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AST staff leadership changes
Effective Oct. 1, Susan Nelson will retire as Executive Vice President of the AST after 20 years with the society. Ms. Nelson will assume an emeritus role and facilitate the transition of leadership until her departure on Dec. 3. Libby McDannell, Executive Director of the AST, will step into the role of Executive Vice President. Ms. Leslie Clark will assume the role of Executive Director.

Both Ms. Nelson and Ms. McDannell note that they look forward to the exciting future of the AST. “AST is again on the cusp of remarkable change," said Ms. Nelson. "There’s a lot of hard work ahead, and I can’t think of anyone better to help facilitate this new era than Libby McDannell, whose vision and skill will serve the AST well going forward." Ms. Nelson noted that Ms. McDannell is uniquely qualified for her new role having been Executive Director of the AST since 2009. Ms. McDannell sees herself as a steward for the society. "My goal is to facilitate visionary thinking and help create a culture of possibilities, forming a tight fit around our mission and purpose," she said.

Ms. Clark is a new addition to the AST staff, previously working as Assistant Executive Director for the Society For Biomaterials and the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. "I am looking forward to working with the AST," said Ms. Clark. "The Society is making a real difference in patients' lives on both the local and national levels, and the educational opportunities it provides are outstanding. I hope to have many productive years working with this organization." Ms. Clark will join the AST on Oct. 1.
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2015 Call for AST Board Nominations
Dr. Daniel Salomon, Chair of the Governance Committee, invites AST members to submit nominations for qualified individuals to serve on the AST Board of Directors. Open positions on the AST Board of Directors include the President-Elect, Secretary (2 year term), and three Councilors-at-Large (three-year terms). The term of service begins with the rotation of the Board at the Town Hall that will be held during the 2015 American Transplant Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Completed nominations must be submitted to the AST National Office by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. Review the criteria, or submit a nomination.
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Submit your nomination for 2015 AST Achievement Awards
The American Society of Transplantation (AST) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 AST Achievement Awards. Each year, the AST sponsors a variety of Achievement Awards in recognition of our members' achievements and contributions to the field of transplantation. All nominations must be submitted by Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. Click here for more details and to submit your nomination.
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Save the date for October webinars - Free to AST members
OPO Finance webinar on Wednesday, 10/8, 2-3 p.m. EST, presented by William Vaughan of Guidry & East LLC. Registration is open now at Learn about overall OPO financial management. Understand Medicare cost reporting for OPOs and how organ acquisition fees are determined. Discuss how transplant centers can impact the fees they pay.

WTC 2014 Clinical Highlights webinar on Tuesday, 10/21, 2-3 p.m. EST, presented by Pierre-Alain Clavien, M.D., Ph.D., Christian Oberkofler, M.D., and Thomas Muller, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Zurich. Registration opens soon at! Whether you missed the World Transplant Congress or simply did not have time to catch all of the sessions, attend this webinar and get the important clinical highlights from the meeting.

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Registration Now Open for CEOT 2015
The Cutting Edge of Transplantation
Immunity and Inflammation: Engineering Cell, Gene, and Drug Therapies

Click here to register for CEOT 2015 and take advantage of early registration discounted rates! Make plans to attend this high-energy, intimate meeting where expert clinicians, leading diagnosticians, and world class scientists will address the field’s cutting edge challenges together with an engaged audience. This year’s CEOT will feature sessions on:
  • A Critical Review of Cell Therapies
  • Whatever Happened to Gene Therapy?
  • Organ Repair and Regeneration, and Organ Generation
  • Drug Development and Rediscovering Pathways
We are also now accepting abstracts for this meeting so be sure to share your research with experts in transplantation. Submit your basic, clinical or translational abstract in transplantation or immunology by Oct. 31, 2014! AST will award a limited number of Young Innovator Award travel grants to the highest scoring abstracts submitted by emerging professionals in transplantation. To learn more about this engaging meeting or to view the preliminary program, click here.

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  UCLA Immunogenetics Center

The UCLA Immunogenetics Center (UIC) provides comprehensive testing for organ and tissue transplantation. Transplant testing has a long history at UCLA. HLA typing was pioneered here in the 1960's. The development of the microcytoxicity test in 1964 marked the beginning of international testing and standardization of HLA typing. The UCLA Immunogenetics Center has retained its leadership position in HLA research, and in the development of accompanying diagnostic testing. MORE

Register now for ESOT + AST Joint Meeting
Personalized Transplantation: From New Diagnostics to New Therapeutics
Oct. 17-19, 2014
Madrid, Spain

Long-term graft and patient survival are the key issues in transplantation. Outcomes are affected by individual immune risk and co-morbidities, as well as gender and race. The time is now to focus on improving outcomes through personalized medicine and finding the optimal combination of immunosuppressive drugs in the right dose for each patient. Register now to attend this focused meeting on personalized transplantation. Join the ESOT and AST in beautiful Madrid, Spain as together we explore:
  • New Options to Improve Immunosuppressive Therapy
    Belatacept, Anti CD40 trial (ASKP1240), Anti- IL-6 and Tacrolimus formulations
  • Novel Diagnostics
    Donor DNA - Biomarker of Graft Injury, In vivo Live Imaging of the Immune Response and Tolerance Profile
  • Novel Targets for Immunosuppression
    B-cells, Plasma Cells and Complement
  • Personalized Medicine: Technique and Technology
    Sequencing for TCR Repertoire, Pharmacogenetics, Epigenetics and Mixed Chimerism
  • Cellular Strategies to Optimize Long Term Outcomes
    T-regs, Mesenchymal Cells, Facilitator Cells
Click here to learn more about this enlightening meeting, or view the full program.

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Toward a better liver graft allocation that accounts for candidates with and without hepatocellular carcinoma
American Journal of Transplantation
In some countries where the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score is used for graft allocation, selected patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) receive a fixed number of exception points at listing, and increasing priority on the list by accruing additional exception points at regular time intervals. This system originally aimed at balancing the risks of HCC patients of developing contraindications and of non-HCC patients of dying before transplantation, is not ideal because it appears to offer an advantage to HCC patients, regardless of tumor characteristics and response to loco-regional treatment.
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Donor CD4 T cells trigger costimulation blockade-resistant donor bone marrow rejection through bystander activation requiring IL-6
American Journal of Transplantation
Bone marrow (BM) transplantation under costimulation blockade induces chimerism and tolerance. Cotransplantation of donor T cells (contained in substantial numbers in mobilized peripheral blood stem cells and donor lymphocyte infusions) together with donor BM paradoxically triggers rejection of donor BM through undefined mechanisms. Here, nonmyeloablatively irradiated C57BL/6 recipients simultaneously received donor BM (BALB/c) and donor T cells under costimulation blockade (anti-CD154 and CTLA4Ig).
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Porcine acellular dermal matrix for delayed abdominal wall closure after pediatric liver transplantation
Pediatric Transplantation
Children are one of the groups with the highest mortality rate on the waiting list for LT. Primary closure of the abdominal wall is often impossible in the pediatric population, due to a size mismatch between a large graft and a small recipient. We present a retrospective cohort study of six pediatric patients, who underwent delayed abdominal wall closure with a biological mesh after LT, and in whom early closure was impossible.
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An analysis of pancreas transplantation outcomes based on age groupings – an update of the UNOS database
Clinical Transplantation
Previously, increasing age has been a part of the exclusion criteria used when determining eligibility for a pancreas transplant. However, the analysis of pancreas transplantation outcomes based on age groupings has largely been based on single-center reports.
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Outcome of latent tuberculosis infection in solid organ transplant recipients over a 10-year period
Screening and therapy of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is recommended in solid organ transplant (SOT). However, there are limited data on the tolerability of LTBI therapy pretransplant and posttransplant. We studied the tolerability of LTBI therapy and effectiveness of a centralized LTBI treatment program in a low-risk population.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Disparities in access to kidney transplantation between donor service areas in Texas (American Journal of Transplantation)
Differential effect of bortezomib on HLA class I and class II antibody (Transplantation)
Infection and rejection risk after cardiac transplantation with induction vs. no induction: A multi-institutional study (Clinical Transplantation)
Use of octogenarian donors for liver transplantation: A survival analysis (American Journal of Transplantation)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Expanding the donor pool for liver transplant recipients using HBsAg positive grafts
Journal of Hepatology
Persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has been and still is a leading cause for end-stage liver disease in endemic regions in Asia and Africa. In contrast, in the Western hemisphere, the rates of HBV infection in liver transplant candidates is lower and declining as reflected in a recent UNOS analysis, reporting a 5.3% rate of HBV infection as the cause for liver failure and HBV associated hepatocellular carcinoma among 48,654 liver transplant candidates in the US [1]. The ongoing worldwide organ shortage for liver transplantation (LTx) has been a driving force for exploring new means to expand the pool of potential organ donors.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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