Many thanks to Jorge Silva Enciso & David Nelson for coordinating the content for this month's issue.

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We ring in the New Year with reverie and resolutions as we prepare for further success in the ISHLT. We steer away from verbose blowhards with destitute and destruction into a serene horizon of tranquility. With a cabaret of fireworks from Christian Benden, we are given an update by the program committee as Adrian Lawrence takes us from "five easy pieces" to the seven principles for smart teaching. Then John Dark gently traverses Fitzgerald in the south of France. While Evan Kransdorf and Jignesh Patel sensitize our senses to heart failure and transplantation, Suneet Purohit and Natasha Altman break on through 2018 across another immune barrier. 2018 also brings the beginning of the end of yours truly's tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Links. Soon gone will be the days of the bombastic and bloviating platitudes and pablums all of you graciously put up with for the past seven years.

Happy New Year!

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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Program Committee Update December 2017

Christian Benden, MD, FCCP

I last reported as Program Chair just after my return from an extremely succesful Scientific Program Commitee Meeting in Chicago; it was the start of summer holidays in the Northern hemisphere. In the meantime, we have seen the first snow fall in Zurich where I live... But even more exciting things have happened, as the Scientific Program of our Society's 2018 Annual Meeting in Nice was produced and published online (available on the ISHLT website,, as FlipBook or PDF Brochure). Looking at the program content, I am very proud to report that the Scientific Program Commitee has done a tremendous job as a TEAM and is continuing to do so as we have just finalized the Abstract Sessions of the Annual Meeting. Read more →


Making Sense of Sensitization

Evan Kransdorf, MD, PhD
Jignesh Patel, MD, PhD

Sensitization, the presence of circulating antibodies against human leukocyte antigens (HLA), affects approximately 25% of candidates on the heart transplant waiting list [1]. To reduce the risk of post-transplant complications including most importantly hyperacute rejection, antigens to which the candidate has strong antibodies must be excluded. This leads to a smaller potential donor pool, which in turn leads to an increase in waiting time and consequently a higher risk of adverse outcomes on the waiting list [1]. In this commentary, we address three important issues in the area of sensitization: 1) How do we measure the degree to which a candidate is sensitized? 2) What threshold should we use to define a candidate as sensitized? and 3) What should we do about sensitization? Read more →


Breaking Boundaries: Heart Transplantation in HIV-positive Recipients

Suneet Purohit, MD
Natasha Altman, MD

Even with advances in treatment, the long-term morbidity and mortality of heart failure remains high, and potential heart transplant recipients are becoming increasingly medically complex. Transplant centers are progressively treating heart failure patients not only for diabetes, hypertension and renal insufficiency, but also for chronic infectious comorbidities such as HIV and Hepatitis C. The prevalence of heart failure is significantly higher in HIV-infected patients than in non-HIV infected patients [1]. Current highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens are able to suppress HIV viral loads to levels that enable patients to live longer with fewer side effects [2]. As a result, HIV is no longer considered a contraindication to heart transplantation [3]. However, cardiac transplantation is still infrequently performed in this patient population [4]. Read more →


Michael Kaye (1935-2017)

links imageMichael Peter Kaye, surgeon, teacher, researcher, patriot and devout family man, died at the age of 82, on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Born to Lithuanian immigrants, Mike was born and raised on Chicago's south side. Growing up with a strong interest in science, he studied chemistry at St. Louis University and went on to receive his medical degree from Loyola University's Strich School of Medicine. During his residency at the University of Minnesota, he met Mary, his wife of 57 years, with whom he raised five children. Affectionately known to family as Harley, he shared his love of medicine, the outdoors, horses and the color gray with his children and grandchildren. The family spent more than 10 years in Rochester where Dr. Kaye taught and conducted research related to heart transplantation at Mayo Medical School. Read more →


REVIEW: How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching

Adrian Lawrence, MD, MACM

What does research say about how learning works? Where can a teacher find sound, instructional approaches to help students learn effectively and meaningfully? Is there a book that concisely explains and summarizes a philosophy of learning and yet provides practical strategies for real world application? How Learning Works: Seven Research-based Principles of Smart Teaching, by Ambrose et al, fits that bill. The authors and faculty drawn from Carnegie Mellon's Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and the University of Pittsburgh set out to examine how students learn and how the principles of learning theory can be realistically applied. They manage to integrate research evidence drawn from the field of psychology, education, and cognitive science with practical experience for application in the college classroom. Read more →


Bloviate -

To talk pompously; to talk at great length in a pompous and boastful manner.


Looking Forwards

John Dark, MB, FRCS

links image"North America gripped by Arctic Conditions," "UK set to be lashed by Storm Eleanor" are just two of the headlines (let's ignore politics) to greet the start of the year, with spectacular pictures of a frozen Niagara, metres of snow covering Pennsylvania and dominating avalanche warnings in the Alps. Looking back at 2017, described by a political observer, tongue in cheek as "an unexciting year," it is not only unrewarding, but rather bleak. So, let us look forwards, to some warmth and sun in 2018. To defrost, the ISHLT will return to Nice in April with the warmth of southern Europe, the blue of the Mediterranean and the aromas of cheese and freshly baked bread. However, not just returning to Nice, but to France, a favourite of all countries- receiving more visitors than any other country in the world. It is centrally located in the western world (although the French would argue the whole world), and we should rejoice our return with the ease of travel. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it."
— George Bernard Shaw

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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.