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American Transplant Congress logo with the text "Philadelphia, PA" and "June 1 to 5".

PHILADELPHIA- Leading experts in transplant from Penn Medicine will converge in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from June 1-5 for the American Transplant Congress. The event is the Joint Annual meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Transplantation.

Presenters at ATC2024

Below are some of the topics being presented by Penn experts this year:


Session: The Impact of Donor BMI on Safety and Outcomes in Living Donor Liver Transplantation: An Analysis of the National US Database

Nicolas Muñoz, MD, resident, National Clinician Scholars Program, and Therese Bittermann, MD, MSCE, assistant professor in Gastroenterology

Description: Donor obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 ) poses a multifaceted challenge in the context of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) by reducing the potential donor pool and impacting donor safety and outcomes. We utilized the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database to evaluate the impact of donor obesity on donor safety and recipient outcomes in LDLT.

Time and Place: Sunday, June 2, 2024 at 9:15am in Poster Hall, Exhibit Hall A, Level 2


Session: Transfers of Deceased Organ Donors after Brain Death to United States Donor Care Units

Emily Vail, MD, MDc, assistant professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Description: Use of deceased organ donor care units (DCUs) requires transportation of donors from hospitals to DCUs. Longer transport distances may incur higher costs or increase risk of clinical decompensation during transport. Vail’s study aimed to 1) describe geographic patterns of donor transfer to operating DCUs in the US and 2) determine whether distances between donor hospitals and DCUs are associated with the likelihood of donor transfer.

Time & Place: Sunday, June 2, 2024 at 9:15am in Poster Hall, Exhibit Hall A, Level 2


Session: The first steps for pig liver xenograft to human implementation

Abraham Shaked, MD, PhD, Eldridge L. Eliason Professor of Surgery

Description: Dr. Shaked discuses initial results from a research study at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania- which marked a milestone in the quest for a more effective option to “bridge” critically ill patients to liver transplant. In December 2023, the research team announced the first successful completion of an experiment to circulate a recently deceased donor’s blood through a genetically engineered pig liver outside their body – an effort they plan to study further in hopes of providing options to save more patients from dying while waiting for transplants.

Time & Place: Monday, June 3, 2024 at 2:10pm in Room 116 Level 1


Session: Regulatory T Cell Expansion and Prolongation of Cardiac Allograft Survival Using Lipid Encapsulated Messenger RNA Encoding Foxp3

Wayne William Hancock, MD, PhD, FRCPA, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Description: Many investigators have focused their attention on manipulation of T-regulatory (Treg) cells to improve transplant outcomes. Strategies reported include use of Treg adoptive cell therapy (engineered T cells or CAR-Tregs); Treg expansion using IL-2 modified to promote its stability and half-life and/or selectivity for the IL-2R alpha chain preferentially expressed by Treg cells under basal conditions; and pharmacologic agents such as certain HDAC inhibitors that increase Foxp3 production, acetylation and transactivation. However, nucleic acid-based approaches have not been reported. Since, the transcription factor, Foxp3, is essential for the production, proliferation and survival of T-regulatory (Treg) cells, we tested whether delivery of Foxp3 mRNA to host T cells could expand the Treg population and promote allograft survival.

Time & Place: Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 9:15am in Poster Hall, Exhibit Hall A, Level 2


Session: Interventions to improve early transplant outcomes

Marina Serper, MD, MS, associate professor in Gastroenterology

Time & Place: Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 1:30pm in Room 117, Level 1


For a full list of speakers and presentation titles, visit the ATC2024 website.

Interview Requests

To speak with any of the other experts attending from the Perelman School of Medicine, please email Penn Medicine press officer, Matt Toal, at


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.

The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.

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