Many thanks to Howard Eisen and Christina Migliore for coordinating the content for this month's issue.

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For another December to remember, allow me to refer you back to my favorite Vincent's Seasonal Sense from the Links December 2012, Volume 4 issue. I must have been hallucinating from too much turkey, pecan pie and egg nog a couple years ago. The facts have changed very little in the last two years, except that now we are ever so close to our upcoming meeting in Nice, well orchestrated by Hermann Reichenspurner and Andreas Zuckerman. In this issue, we start off with Hermann's "President's Halftime Report for an Unprecedented Meeting in Nice." Next, the JFTC provides us with, no not a sleigh ride or an ice slide ride but one worth remembering: "Wow What a Ride! One Year We Will Never Forget" by Manreet Kanwar and Jeffrey Chambers. From Spain, Javier Carbone updates us on "Linking Primary Immunodeficiencies with Transplant Medicine: Basic Science from ESID Meeting" for BSI. This is followed by a few Special Interest pieces one from a land far, far away and down under by Peter MacDonald with "DCD Hearts at a Distance," another with a feast by Pamela Combs with "At the VAD Holiday Table" and again our student guest writers Nicole Brooks, Sultana Peffley, Marilyn Galindo and Vincent Valentine with "Don't Touch? Don't Kiss? Do Tell!" Then it's the "Pediatric eBook Release" by David Baran and the "ISHLT Grants and Awards Applications Now Online - Apply Today," and we finish with the Links recurring December theme on Great Composers, this one in particular dedicated to France to honor our visit there entitled "Red-Hair, Passion, Fury, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Goethe and Opium" by Vincent Valentine. Happy Holidays!

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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President's Halftime Report for an Unprecedented Meeting in Nice

Hermann Reichenspurner, MD, PhD

I cannot believe that I am already halfway through my term as president! This must be a sign that I really enjoy this duty, although our server at the University Hospital is close to a collapse, since I receive between 20 and 40 extra international emails on my account per day. Fortunately, phone bills have come down over the past years, otherwise I may have been dismissed already from my hospital due to the high number of international phone calls.

Just a little insight into the President's job: There is a weekly (very pleasant!) conference call with the Executive Director, Amanda Rowe, and a monthly call of the Executive Committee consisting of the President, the President Elect, the Past President, the Secretary-Treasurer, one appointed member from the board (Jeff Teuteberg) and the Executive Director. There is also a lot of interaction on the Board-level with individual correspondence, as well as a two hour telephone-conference meeting in July. Read more →


Wow What a Ride! One Year We Will Never Forget

Manreet Kanwar, MD & Jeffrey Chambers

Those who have driven a motorcycle on a winding road know not only the thrill, but also the anxiety it brings. If you happen to go into a curve too hard, you become panicked that you aren't going to make it through without crashing and are relieved when you make it out alive.

The past year has been a ride like no other. November 10, 2014 marks the one year anniversary of my heart attack. A year ago, life was flying by at full throttle; then came the curve that changed my world. Read more →


Linking Primary Immunodeficiencies with Transplant Medicine: Basic Science from ESID Meeting

Javier Carbone, MD, PhD

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The 16th Biennial Meeting of the European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID), held in Prague, Czech Republic on October 26, 2014, encompassed innovations in immunobiology, genetics, diagnostics and treatment of primary immunodeficiencies (PID). Advances in medical research have led to the identification of more than 240 genes which cause different forms of PID. Defects in such processes are often responsible for life-threatening disorders. Read more →


DCD Hearts at a Distance

Peter MacDonald, MD, PhD

links imageSt Vincent's Hospital, Sydney announces the world's first heart transplants from DCD donors using normothermic ex vivo heart perfusion with the Transmedics Organ Care System.

Professors Peter Macdonald and Kumud Dhital from St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney Australia recently announced that the Heart Transplant Unit had performed 3 successful heart transplants from DCD donors. Read more →

At the VAD Holiday Table

Pamela Combs, PhD, RN

links imageAlthough the New Year has not yet arrived, the holiday cheer is abundant among all VAD team members. It is with great anticipation that preparations are taking place to celebrate the past, present and the future. One event typically planned is the Holiday dinner, to which one invites those that are so integral in contributing to his/her wholeness. In thinking what new guests for the year 2015 will be sitting at the VAD table, a few thoughts come to mind. The following "hot words" are being heard through-out VAD conferences and work settings. Only time will tell if these words do indeed become integral to our VAD world, but it is intriguing to "put them on the table" for discussion. Read more →

Don't Touch? Don't Kiss? Do Tell!

Nicole Brooks, Sultana Peffley, Marilyn Galindo, MD & Vincent Valentine, MD

On September 30, 2014, the CDC confirmed the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola in a Liberian man visiting Dallas, Texas, United States. He died one week later; cause of death: Ebola. At the same time, a healthcare worker involved in his care tested positive for the virus. Five days later, a second health care worker involved in the index patient's care also tested positive for Ebola. A week after the 3rd case, a 4th case of Ebola, in a physician working with Doctors Without Borders, was reported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene [1]. The United States' government's reactions ranged from cooperation with the CDC's recommendations for infection prevention to more extreme reactions including orders to institute mandatory 21-day at home quarantine for all healthcare workers returning from endemic areas who had unprotected contact with a patient diagnosed with Ebola. Read more →


Pediatric eBook Release

David Baran, MD

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I am writing to share exciting news!

First it was the online community, now it is the advent of e-books from ISHLT! Anyone can buy, you don't need to be a member (but you should join!). Read more →

ISHLT Grants and Awards Applications Now Online - APPLY TODAY!

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The 2014 ISHLT Grants and Awards applications are now available online at Deadline for receipt of applications is Thursday, January 15, 2015. Grants will be awarded at the ISHLT 35th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, April 15-18, 2015 in Nice, France. Read more →


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Interesting, Inspiring and Intriguing Links from Around the Globe

Hot topics in organ transplantation this month include stories from Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan and the United States. Read more →


Red-Hair, Passion, Fury, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Goethe and Opium

Vincent Valentine, MD

links imageIn keeping with the form and structure of our December Issues of the Links, we turn our attention to Great Musical Composers and how they relate to the ISHLT (see Romanticism, Nationalism, and Exoticism, Hair, Lead, Deafness: The Heart of the Matter and The Magical, Mystical and Mythical Music of Mozart: The Mere Mortal).

Hector Berlioz was born on December 11, 1803, just shy of 33 years after Beethoven's birth (December 17, 1770), in the Rhône-Alpes region of France situated between Vienne, Grenoble and Lyon in La Côte-Saint-André. His father sent him to Paris to study medicine with every intention of him returning home to the family medical practice. His passport to Paris described him as follows: five foot three or four in height, red hair, red eyebrows, deep-set gray eyes, high forehead and early beard growth. In his Mémoires Berlioz cited music and love, "the two wings of the soul", as the mainspring of his existence, and his distaste for medicine. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art"
— Claude Debussy

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Disclaimer: Any opinion, conclusion or recommendation published by the Links is the sole expression of the writer(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ISHLT.