Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation was launched in 1996. It is part of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of organ transplantation is divided into 18 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Section Editors for this issue.
Princy N. Kumar, MD is Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Senior Associate Dean of Students at Georgetown University School of Medicine, USA, and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. She directs the HIV/AIDS Clinic at Georgetown University Hospital.
Dr Kumar's areas of research interest focus on infectious diseases, HIV disease and outcomes for both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. She has a specific interest in the effect of race and gender on the success of antiretroviral regimens. She has participated as Principle or Co-Investigator in a number of studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Her clinical interest is in infections in transplant. Dr Kumar has received many teaching awards, including two Sol Katz Society Awards for Persistent Teaching Excellence from Georgetown University Hospital, three Golden Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence from Georgetown University School of Medicine, the Kaiser Permanente Award for Clinical Science for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Medical Students, the Laurence H. Kyle Award for Excellence in House Staff Education, and was inducted into the MAGIS Society of Master Teachers at Georgetown University. Dr Kumar was the first woman in Georgetown University School of Medicine history to be inducted into the Golden Orchard for sustained dedication to teaching medical students. She is a Consultant to the Food & Drug Administration for the Antiviral Drugs Committee, is a Consultant to the Peace Core, and is Medical Director for Gift of Peace, Mother Teresa House for Homeless Patients with AIDS in Washington, DC.
Dr Kumar's published works appear in the journals Review of Infectious Disease, Transfusion, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, American Journal of Roentgenology, Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Clinical Infectious Diseases, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Investigation, among others. She has edited two texts, and has contributed a number of abstracts to both national and international scientific meetings and symposia.
Lucienne Chatenoud trained as an M.D. in Milano, Italy and a Ph.D.D.Sc. in Immunology in Paris, France. Her work developed the interface of basic research in T lymphocytes mediating allograft rejection and autoimmune diseases, and the biotechnology of monoclonal antibodies and their clinical translation, particularly in the areas of transplantation and autoimmunity.
Lucienne Chatenoud is Professor of Immunology at the Université Paris Descartes. She is the head of the Laboratoire d'Immunologie at Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades and of a research team in unit U1013 of INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), also at Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades. In 2007 she was appointed Senior Professor at the Institut Universitaire de France (Chair: ‘Immunologie des maladies auto-immunes et de la transplantation’)
Her initial research, in the early 80 s, was strongly impacted by the availability of the first monoclonal antibodies against T cell receptors (OKT3 a CD3-specific antibody) and especially by the possibility of applying them as novel therapeutic tools in transplantation. At that time, she had already accumulated systematic data arguing against the prevailing dogma that such antibodies exhibited their in vivo effects by depleting T cells. In contrast, her results supported the view that one main mode of action of CD3-specific antibodies is antigenic modulation which leads to the combined loss of the CD3 molecule and the T cell receptor for antigen recognition from the cell surface. A second, major step in her career was when, with her team, she decided to go back from the ‘clinic’ to the ‘bench’ by conducting novel research into experimental models of disease. As a result the team described the seminal, now classical, experiments demonstrating how a short CD3-specific antibody treatment could restore self-tolerance in non obese diabetic (NOD) mice that develop a spontaneous form of autoimmune, insulin dependent diabetes. This set the scene on one hand to further studies concerned with the mechanisms by which such tolerance could be induced and maintained and, on the other hand, to a return to the clinic with more sophisticated tools than 20 years earlier (e.g. engineered, humanized CD3 monoclonal antibodies) to tackle the common goal of achieving tolerance therapeutically. The exact same protocol established in the NOD mouse was translated to patients presenting recent-onset insulin dependent diabetes. The important result was that treatment for just one week arrested the progression of disease for at least 18–48 months, certainly a major breakthrough in treatment of autoimmune diabetes, and a proof or principle of how to link basic research to clinical application.
Maria Cristina Cuturi
Maria Cristina Cuturi, MD is Group Coordinator for the “Study of allogenic immunological tolerance mechanisms and dendritic cell functions” at the Inserm UMR643 ITUN Institute in Nantes, France. Dr Cuturi's main reseach interest is focused on the study of the mechanisms involved in immune tolerance in transplantation.
After obtaining a medical doctor degree in 1982 at the University of Uruguay, she was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Immunology Department, at the Clinical Hospital, University of Barcelona, Spain in the group of Jaime Martorell. She joined the Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, USA in 1985 as an Associate Scientist in the group of Giorgio Trinchieri. She moved to France in 1990 as an Associate Scientist at the INSERM U211 and in 1994 she obtained a tenured position at the INSERM UMR643 and created her own group. In 1999 she obtained the HDR qualification from the University of Nantes, France.
Dr Cuturi has several international collaborations and since 2005 has been WP2 (cell therapy group) leader of the RISET European program devoted to transplantation tolerance. She has often been invited to give seminar and presentation of the results from her team in international meetings. She was responsible of the organization of several NAT meetings.
Dr Cuturi is Reviewer of several journals including Transplantation, American Journal of Transplantation, the Journal of Immunology, the European journal of Immunology, and Circulation. She has published more than 80 papers in prominent journals such as the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Blood, Journal of Immunology, European Journal of Immunology, FASEB, American Journal of Transplantation, and Transplantation.
Dr Hill received his MD from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay, in 2002. He obtained his PhD in immunology in 2006 working at the Nantes University Hospital, France at Dr Ignacio Anegon's laboratory. He followed post-doctoral training with Maria Cristina Cuturi at INSERM U643 in Nantes, France. Since 2010 he has been Associate Professor at the Immunobiology department, Montevideo Faculty of Medicine, directing the Immunoregulation Unit. Current major lines of research are immunoregulation by dendritic cells in transplantation and cancer. Tolerogenic dendritic cells, immunoregulatory cytokines as well as tolerogenic cross-presentation constitute his major interests.