Dr. Megan Sykes and Prof. Kathryn Wood are Awarded the 2018 Medawar Prize During the 2018 World Transplant Congress

Two women transplantation professionals win the industry's highest award.
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Dr. Megan Sykes, 2018 Medawar winner
Dr. Megan Sykes, 2018 Medawar winner
MADRID - July 4, 2018 - PRLog -- The Transplantation Society (TTS) has recognized Dr. Megan Sykes and Prof. Kathryn Wood for their lifetime contributions in the field of transplantation with its highest distinction, the Medawar Prize.

About Dr. Megan Sykes: Megan Sykes, M.D., is the Michael J. Friedlander Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Surgical Sciences (in Surgery) at Columbia University. She is the founding Director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI) at Columbia University, Director of Research for the Transplant Initiative at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation Research, Division of Hematology/Oncology at CUMC.

Principal Achievements:

Graft-Versus-Leukemia/lymphoma Effects:
Dr. Sykes introduced the idea that graft-versus-leukemia/lymphoma effects could be separated from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) by allowing GVHreactive T cells to expand while preventing migration to the epithelial GVHD target tissues. She showed that inflammation was a critical checkpoint for such migration, which was avoided when GVH-reactive T cells were administered after conditioning-induced inflammation had subsided in mixed chimeras. These studies led to clinical trials of nonmyeloablative haploidentical HCT that achieved mixed chimerism across HLA barriers without GVHD. These results paved the way for the first clinical trials of mixed chimerism that achieved renal allograft tolerance across HLA barriers.

Intrathymic and Peripheral Tolerance: Dr. Sykes dissected the role of intrathymic and peripheral tolerance mechanisms and pioneered minimal conditioning approaches for using HCT to achieve allograft and xenograft tolerance. Her work demonstrated that (and identified mechanisms by which) mixed chimerism achieves natural antibodyproducing B cell tolerance and NK cell tolerance in addition to T cell tolerance.

Tracking Alloreactive T Cell: Dr. Sykes developed a method of tracking the alloreactive T cell repertoire in human transplant recipients, and has used it along with other techniques to understand T lymphocyte dynamics in the graft and the periphery of human transplant recipients.

Xenogeneic Thymic Transplantation: Her work on xenogeneic thymic transplantation for tolerance induction led, for the first time, to long-term kidney xenograft survival in non-human primates.


About Prof. Kathryn Wood: Kathryn Wood is Professor of Immunology Emerita in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford where she collaborates with the Transplantation Research Immunology Group and the Oxford Transplant Centre. Professor Wood is also a Fellow of The Academy of Medical Sciences and is currently the Khoo Oon Teik Visiting Professor at the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation, National University Hospital in Singapore (2015 – 2020).

Principal Achievements:

Prof. Wood's current research focuses on immune regulation at the molecular and cellular level, mechanisms of rejection and immune modulation and interactions between the immune system and stem cell derived tissues. Together with her scientific and clinical collaborators, Kathryn's team has recently completed a Phase 1/2a trial investigating the safety and feasibility of using regulatory T cell therapy in living donor kidney transplant recipients translating the extensive laboratory work carried out by her own team and other groups internationally.

She has a strong interest in providing support and opportunities for the development of scientists and clinicians to enable them to achieve their full potential. To this end, she was instrumental in setting up the New Key Opinion Leaders meetings within TTS and was the founding Chair of the Women in Transplantation, a TTS initiative.

Her research achievements have been recognised internationally, including receiving a Gold Medal awarded by The Catalan Society of Transplantation (2011), The Maharshi Sushruta Award (2012), The Transplantation Society for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Sciences (2012), The Federa Prize (2014), and the Thomas E Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology (2017).

Kathryn was President of The Transplantation Society (2004-2006) and Editor of Transplantation (1992 - 2014).

About the Medawar Prize: The Medawar Prize, named after Society co-founder Sir Peter Medawar, is recognized as the world's highest dedicated award for the most outstanding contributions in the field of transplantation. The Medawar Prize has been awarded at each of our Society's biennial Congresses since 1990.

The award recognizes the outstanding investigators whose contributions have had such a profound influence on the field of organ transplantation. The Medawar Prize is universally considered to be commensurate with the most outstanding world prizes for scientific achievement.

About The Transplantation Society: The Transplantation Society is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which serves as the international forum for the world-wide advancement of organ transplantation.

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Tags:Transplant Transplantation Women, Organ Donation Kidney, Liver Scientist
Industry:Health, Medical, Science
Location:Madrid - Madrid - Spain
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