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2014 Recipients of the ISHLT Leach-Abramson-Imhoff Links Travel Awards

links imageThe ISHLT Leach-Abramson-Imhoff Links Travel Awards, funded in part by the generous support from W.O. and Joan Leach (Gadsden, Alabama, USA), Mrs. Sue Abramson (Birmingham, Alabama, USA) and Mr. Larry Imhoff (La Place, Louisiana, USA), were created to support the growth and development of our future leaders from within our society including physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. Those motivated enough with investigation, communication, and dissemination of new ideas for the betterment of patients with failing lungs and/or a failing heart including such conditions as pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and from ischemic, nonischemic to congenital heart diseases should be awarded for their efforts.

Eligibility requirements include:

  1. Any healthcare professional including but not limited to nurses, nurse coordinators, social workers, pharmacists, therapists, dietitians and early career physicians are eligible and must be a member of the ISHLT regardless of duration in their career.
  2. An imposed restriction on physicians is that they must be in their Early Career-within 7 years of training, Assistant Professor equivalent, or junior faculty level with rare exceptions.
  3. Individuals must display some form of research interest, basic, clinical, translational or outcomes investigations or at a minimum display some skill in journalism best exemplified by their contributions to the Links Newsletter engendering fresh and creative ideas.

Each year, the winners are selected from a pool of nominees by the ISHLT Links Travel Award Committee (LTAC). This committee includes the following individuals: the Links Editor-in-Chief, ISHLT Executive Director, ISHLT President, ISHLT Program Chair, and the Links Managing Editor.

The 2014 winners of the ISHLT Leach-Abramson-Imhoff Links Travel Awards were a cut above the other candidates for this year's writer awards. With the rapid movement of replacement therapy, the importance of understanding the immune system, transplantation and prevention cannot be emphasized enough. Let's extend a warm ISHLT congratulation to these writers.

Writer of the Year: $2,500

links imageChristopher R. Ensor, PharmD, BCPS-CV
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Clinical Faculty, Thoracic Transplantation
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Our former-Chair and founding member of the Pharmacy and Pharmacology Council, Christopher Ensor, delivered an outstanding "Year in Review" (May 2013). But it was his clear, succinct and well-orchestrated summary on "Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pneumonia Prophylaxis After Lung Transplantation: The Bactrim Story..." (Dec 2013) which was nothing short of spectacular setting him apart from the rest earning this year's Writer of the Year. His creative approach and assemblage about a very simple and inexpensive preventive strategy structured with 1) the challenge, 2) the data, and 3) the conclusion, has allowed us to eliminate the Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in lung transplant recipients.

First Runner-Up: $1,500

links imageAmanda Ingemi, PharmD
Transplant Clinical Specialist
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Norfolk, VA, USA

In keeping with the theme on prevention, another Pharm-D writer provided an important article on "Vaccines: the First Line of Infection Prophylaxis" (Sept 2013). Amanda Ingemi of Norfolk, Virginia is this year's first runner-up. This clear, concise and organized article gives us an important strategy with a checklist of the appropriate vaccines necessary for successful transplant outcomes.

Honorable Mention: $1,000

links imageSimon Urschel, MD
Clinical Director Pediatric Cardiac Transplant,
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology
University of Alberta / Stollery Children's Hospital
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Simon Urschel's article, "First Naïve, Later Delinquent: How Immune Maturation Benefits and Jeopardizes Transplantation" (March 2013), shares with us the duality of the reality that children are different. The sickest among the sickest infants have the best conditional survival rates after heart transplantation. His article summarizes today's understanding of the natural maturation of the immunization from infancy to independence right into adulthood.

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