links imageOut of Europe and France we return to the United States as we transition the ISHLT meeting from Nice to Washington, DC. Over the past year, we learned about Voltaire, the Patriarch of the French Enlightenment and since we are headed to Washington, we have the Voltaire of America, Benjamin Franklin. Also, to have a deeper understanding of Washington, the United States and leadership, we will engage in a study of the American Presidents over the next several months. In this issue, we will start with George Washington. Other articles in this issue come from our illustrious council reports and a Special Interest report from J Daniel Malone, a third year medical student from UTMB in Galveston. He is a former Navy Lieutenant, who served as a submarine warfare officer for six years. Prior to the Navy, he graduated magna cum laude in chemical engineering from the University of Florida. His report focuses on the importance of personalized care with advances in genotype screening for warfarin dosing in patients with LVADs.

These issues over the year will get a bit America-centric for our International Society, therefore we welcome any ideas and articles from any country on history, the literary arts and the influence of other nations on America and the ISHLT.

Vincent Valentine, MD
Links Editor-in-Chief


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Onward Soldier to the ISHLT in Washington, DC

Vincent Valentine, MD

The father of America's beloved General Robert E. Lee was Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Light Horse Harry delivered the first funeral oration on the death of the American President, George Washington. An excerpt from his eulogy best encapsulates Washington, "...First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just human, temperate, and sincere: uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting..." It should be mentioned he was also first on the dance floor. Above all, he is the "Father of his Country. Born on February 22, 1732, with humble beginnings, Washington had less formal education than Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, who both studied Law. He was shaped by the wilderness, probably more so than Andrew Jackson. However, he transcribed and abided by a set of moral precepts, Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation that remains with us today. Above all, he was first in leadership, dignity, courageousness and honesty. Read more →


BSTR Council Year in Review Summary

Ed Cantu, III, MD

links imageThe Basic Science and Translational Research Council under the outstanding leadership of Past Chair, Kimberly Gandy, MD and former Vice-Chair Sonja Schrepfer had a productive year which culminated in Nice at the annual meeting. The meeting proved to be extremely productive and exhilarating for the members of the Basic Science and Translational Research Council. Many members attended and actively participated in a host of pre-meeting symposia, concurrent sessions and concurrent symposia. Read more →

HFTX Council Year in Review and a Look to the Future

Monica M. Colvin-Adams, MD

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As we plant our feet solidly into 2015, we look back on 2014 with a sense of accomplishment. We began 2014 by engaging the council membership in setting priorities for the council and developed strategic plans to increase visibility of the council and the society through collaboration, to broaden educational contributions, and to increase participation in the HFTX Council. Read more →

ID Council 2015: Full Speed Ahead

Stephanie Pouch, MD, MS

links imageThe past year was an extremely exciting one for the council, and we continue to have a large and vibrant membership. With hard work, dedication, and unparalleled multidisciplinary collaboration, we continue to tackle large and ambitious projects aimed to improve the lives of cardiothoracic transplant mechanical circulatory support (MCS) patients. Our fungal expert panel has completed its consensus document, which has since been reviewed and is being readied for publication. The MCS infection management strategies working group has also made great strides ahead and invited a multidisciplinary writing committee to author a MCS infections consensus document. One of our largest endeavors, the "What to do in the case of...?" ISHLT reference guide has been hugely successful with society members from across all fields of cardiothoracic transplant having completed their respective chapters. Finally, results of the ID Council-sponsored Mycobacterium abscessus survey administered at ISHLT Centers in 2014 were presented at a well-attended symposium in Nice. Read more →

A Year in Review and a Look Ahead from the MCS Council

Evgenij V. Potapov, MD

links imageThe highlight of the first part of the year 2015 for ISHLT was our annual congress in Nice in April, at which we reviewed and discussed the previous year's work and discussed new developments. The year 2014 was very successful year from an MCS point of view. First, the MCS Academy was a full success. There were 262 participants and over 50 registration requests could not be accepted. The feedback has been very positive, as was the acceptance of the format by both teachers and participants. This is thanks to the great efforts of U. Jorde and the MCS Academy team. The logical development of this success would be a podcast of all MCS Academy presentations and discussions, posted on the ISHLT website. Based on the feedback, some changes in the format of the MCS Academy are being considered and they will be implemented by the MCS council for next year. Read more →

Year in Review and a Look Ahead from the Pediatric Thoracic Transplant and Heart Failure Council

TP Singh, MD, and Janet Scheel, MD

links imageThe Pediatric program at the 2014 scientific session remains memorable for a special session on "Controversies in Recipient Selection". It garnered great interest and was followed by spirited discussion with standing room only space for those in attendance. The speakers have been invited to write a content summary which we anticipate will be well received by the council members. Read more →

Pharmacy & Pharmacology Council: Embrace Your Opportunities

Walter E. Uber, PharmD

links imageMike Shullo, in his LINKS article two years ago, recounted a gathering in San Diego two years prior of a small group of pharmacy practitioners with interest in thoracic pharmacotherapy. The premise of this meeting was to discuss what was perceived as an unmet need within the ISHLT; a voice and home for those with specific expertise or interest in all areas of drug therapy. From this meeting, as well as the hard work and support of others within ISHLT, we were granted an awesome opportunity to have a designated council recognized for our talents and expertise. Over the last few years, this has afforded us the ability to have direct input in organizational goals, participation as a collective, and contribution to intellectual content and practice ideas that have helped advance the Society forward in the care of this very complex patient population. Read more →

PH Council Year in Review

Amresh Raina, MD, and Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, MD

The past year since the Annual 2014 meeting for the Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Council has been a productive one. We completed our first PH monograph, our first Core Academy, and awarded our first PH grant (Bayer sponsored). The council continues to grow and promote its members. Read more →


Gattaca, LVADs, ISHLT: A War Far Strokes

J Daniel Malone and Vincent Valentine

What could be more eye-catching than a pair like Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke clutched together in Gattaca, haircuts perfect, clothing immaculate, and human features carved from perfection? As Vincent (Hawke) takes Irene's (Thurman) hand and places it over his heart, he says "but we do have one thing in common, only I don't have twenty or thirty years left in mine. Mine is already ten thousand beats overdue." Irene responds, "it's not possible." To which Vincent asserts, "they've got you looking for any flaw, that after a while that's all you see. For what it's worth, I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It is possible." Gene-specific warfarin therapy is also the glamor hot topic in medicine, and it's not only possible, it's already here. Indeed, it paves the way for patient-specific warfarin dosing and stroke prevention for indications such as mechanical heart valves and left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). This approach totally changes the way doctors will prescribe medications and ultimately gives those like Vincent the means to soldier on and pursue the Irene of their dreams. Read more →


ISHLT Strategic Planning Update

links imageAs announced at the April Annual Meeting, ISHLT is beginning a 12-month strategic planning process to determine how it can continue to best serve its mission and the heart and lung disease transplantation community in this rapidly changing environment. A Strategic Planning Task Force is leading the process, and a top priority is to provide multiple opportunities to engage all of our stakeholders in the process. We invite you to become actively involved - it's critically important that we hear from our longstanding members as well as those who are new to the Society and are our leaders of tomorrow. Your voice can and will help shape our next 5-year strategic plan.

The following is a high level overview of the process, identifying ways that you can get involved. Please note that this calendar reflects our best thinking at this point in time and may be adapted throughout the process.



We plan to provide you with an update in each issue of the LINKS so that you can follow our progress. In the meantime, please be on the alert for the online membership survey and be sure to take a few minutes to complete it so that we can incorporate your input in our deliberations. Please participate in the Council outreach efforts as well.


Benjamin Franklin, Industry and America: Lessons for the ISHLT

Vincent Valentine, MD

links imageBenjamin Franklin burst on the American scene right around the time when American thinking was dominated by the influence of Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards, a great Puritan Theologian, was famous for his sermon on "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Edwards, with a traditional view focused on the Puritan past and promulgated the sense of human and guilt with repressive theology. Franklin on the other hand, looked ahead into the future. He was the antithesis of Edwards, the pioneer who was a journalist, scientist, naturalist, businessman and most of all, a diplomat which fed his progressivism and optimism. Franklin had his critics, he was considered—"an inventor of the lightning rod, the republic, the hoax" and "the wise prophet of chicanery." In any event, he was the first American writer, yet he was really an English Colonial born in 1706, who considered himself a British subject. But it is Franklin's achievements that defined him as a self-made man and as the great American Voltaire. Read more →


Vincent G Valentine, MD

Editorial Staff

"There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones."
— Anwar Sadat

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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.