of these difficult patients, psychological and social outcomes, transition from pediatric to adult care, and also research in these fields from their point of view.

Other workshops will try to draw consensus and guidelines on the pathology of intestinal rejection, the monitoring of the intestinal transplant patient, and the use of endoscopy and new techniques such as videocapsule.

One of the strengths of this meeting will be the multiple and intersecting points of view on the patient’s care, at all stages, from childhood to old age, whether his intestine is absent, transplanted or regenerating. The largest units of intestinal rehabilitation or transplantation in the world will be present, allowing the professionals to exchange ideas and experiences. Make your plans to join us for this transformative Congress.  

02 01

Transplant Infectious Disease Update

We would like to extend a warm invitation from the Transplant Infectious Diseases Section to attend the 12th Transplant Infectious Disease Conference on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 in the exotic and amazing Dubai, UAE.

TID 2019 will be held the day before the Organ Donation Congress (ISODP 2019). We are pleased to announce that Professors John Baddley, Marina Berenguer, Sharon Chen, Michael Green, Hans Hirsch, Francisco Marty, and Stephanie Pouch are some of the confirmed speakers.

The program of the full day meeting is focusing not only on donor-transmitted infections, but also include sessions on deceased donor evaluation, transmission of infectious diseases, a case-based session on recipients’ preparation, in addition to indispensable topics such as CMV, BK virus, EBV-PTLD, and the use of HCV and HIV positive donors.

As a tradition of our meetings, the discussion of challenging clinical cases, usually carried out with great humor, are a guarantee of excitement and fun at TID 2019.

The conference is aimed primarily at transplant clinicians with expertise in infections and is intended to promote research and education in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of the infectious disease problems of the transplant recipient.

It is an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world, increase your network of TID friends and interact with respected TID specialists.

TID Officers and Councilors are looking forward to a wonderful symposium and to seeing you in Dubai!  

02 01

TTS Officers and Councilors 2018–2020

To consolidate its position as the leading global organization, the Council has representation from all six regions of the world: Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/Africa, North America and Oceania.


Mehmet Haberal
Marcelo Cantarovich
Nancy Ascher
Elmi Muller
John J. Fung
Stefan G. Tullius
Minnie Sarwal
Randall E. Morris
Jean-Pierre Mongeau

Executive Director


Hiroto Egawa
S. Adibul Hasan Rizvi
Peter J. Friend
Martí Manyalich Vidal
Maria Gerbase De Lima
Gabriel E. Gondolesi
Mustafa Al-Mousawi
Medhat Askar
Peter G. Stock
Megan Sykes
Karen Dwyer
Steven J. Chadban



Staff Directory


The Transplantation Society
International Headquarters
740 Notre-Dame Ouest
Suite 1245
Montréal, QC, H3C 3X6