ISHLT Highlights Research from the Next Generation with 2024 Annual Meeting Abstract Awards

Published 03 May 2024
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Award-winning presentations from early career attendees spotlight the use of DNA to predict heart failure, RNA-based therapies to optimize organs for transplant, and Daratumumab to treat pediatric patients.

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation 44th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions included more than 1,400 presentations on improving outcomes for patients with advanced heart and lung disease from investigators from around the world.

Three abstract presentations from Prague were selected to receive awards to recognize excellence from early career investigators. All conference abstracts are available to the public in a special supplement to The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation’s April 2024 issue.

The Philip K. Caves Award, Early Career Scientist Award, and Early Career & Trainee Clinical Case Dilemmas Best Presentation Award encourage and reward original high-quality research from trainees, residents, fellows, graduate students, and young researchers in fields across advanced heart and lung disease and transplantation.


Headshot of Toshiyuki KoAwarded to: Toshiyuki Ko, MD, PhD
The University of Tokyo Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Presentation Title: Quantification of Myocardial DNA Damage Predicts Prognosis of Heart Failure from Various Underlying Diseases

Abstract: DNA damage in myocardial tissue has been reported to cause the development of heart failure. In this study, the extent of DNA damage in myocardial tissue was demonstrated to determine treatment efficacy (left ventricular reverse remodeling) of medical therapies and prognosis of patients with HFrEF, regardless of different underlying diseases, suggesting that the extent of DNA damage in myocardial tissue universally determines whether cardiac function can be restored or not.


Headshot of Julianna BuchwaldAwarded to: Julianna Buchwald, BS
University of Massachusetts T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Worcester, MA USA
Presentation Title: Optimizing Hearts for Transplantation Using Small Interfering RNA-Based Therapies During Ex Vivo Machine Perfusion

Abstract: Ex vivo heart perfusion (EVHP) is a promising platform for delivery of candidate therapeutics designed to improve the quality of hearts used for transplantation. These studies represent a promising first step toward our goal of administering a cocktail of fully chemically modified small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) during EVHP to silence the family of pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic genes known to mediate ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), eventually enabling safer use of marginal hearts for human heart transplantation.


Headshot of Majid HusainAwarded to: Majid Husain, MD
UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, CA USA
Presentation Title: Favorable Use of Daratumumab in Highly Sensitized Pediatric Heart Transplant Candidates and Recipients

Abstract: Daratumumab has been used to treat AMR and for desensitization prior to heart transplantation in adults. The presented case studies demonstrate the potential efficacy of Daratumumab to treat AMR and use as desensitization therapy in the pediatric heart transplant population.

For more information about each of the awards, visit

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation is a not-for-profit, multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced heart or lung disease through transplantation, mechanical support and innovative therapies. With members in more than 50 countries, ISHLT is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the research, education and advocacy of end-stage heart and lung disease. ISHLT members represent more than 15 different professional disciplines. For more information, visit