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At the Top

In just 9 months since arriving at UW, Dr. Dixon Kaufman, Chair of the Division of Transplantation, assembled an interdisciplinary team and submitted an NIH U01 titled “Tomotherapy and Hematopoietic Cells for Tolerance to Kidney Transplants.” Dr. Kaufman will serve as Co-Principal Investigator of the 5-year, $4.3 million study which incorporates a collaboration with Stanford University and Co-PI Dr. Samuel Strober. The team at UW includes Drs. Luis Fernandez and Will Burlingham from the Department of Surgery, Dr. Peiman Hematti from the Department of Medicine – Hematology, and Dr. Jose Torrealba in the Department of Pathology. A key component of the project centers around the UW Primate Center and the School of Veterinary Medicine. The ultimate goal of the project is complete elimination of immunosuppression after transplant.

Research

Dr. Susan Thibeault received $282,150 for 1 year funding through the PACT (Productive Assistance for Cellular Therapies) at the Waisman Center for her application “Translational Request to manufacture human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells for vocal fold therapies”. PACT is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The monies will be used to manufacture BM MSC with her lab’s hydrogels for a clinical product, with the hope of starting human trials.

Two outstanding scores on grants were reported this week. Dr. Ken Kudsk’s VA merit competitive renewal scored at 1.5% and Dr. Craig Kent’s Vascular NIH T32 Training Grant scored a 2.1 out of 9. In the old days, we’d be celebrating — in this climate we’ll wait to break out the champagne… but we are pretty confident about both.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Becky Sippel was recently appointed to the editorial board of ACS Surgery News. She will be the Endocrine Surgery representative to the Board.

In the first round of Association of Academic Surgeons (AAS) committee elections the following Department faculty and residents were elected to 2-year terms which will start at the Academic Surgical Congress in February in Las Vegas. Issues committee: Greg Kennedy and David Schneider; Education Committee: Jake Greenberg, Dai Yamanouchi and Carly Seaberg (candidate member); and Outcomes Committee: Heather Neuman and David Greenblatt (candidate member).

Special Interest

Dr. Hans Sollinger was a Visiting Professor at the University of Innsbruck in Austria on December 8 where he spoke on the current status and future of research for a cure for diabetes.

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