The Department of Surgery to be Well-Represented at The International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA) Joint Congress

19th World IPITA-IXA-CTRMS Joint Congress in San Diego, CA, from October 26 to 29, 2023

The International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA) was established at the Montreal '98 Congress of The Transplantation Society, with the aim of providing a forum for those with a special interest in Xenotransplantation.

Dr. Raja Kandaswamy, Professor of Surgery and Surgical Director of the University's Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs, currently serves as the President of IPITA and is the Congress Chair for this event. Dr. Melena Bellin, Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery and Co-Director of the University's Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Autotransplant Program, serves as a Councilor of IPITA.

Dr. Bernhard Hering, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Schulze Diabetes Institute, will deliver the Paul Lacy Memorial Lecture at the Congress. This biennial lecture commemorates Dr. Lacy's seminal contributions to transplantation in diabetes. The Paul Lacy Memorial Lecture Award is considered the most prestigious award in the field of islet transplantation and is given to a clinician and/or scientist who has made substantial and lasting contributions to the field of experimental and/or human islet transplantation, furthering Dr. Lacy's vision.

Dr. Joseph Sushil Rao, a Research Fellow in the Department of Surgery, is the inaugural recipient of the David Sutherland Distinguished Traveling Scholarship Award. This biennial award is given to a single clinical/research fellow based upon demonstrated clinical/research merit and future potential for both scholarly academic clinical excellence and a commitment to the training of clinicians/scientists in the field of pancreas transplantation. The award honors the legacy of Dr. David Sutherland, Professor Emeritus in our Department, whose long and illustrious career includes many firsts in the field of pancreas and islet transplantation. Dr. Sutherland directed the pancreas transplant program at the University of Minnesota for decades, a program that has performed 2400 pancreas and nearly 1000 islet transplants.