← Back to Oct 2013

How Lucky ... to be President-Elect of the ISHLT!

links image Hermann Reichenspurner, MD, PhD
Professor and Chairman
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery
Medical Director
University Heart Center Hamburg

While rotating on my student elective at Stanford University Hospital in 1982, the transplant group within the department was very excited that there was a new scientific society focusing only on heart transplantation. Two years later in New York City in 1984, I attended my first Society meeting and presented my thesis on "Cyto-immunological monitoring after heart transplantation." At that time the Society was called the International Society for Heart Transplantation. Despite being very nervous in the presentation and discussion, I received the Philip K Caves award - my first scientific award and a very proud moment! (Read more on the Philip K. Caves Award at http://www.ishlt.org/awards/.)

Early on, I started working in different scientific councils, was invited to participate on several program committees, and eventually was elected to the Board of Directors. When Jim Kirklin became president of the ISHLT, he asked me to serve as Program Chair for the meeting in Chicago in 2010. This was the highlight of my career in our society and turned out to be a major challenge since the whole meeting was jeopardized by the eruption of a volcano in Iceland! Nevertheless, the meeting was a great success and we had lots of fun.

The ISHLT is such a great society because it is a very mixed group of highly motivated and intelligent scientists (not only boring surgeons - just kidding!), composed of different clinicians, researchers and nurses focusing on diagnosis and treatment of terminal heart and lung failure.

In my experience, members of the ISHLT are extremely reliable and our committee meetings are always on time with a high presence of all participants—something rarely seen in any other scientific society.

In recent years we have encouraged involvement among our young members by founding the highly motivated Junior Faculty and Trainee Council and organizing exciting mentor meetings and lunches.

My plans would be for ISHLT to remain the home of all scientists, clinicians and nurses focusing on heart and lung failure and to expand its horizons beyond transplantation. Many topics have rapidly rising importance such as mechanical circulatory support and pulmonary hypertension. Very importantly, basic research plays a major role and will hopefully thrive even more in the future.

I can state openly that ISHLT always has been and always will my most favorite scientific society!

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Share via:

links image    links image    links image    links image