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Advances and Challenges in Organ Transplantation Research

Life and Matter Sciences International Seminar Friday, October 25, 2019 9:30 hours Madrid

General information:

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity. 

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

Universidad CEU San Pablo, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and Organización Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT)


Jordi Cano OchandoLaboratorio de Inmunología del Instituto de Salud Carlos III de Majadahonda.

Estanislao Nistal VillánFacultad de Farmacia, Universidad CEU San Pablo. Madrid.


  • Description
  • Programme

Organ transplantation is a consolidated clinical procedure that prolongs and improves the quality of life of thousands of people with terminal organ failure. In 2018, Spain registered a total of 2,241 donors (48 donors per million inhabitants). As a world leader, this high donation rate allowed a total of 5,321 solid organ transplants in our country that same year: 3,313 renal, 1,230 hepatic, 321 cardiac, 369 pulmonary, 82 pancreatic and 6 small intestine. The Spanish Model in donation and transplantation is responsible for the remarkable improvement of organ donation in Spain. This activity was initially established by the National Transplant Organization (ONT), which in 2019 celebrates its 30th anniversary. Despite the increasing number of transplants performed compared to previous years and with other countries in the world, the number of patients who are in need of a transplant increases every year and represents one of the fundamental problems in solid organ transplantation: the discrepancy between the demand and the availability of organs..

Tissue engineering represents a promising approach to the problem of organ shortage. The development of organs generated by bioengineering from three-dimensional structures of extracellular matrix could become an unlimited potential source of organs for transplantation. This innovative perspective integrates multi-thematic approaches to areas such as tissue engineering, stem cell biology and transplant immunology.

Currently, the acceptance of transplanted organs depends on the immune response of the recipient. To avoid rejection, transplanted patients receive daily immunosuppressive drugs for life, which compromises the long-term survival of the transplanted organ due to their toxicity. Despite efforts to avoid the side effects of currently available immunosuppressive agents, no alternative regimen has seriously challenged the almost universal use of these medications. This underscores the need for additional approaches to develop tolerance induction protocols. Mixed chimerism, cell therapy and nanoimmunotherapy have recently emerged as therapeutic innovations that improve the effectiveness of current treatments. The clinical and pre-clinical results of these new experimental therapies demonstrate that induction of tolerance to the transplanted organ is possible in experimental animal models and in humans. Consequently, research centering on the prevention of organ-specific immune responses provides a framework for the development of targeted therapies that promote transplant tolerance.

Fundación Ramón Areces, CEU San Pablo University, the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) and the National Transplant Organization (ONT) have organized this symposium which focuses on the latest advances in the field of organ transplant research and which aims to review the progress in the generation of bio-artificial organs and new approaches to tolerance induction. The objective of the meeting is to center the attention on the next frontier that represents the transformation of such advances into a clinical reality. A key element is to promote efficient research which improves current chronic immunosuppression therapies and overcomes existing limitations in organ transplantation.

The coordinators wish to express their gratitude to the Spanish Transplant Society (SET) and the Spanish Immunology Society (SEI) for their invaluable contributions to making this meeting a success.

Friday, October 25

9:00 h.

Attendee check-in

9:30 h.


Federico Mayor Zaragoza 
President of the Scientific Council of Fundación Ramón Areces.

Elisabeth Coll    
Head of the Medical Service of the National Transplant Organization (ONT).

Raquel Yotti  
Director of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

Coral Barbas  
Directora de la Escuela de Doctorado de la Universidad CEU San Pablo (CEINDO) y directora del Centro de Metabolómica y Bioanálisis de la Universidad CEU San Pablo (CEMBIO).

Morning session



 10:00 h.

 Moderator: Jordi Cano Ochando


Strategies for the induction of tolerance in primates and humans

Joren Madsen
Director MGH Transplant Center. Codirector Center for Transplantation Sciences. Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

10:30 h.


10:45 h.

Generation of bio-artificial organs for transplants

Basak Uygun
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Assistant Bioengineer, Massachusetts General Hospital.

11:15 h.


11:30 h.

Nanomedicine for the induction of tolerance to transplants 

Willem Mulder
Professor of Radiology, Director of Nanomedicine Program. Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

12:00 h.



12:15 h.


12:35 h.

Regulating macrophages as cell therapy in transplants 

James Hutchinson 
Professor of Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg, Department of General Surgery, University Hospital of Regensburg. 

13:05 h.


13:20 h.

Transplants: Regulatory T-cell therapy in pediatric heart transplantation

Rafael Correa Rocha
Group Head of the Immuno-Regulation Laboratory. Gregorio Marañón Health Research Institute (IISGM).

13:50 h.



14:05 h.


Afternoon session


                                                Moderator: Estanislao Nistal Villán 


16:00 h.

Organ transplant research: who and how?

Elisabeth Coll
Head of the Medical Service of the National Transplant Organization (ONT).

16:30 h.


16:45 h.

Roundtable: Advances and challenges in organ transplantation research


Elisabeth Coll
Head of the Medical Service of the National Transplant Organization (ONT).

Beatriz de Pascual-Teresa
Decana de la Facultad de Farmacia de la Universidad CEU San Pablo.



Domingo Hernández
President of the Spanish Transplant Society (SET). Nephrology Service. Carlos Haya University Hospital.

Marcos López
Responsible for the Research Group "Transplant and Autoimmunity. Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital -IDIVAL. Santander.

Jordi Cano Ochando

Estela Paz
Head of the Immunology Service of the 12 de Octubre University Hospital.

Oriol Bestard
Head of the Kidney Transplant Unit of the Bellvitge University Hospital.

17:30 h.

Closing ceremony: Advances and Challenges in Organ Transplantation Research

Elisabeth Coll
Head of the Medical Service of the National Transplant Organization (ONT) .

Jordi Cano Ochando 

Estanislao Nistal Villán

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