Public Release: 

Transplantation Society Congress

Transplantation Society

MIAMI, Aug. 19 - The XIX International Congress of The Transplantation Society will be held Aug. 25-30 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla., located on the coast between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Held every two years, the congress is recognized as the field's most important international scientific meeting.

To accommodate news media, daily press briefings and media availabilities have been scheduled that will cover the most important and interesting abstracts chosen from among more than 1,600 that will be presented at the meeting. Following is useful information for reporters covering the congress:

  • Reporters may participate in select press briefings by conference call. (Those briefings that are available are noted in the schedule below.) Within the United States, call (800) 860-2442; international callers should dial (412) 858-4600. Please indicate to the operator that you are participating in the "Transplant Society" call.
  • News media planning to attend briefings must register on site at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, 3555 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood, Fla., before coming to the press room. The press room will be located in Room 201 (North Tower) and will be open beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday and at 7:30 a.m. through Friday, Aug. 30. The phone number for the press room is (954) 602-6170.
  • Embargoed news releases will be posted this week on EurekAlert! ( and AlphaGalileo ( and may also be requested by calling Lisa Rossi at (412) 916-3315 or sending an e-mail to
  • Additional information on each briefing (an overview of the topic, a list of participants and their titles and lay summaries of the abstracts to be discussed) is available by calling Lisa Rossi at (412) 916-3315 or sending an e-mail to
  • Abstracts and the final program will soon be available at

Press Room Schedule:

Sunday, Aug. 25

Press Briefing: Organ Donation and Transplantation Around the World (11 a.m.) - Why does Spain continue to have the highest organ donation rates when in some countries there are fewer than 10 donors a year? Participants: Bernard Cohen (The Netherlands), Valter Duro-Garcia (Brazil), Howard Nathan (United States), Kazuo Ota (Japan); Moderator: Carl Groth (Sweden)

Monday, Aug. 26

Press Briefing: Hand Transplantation (9:30 a.m.) - Updates from centers in the U.S., France and Italy suggest more hand transplants are likely to be performed.
*Available on conference call
Participants: Linda Cendales (United States), Jean-Michel Dubernard (France), Vijay Gorantla (United States), Bruno Gridelli (Italy); Moderator: Darla Granger (United States)

Press Briefing: Organ Transplants Without Drugs? (11:30 a.m.) - Results of three studies attempting to achieve transplant tolerance indicate it is possible to get patients off anti-rejection drugs months after transplantation.
*Available on conference call
Participants: Kareem Abu-Elmagd (United States), Thomas E. Starzl (United States), Samuel Strober (United States), H.L. Trivedi (India); Moderator: Kathryn Wood (U.K.)

Media Availabilities (1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) - Presenters will be available in the press room for phone or one-on-one interviews on the following topics:

  • New organ preservation system allows more kidneys to be transplanted
  • Fewer families say yes to donation when critical care staff do the asking, finds international study
  • Scheme that gives old kidneys to old patients gets good marks in Europe
  • More diabetics in U.S. could get pancreas transplants if system being used in Wisconsin were adopted

Tuesday, Aug. 27

Press Briefing: Pig Cells, Islet Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells: Current and Future Human Trials for the Treatment of Diabetes (11:30 a.m.) - While pancreatic islet cell transplantation is becoming more and more successful, transplanting islet cells from pigs also shows promise.
*Available on conference call
Participants: Bernhard Hering (United States), Antonio Secchi (Italy), Bernat Soria (Spain), Rafael Valdes (Mexico), David White (Canada); Moderator: Camillo Ricordi (United States)

Press Briefing: Addressing the Organ Shortage with Living Donors (3:15 p.m.) - While routine for kidney transplantation, the use of living donors for liver transplantation brings the debate about benefits and risks to the forefront.
Participants: Ingela Fehrman- Ekholm (Sweden), Elizabeth Pomfret (United States), David Sutherland (United States); Moderator: David Sutherland (United States)

Media Availabilities (9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) - Presenters will be available in the press room for phone or one-on-one interviews on the following topics:

  • Robot assists surgeon in removing kidneys during living-donor operation
  • Researchers propose cell transplant in a mother's uterus to treat a baby with liver metabolism problems
  • Cells from discarded livers became stem cells that in bioartificial device stabilized patients with acute liver disease until liver transplantation was possible, reports German study
  • Both pig and stem cells could hold answers for treating Parkinson's and other diseases of the nervous system
  • No children died waiting for liver transplants in five years since use of split livers became routine in one Italian hospital
  • Waiting times have been sharply reduced for children needing liver transplants since split liver program was started in Northern Italy
  • Organs from donors over age 80 can be used safely, say Italian researchers
  • Donor livers show signs of age at 55 but still must be considered for transplantation

Wednesday, Aug. 28

What's New and Hot in Transplantation? (1:30 p.m.) - Drug discovery, xenotransplantation, cloning? Leaders in the field project where the next breakthroughs will be. The winners of the Medawar Prize also will be announced at this time.
*Available on conference call
Participants: Alan Colman - invited (Singapore), David K.C. Cooper (United States), Anthony d'Apice (Australia), Randall E. Morris (Switzerland), Vickie Seyfert-Margolis (United States); Moderator: Carl Groth (Sweden)

Thursday, Aug. 29

Transplants in patients with HIV (11:30 a.m.) - The few centers willing to transplant such patients will present results that serve to address many of the critical questions surrounding this emerging issue.
*Available on conference call
Participants: John Fung (United States), Anil Kumar (United States), Didier Samuel (France), Peter Stock (United States); Moderator: Andreas Tzakis (United States)

Media Availabilities (9:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.) - Presenters will be available in the press room for phone or one-on-one interviews on the following topics:

  • Mobile society makes Chagas disease, which can spread through donated organs, a concern beyond South America
  • Adult stem cells could treat heart attacks and help regenerate tissue, indicates animal study
  • Can muscle cells from another part of the body be used to treat heart failure?
  • Is an artificial lung in the near future?
  • Patients with Medicare and Medicaid do worse after liver transplantation, finds study

Friday, Aug. 30

Organ Commerce and Other Ethical Concerns (11:30 a.m.) - An increasing number of patients need transplants, and in many countries, there is a market for organs. Where should the line be drawn for payment of organs?
Participants: Abdallah Daar (Canada), Henri Kreis (France), Walter Land (Germany)
Moderator: Eduardo Santiago-Delpín (Puerto Rico)

Media Availabilities (9:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.) - Presenters will be available in the press room for phone or one-on-one interviews on the following topics:

  • Despite hurdles, gene therapy could play major role in transplantation
  • Discovery in mice of protective genes that prevent rejection of the liver could play role in human organs as well
  • Two-thirds of doctors in survey have insufficient-to-moderate knowledge about organ donation
  • U.S. registry of pregnancies following heart and lung transplantation reports results
  • Intestinal transplants have become standard of care for children with intestinal failure
  • Results with intestine transplants in children have improved in past seven years, reports one center
  • Intestine transplants should be performed before patients develop liver failure from chronic intravenous nutrition


The Transplantation Society was founded in 1966 and serves as the principal international forum for the advancement of both basic and clinical transplantation science. Among its current and former members are six Nobel Laureates. The president of the society is Dr. Carl Groth of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Co-chairs of the congress are Dr. Camillo Ricordi of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine and Dr. Domingo Casadei of the Instituto de Nefrologia in Buenos Aires.

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