Transplant institute symposium to unite disciplines

The event will be a day of collaboration among faculty, clinicians, postdocs and students with an interest in basic and clinical immunology.

The Comprehensive Transplant Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will hold its inaugural symposium in transplant immunology 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Feb. 29, 2012, in the UAB Alumni Society House, 1301 10th Ave. South.

transplant_symposium_storyThe symposium is titled, “New Insights into Allograft Injury: The Role of Innate Immunity in Solid Organ Transplantation.” Allografts refer to human organ transplants. The event will focus on the role of the innate immune system in transplant medicine: the simpler, faster and more ancient part of immunity, in which scavenger cells home in on the site of infection or injury to dispose of dead cells or bacteria.

Kathryn Wood, D.Phil, FMedSci, professor of immunology in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford, will give the symposium’s keynote lecture on the crosstalk between innate and adaptive immunity. The symposium will bring together experts from UAB, the Alabama Transplant Center, the Lerner Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Oxford.

Devin Eckhoff, M.D., director of the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute, and Robert Gaston, M.D., CTI co-director and endowed professor in transplant nephrology in the School of Medicine, will host the symposium.

“It is the first time the transplant and basic immunology communities at UAB have collaborated on a major project, and we are excited about what we can accomplish together,” Gaston says. “Add to our collaboration here the input of leading immunologists from around the world, and you have a recipe for leadership on a globally recognized hot topic.” 

Contact Wendy Bailey at for registration.