Many thanks to Saima Aslam & David Nelson for coordinating the content for this month's issue.

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Science is the basis for continuing education and rationalizing processes. As noted in last month's issue, the word science stems from the Latin root word scientia meaning knowledge. It is scientia that pushes our program's limits and establishes future discoveries. In this month's issue, David K.C. Cooper and Joseph Tector push the boundaries of science and history into the future with a report on triple knock out pigs as a potential source for kidney xenotransplantation for carefully selected patients with end-stage renal disease. Bessie Sycip calls to our attention the burnout from compassion fatigue as Saima Aslam cautions us about having a little summer fun. Unlike today's U.S President and the recent focus on how to lose a guy in 10 days, our esteemed Andrew Fisher provides his 100 day report on his Presidency, while Christian Benden excites members for our 2018 upcoming Annual Meeting in Nice with a call for abstracts!

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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President's 100 Day Report

Andrew Fisher, FRCP, PhD
ISHLT President

I am delighted to provide my first update to ISHLT members since starting my term as President at the end of the 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Our annual meeting is a great place to start as it marked yet another milestone of success for the Society becoming our best attended meeting with just short of 3900 delegates. When compared to an attendance of 2300 in 2007, this represents a 70% increase in attendance over the last 10 years, and shows how the appeal and relevance of our educational and network offering continues to strengthen. Furthermore, this year's meeting was the most internationally diverse and multidisciplinary we have ever hosted. Read more →

Program Committee Update

Christian Benden, MD, FCCP
2018 Scientific Program Chair

It is the beginning of summer holidays here in Switzerland, and I have just returned to Zurich from Chicago following my first Scientific Program Committee (SPC) Meeting within my new role as the 2018 Scientific Program Chair. Chicago, the Windy City, is always worth a trip. I particularly love all the architectural diversity of the city; however, this time the 2018 SPC Meeting has been the focus of my attention. The 2018 ISHLT SPC consists of 31 members reflecting our Society's diversity regarding disciplines, geography, gender and generations. Almost 150 symposia proposals were submitted by the ISHLT Membership for consideration by the SPC to develop the best scientific content for the ISHLT Annual Meeting taking place in Nice, Southern France in April 2018. Read more →


ISHLT 2018 Call for Abstract Submissions

The ISHLT 2018
Abstract Submission Site

October 24, 2017
11:59PM EST

The ISHLT 2018 Call for Abstracts available in two electronic formats:

2018 Call for Abstracts PDF Brochure

2018 Call for Abstracts Flipbook

ISHLT Call for Nomination to the Board of Directors

links imageMaryl Johnson, MD, Chair of the Governance Committee, invites the nomination of qualified ISHLT members to serve as Directors on the ISHLT Board of Directors. There are four open positions for Director on the ISHLT Board of Directors. Completed nomination packets must be submitted to the ISHLT HQ Office by 5:00 PM US Eastern Time on Friday, September 15, 2017. Nominees desiring to be favorably considered for a Director position should have had significant involvement in and service to ISHLT. Additionally, nominees should have demonstrated ability to think strategically, work effectively within a collective decision-making body, and have knowledge of or experience with organizational governance. Read more →

Call for ISHLT Links Editor Applications

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) is seeking an enthusiastic, creative and innovative individual to become the new Editor of the monthly ISHLT LINKS newsletter. After 7 years of exceptional and dedicated service as Editor, Vincent Valentine's term will be expiring in April, 2018. Applicants for the Editor position must be members in good standing of the ISHLT and should submit a letter of interest by October 2, 2017. Read more →


Summer Fun

Saima Aslam, MD, MS

links imageAs we are midway into summer and transplant patients and providers alike head off to vacation, it's a good time to remind people about the existence of travel clinics and vaccinations. There are a number of excellent resources available to the public that can help navigate a virtual minefield of infectious diseases. Travel advice can be as mundane as washing hands and carrying alcohol hand gel at all occasions (yes, especially when camping but keep away from the log-fire), mosquito repellant (West Nile virus, anyone?), no skinning animals (wild game or otherwise) and properly cooked meats (Dutch ovens have made a comeback on the camping trail). There is always "glamping" which may mitigate infectious concerns, but beware rodent droppings in the finest of wood cabins (hantavirus), inhaling river water while gasping for air when kayaking down rapids (leptospirosis) or drinking untreated well/ spring/river water (giardiasis). Read more →

One hundred years ago...

Javier Carbone, MD, PhD

links imageIn 1917, one hundred years ago, Emil von Behring, the recipient of the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, died at Marburg, Germany. Behring studied under Robert Koch at Koch's Institute in Berlin. During the first 20 years of Nobel Prizes for Physiology or Medicine, there was a dominance in the area of infections and immunity. In 1890, Behring and Shibasaburo Kitasato published their discovery that increasing doses of sterilized cultures of diphtheria or of tetanus bacilli caused animals to produce substances in their blood that could neutralize the toxins which these bacilli produced (antitoxins). They also showed that the antitoxins produced by one animal could passively immunize another animal, and that they could cure animals showing symptoms of diphtheria. Read more →


Xenotransplantation - Closing in on the Clinic

David K.C. Cooper, MD, PhD
A. Joseph Tector, MD, PhD

We are all aware of the continuing critical shortage of organs from deceased donors for clinical transplantation. Whatever attempts are made to increase human organ donation, it seems very unlikely the demand will ever be satisfied. The transplantation of organs from pigs could resolve this problem, and for more than 30 years, efforts have been made to investigate the pathobiological barriers that need to be overcome. In recent years, relatively rapid progress has been made, largely due to improved methods of generating genetically-engineered pigs and the introduction of novel immunosuppressive agents, e.g., costimulation blockade agents. Life-supporting pig kidney transplantation in nonhuman primates is now associated with excellent graft function for many months, or even more than a year, in the absence of features such as proteinuria. Read more →


December International Traveling Scholarship Application Now Open

International Traveling Scholarship Application

December 1, 2017
11:59PM EST

Feeling The Burn(out): Thoughts On Compassion Fatigue

Bessie Sycip, RN, BSN

"Don't think I ever spent a minute of any day wondering why I did this work, or whether it was worth it. The call to protect life...was obvious in its sacredness. I realized, I must first understand his mind: his identity, his values, what makes his life worth living, and what devastation makes it reasonable to let that life end. The cost of my dedication to succeed was high, and the ineluctable failures brought me nearly unbearable guilt. Those burdens are what make medicine holy and wholly impossible: in taking up another's cross, one must sometimes get crushed by the weight." - Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air. I found myself reading this book, recommended by the Medstar Washington Hospital Center's Emergency Room Book Club. Instead of reading something mindless and relaxing on a recent vacation, I was unable to put this book down, crying freely on a beach when it concluded. Read more →


Alchemy, Chymistry and Chemistry to Obliterative Bronchiolitis, Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome and Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction (Obstructive vs Restrictive): It's Just Terminology

Vincent Valentine

links imageThe evolution of terminology, organization and classification is an effort to find truth and improve understanding for knowledge. Focusing on the evolution of chemistry as a respected science may help us today as we use or develop new terms reflecting our increasing understanding and not feed into our biases with regard to chronic lung allograft dysfunction. Looking back to the middle ages, alchemy dealt with the study, treatment, refining and production of specific material substances. The prefix "al-", an Arabic definite article, indicates the origin of Alchemy from the Arabic world. The Greek word "chemia" is the root word for Chymistry then later chemistry. Over time, the article "al-" slowly faded away. This may have been due to the philology of the humanists from the Renaissance in an effort to purge the intrusions of "Arabisms," who were believed to be polluting the purity of Greek words. Despite this, many Arabic contributions remain with us today: alcohol, alkali and aluminum just to name a few. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"Those who cannot think outside the box, simply take up space."
— Unknown

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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.