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Editorial introductions

Section Editor(s): Azari, Kodi; Brandacher, Gerald; Pileggi, Antonello

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: December 2013 - Volume 18 - Issue 6 - p v–vi
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000034
Editorial introductions

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.

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Kodi Azari

Dr Kodi Azari is a plastic surgeon, microvascular surgeon, and hand surgeon and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. He serves as Chief of the Reconstructive Transplantation section in the Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation and is the Co-Medical Director of Operation Mend, which is a UCLA Health System program aimed at providing complex reconstructive surgery for service members wounded in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Dr Azari received his general surgery and plastic surgery training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA. He also completed a tissue engineering fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, USA and a hand and microvascular surgery fellowship at UCLA.

Prior to UCLA, Dr Azari, was an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of the Hand Surgery Fellowship in the University of Pittsburgh, Division of Plastic Surgery and served as the Chief of Hand Surgery at UPMC-Mercy Hospital, USA. He has been involved in both clinical and laboratory research for over 22 years and has now assembled the UCLA Reconstructive Transplantation Research Collaborative group. He is the author of numerous research articles, book chapters and lectures extensively, both nationally and internationally, on hand surgery and reconstructive transplantation.

He is a founding member of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation (ASRT), Chair of the 3rd Biennial Meeting program committee, and now sits of the organization's board of directors. He was, furthermore, the Associate Editor for the Annals of Plastic Surgery's Composite Allotransplantation and Research Section from 2010-2012.

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Gerald Brandacher

Dr Gerald Brandacher is the Scientific Director of the Johns Hopkins Reconstructive Transplantation program. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery (PAR) in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2010, Dr Brandacher was a key member of the hand transplant programs in Innsbruck, Austria and at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. As scientific director of the program at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), USA he was instrumental in designing a novel cell-based immunomodulatory treatment protocol for vascularized composite allograft (VCA) and was also part of the team performing the first bilateral hand transplant and first forearm transplant in the US. His main scientific interests over the past 15 years are donor-specific immune tolerance and immunomonitoring strategies.

Dr Brandacher received his medical degree from Leopold Franzens University, Innsbruck, School of Medicine, Austria, and completed further surgical training at the Center of Operative Medicine, Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, at Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. He is the recipient of many prestigious national and international awards related to his work in reconstructive transplantation including The Young Investigator Awards of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT), The Young Innovator Award of the American Society of Transplantation and the Excellence in Research Award of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Dr Brandacher has furthermore authored more than 120 peer reviewed publications, numerous book chapters and abstracts and has edited two textbooks on hand transplantation.

He is Past-President of the Austrian Society of Surgical Research, Board Member of the Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Working Group of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT), Co-chair of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Vascular Composite Allotransplantation Advisory Council and is a founding and Board Member of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation (ASRT).

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Antonello Pileggi

Antonello Pileggi, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician-scientist and academician with experience in multi-disciplinary basic, translational and clinical research focused on cellular therapies applied to diabetes, transplantation immunobiology, and regenerative medicine. He is an Associate Professor at the Division of Cellular Transplantation of the Departments of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami, USA. He directs the Preclinical Cell Processing and Translational Models Program of the Cell Transplant Center at the Diabetes Research Institute, USA. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pavia in Italy.

Dr Pileggi has authored multiple scientific book chapters and over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Health, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Helmsley Charitable Trust, American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, University of Miami, and industry. He is member of several international professional organizations (Association for Academic Surgery (AAS); American Diabetes Association (ADA); American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS); Italian Association of Surgeons in North America (AISNA); Cell Transplant Society (CTS); Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FoCIS); International Pacreas & Islet transplant Association (IPITA); International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA); Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation (ISSNAF); Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Solid Organ Transplantation (MiSOT); Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS); The Transplantation Society (TTS); and The Cure Alliance) and has editorial roles for several scientific journals.

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