Many thanks to Martin Schweiger for coordinating the content for this month's issue.

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For this hot summer's issue, we start on The Road to Washington DC via an English Country Estate by Andy Fisher. We continue on with another Strategic Planning Update and the Call for Abstracts: ISHLT 36th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. The Pediatric Council dutifully provides us summaries on the Management of Allosensitization in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Candidate by Matthew Zinn and Brian Feingold; From Clinical to Pathological: The Evolution of Diagnostics in Antibody Mediated Rejection by Jennifer Conway; and the Treatment of Antibody Mediated Rejection in Pediatric Heart Transplantation by Erin Albers.

Next we have special tributes: You, Abstracts, ISHLT and JHLT: How You Improved the Impact Factor and The Inimitable Mandeep Mehra. Finally, in our Editor's Corner we march on gaining insight from great leaders with the US Presidents from Old Hickory to Young Hickory and the Manifest Destiny. Because, he has greatly influenced the American identity and patriotism we pay special homage to Thomas Jefferson and His Accomplishments. When visiting Washington, DC at a minimum visit Washington's Mt Vernon and Jefferson's Monticello to compare and contrast these great Founding Fathers' homes and their plantations.

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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The Road to Washington DC via an English Country Estate...

Andrew Fisher, FRCP, PhD

One of my first responsibilities as Programme Chair for the 2016 ISHLT Annual Meeting was to choose a programme committee that reflected the professional diversity, geography, gender and specialist skills of the ISHLT membership. Now 4 months into this role, I appreciate why careful selection of this group of individuals was so important. In mid-July the committee of 35 people came together at a secluded historical location outside London to develop the final invited content for the 42 symposia and 3 plenary sessions to be held in Washington DC next year. Read more →

The First 100 Days: Presidential Address to the ISHLT

Duane Davis, MD, MBA

It is appropriate that this report of the 1st 100 days as ISHLT President is focused on change and transition. Before focusing on the year ahead, I would like to congratulate Andreas Zuckerman and the program committee on the outstanding 35th annual program in Nice. The content and presentations were excellent and the venue was exceptional. Nice was nice!!! While it will be a tough act to follow, particularly the Presidential presentation with the Hamburg ballet, Andrew Fisher and the program committee are up to the task. Read more →


A big THANK YOU to everyone who completed the Strategic Planning Survey. We received responses from 404 members whose specialties, ages, and geographic locations were very representative of the membership as a whole. We're off to a great start, but we would still like to hear from the rest of you! For those of you who did not participate in the survey but would like to provide input into the strategic planning process, you may do so by sending an email to or by communicating with your Council Chair. During the month of July, each of the Council Chairs will be facilitating discussions with their Council members regarding the future direction of ISHLT. Some will do this via surveys, others via conference calls, others via discussions in the online community. The Strategic Planning Task Force encourages you to be PROACTIVE in this process. Take the initiative to give us YOUR input into the future of YOUR Society.


Call for Abstracts: ISHLT 36th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions

links imageThe Abstract Submission System is now live on the ISHLT website at The deadline for receipt of abstracts is November 3, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.

NEW THIS YEAR: the Main Menu page of the Abstract Submission Site offers three different link options for submitting an abstract: New Abstract Submission, New Junior Faculty Clinical Case Reports (JFCCR) Submission and New Late Breaking Clinical Science (LBCS) Submission. Read more →


Management of Allosensitization in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Candidate

Matthew Zinn, DO
Brian Feingold, MD, MS

Health care providers have been trying to unlock the secret to managing highly sensitized patients prior to transplantation since the significance of a donor-specific crossmatch was recognized by Patel and Terasaki in 1969.The majority of discussion and practice has focused on avoidance of sensitizing agents and desensitization therapy. Use of cryopreserved homografts in staged single ventricle palliation continues to produce highly sensitized patients. It seems like "failed Fontan physiology" and "single ventricle pump dysfunction" account for just as many transplant evaluations as end-stage cardiomyopathy. Read more →

From Clinical to Pathological: The Evolution of Diagnostics in Antibody Mediated Rejection

Jennifer Conway, MD

links imageAntibody mediated rejection (AMR) has mystified the transplant community for many years and continues to generate discussion and controversy. AMR occurs when an antibody targets donor endothelium, which sets the stage for an immunological assault by activation of complement and other mechanisms. While this entity was first described in the 1980s, the transplant community continues to refine and develop a universal definition of AMR. Much of this work has been done through the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant (ISHLT), with the first cardiac working group formulating a definition in 1990 with further development and expansion in 2004. Read more →

Treatment of Antibody Mediated Rejection in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

Erin Albers, MD, MSCI

Since the beginning of pediatric heart transplantation three decades ago, improved understanding of transplant immunology combined with more effective and less toxic immunosuppressive medications have led to lower rates of cellular rejection and excellent short-term outcomes. However, antibody mediated rejection (AMR) remains an important obstacle to long-term graft survival. Indeed, AMR is being diagnosed more often in pediatric heart transplant recipients, in part due to more refined diagnostic tools and criteria, but also as a result of a growing pool of high-risk transplant candidates, particularly those sensitized to potential donor HLA antigens from previous surgeries to repair congenital heart disease and/or mechanical support requirements. Read more →


You, Abstracts, ISHLT and JHLT: How You Improved the Impact Factor

Vincent Valentine, MD

The ISHLT is a multidisciplinary and professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced heart and lung disease through transplantation, mechanical support and innovative therapies via research, education and advocacy. The force behind this dedication is of the members, by the members and for the members. We are the members and because of us and our dedication to our patients, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation is today first in the category of Transplantation, third in the category of all Surgical Journals and ninth in Cardiovascular. Read more →

The Inimitable Mandeep Mehra

Vincent Valentine, MD

The one who has been steering us along has been none other than our very own Dr Mandeep Mehra. Who is Mandeep Mehra? Mandeep is not unlike Thomas Jefferson. He is our behind the scenes and in front of the scenes ISHLT leader. But unlike Jefferson, he does not sit quietly and is not a poor public speaker. Mandeep is a gifted public speaker, is our Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and today serves as Medical Director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and Executive Director of the Collaborative Center for Advanced Heart Disease. Read more →


Thomas Jefferson and His Accomplishments

Vincent Valentine, MD

The more I read about Thomas Jefferson, the smarter he gets. We can spend nearly a lifetime learning the views or trying to learn the views of Jefferson on everything. There are literally thousands of his letters he penned. Above all, Jefferson is second to none in terms of American Character and Patriotism and yet he is the American Sphinx. This fact is easily supported by Dumas Malone, 1892 - 1986, who spent his life studying Jefferson, read over 60,000 correspondences written by him, poured over the letters exchanged between two of the most brilliant Presidents (John Adams and Jefferson) and above all completed a 6-volume magnificent compendium on Jefferson. Yet despite all of this focus on Jefferson, Dumas state he never got the understand him, "he eluded me." Read more →

Old Hickory to Young Hickory and the Manifest Destiny

Vincent Valentine, MD

Despite receiving very little education, Andrew Jackson was revered as a self-made frontiersman and a champion of the common people. He was born very poor in a log cabin in South Carolina on March 15, 1767. He earned the nickname "Old Hickory" by those he commanded because he was strong and tough like a hickory tree. He was loved by his soldiers and the American people. Unaware of the peace treaty signed to end the War of 1812, Jackson led troops in a decisive battle against the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815 which transformed him into America's greatest living national hero. From that point on, it was assumed he would one day be President. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness"
— Alexis de Tocqueville

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Disclaimer: Any opinion, conclusion or recommendation published by the Links is the sole expression of the writer(s) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ISHLT.