2017 Board of Directors Election

Voting for the AST Board of Directors opened on Monday, March 27, 2017. All eligible voters were sent an email with directions on how to place votes. If you have not received this email, please check your spam folder. To ensure email delivery, add elections@vote-now.com to your accepted senders list. 

The online voting site will close at 5:00 PM CT on May 1, 2017. Election results will be announced during the AST Town Hall. 

President-Elect

Dianne B. McKay

I am honored to be the nominee for President-elect of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). My interest in serving the AST as its President-elect and President is an extension of an unwavering commitment to the organization for over 25 years ever since I joined as a young physician/scientist. I am committed to the society’s mission and vision and have had the privilege of serving in many AST committees, task forces, communities of practice and to be part of its leadership as a Councilor at Large and Secretary. My clinical career focus has been entirely on transplantation. I have been devoted to the day-to-day care of kidney transplant patients and their live donors, and have also been fortunate to be involved in the care of liver and heart transplant recipients. I have been directly involved in the administrative/regulatory aspects of the field and have been a steadfast advocate for policies that promote greater access and better care of our patients. My investigational career has been focused on understanding aspects of the immune system as they apply directly to the transplanted patient and the donor organ. I have supported the field of transplantation research, not only by my direct laboratory investigational efforts, but also by my support of transplant research in my service as a grant reviewer and on national task forces directed at informing the NIH of the importance of transplantation research (e.g., NIDDK, Kidney Research National Dialogue, NIH). As my role in the leadership of the AST progresses I look forward to the challenge of promoting advances in the field of transplantation, both related to patient access and meaningful research. Read More

Secretary

Richard N. Formica, Jr.

My vision for the American Society of Transplantation (AST) is composed of three interdependent goals; ongoing and improved service to members, improving the financial position to better fund research and to continue to expand its patient focused advocacy efforts that help shape the policy and practice of solid organ transplantation. The AST is a unique society in that its members come from a variety of professional backgrounds and serve different patient populations. The strength of this diversity gives the AST the moral authority and intellectual resources to take a leadership role in addressing the issues facing organ transplantation.

At its core the AST is a membership organization and service to its members is its primary mission. I believe the AST should continue to look for opportunities to allow its members to use their creativity and talents to enhance the AST mission. This can be achieved by finding new ways to fund the communities of practice. The AST should consider instituting a system whereby in a triennial fashion, the COPs are surveyed to assess the educational and programmatic needs they foresee as needed in the coming three years. In addition to providing time to complete projects this approach will allow for better budgeting and deploying of resources. Read More 

 

Councilors-at-Large

Andrew Adams

I believe that the AST is the organization that best represents our community.  Physicians, scientists, surgeons, pharmacists, administrators as well as other transplant health professionals are all members working together to improve care for transplant recipients.  As a clinically active liver transplant surgeon with a focus on both pediatric and adult patients, I have personally witnessed many of the challenges that confront us. Whether it is the lack of appropriate resources to provide optimal patient care, the immunologic or social barriers that limit desired outcomes, or the unsettling landscape of scientific funding, we and our patients are constantly facing new challenges.  I view the mission of the AST as advancing the cause of transplantation and supporting us in our primary objective, which is to improve the length and quality of our patients’ lives.

There are many opportunities for the AST to lead our field and I have a particular interest in two approaches: expanding mentorship opportunities and increasing support for the development of new immunomodulatory therapies. I believe one key strategy to enlarge the scope of our society’s influence is a continued and expanded program to support mentorship of trainees and young faculty.  This effort should include not only those who are interested in basic science research but also seek out those focused on health services research and quality improvement efforts.  Through expanded programs to encourage mentorship led by established scientists and physicians, we can attract the best and brightest trainees to our field.  Read More

 

Deborah B. Adey

Leadership is demonstrated when others want to follow you and want to listen to what you have to say. Though it has taken time for me to recognize by own leadership skills, in retrospect I started developing these skills early on, back as early as elementary school as a patrol leader in girl scouts and later in college as the President of the Microbiology Club. As a physician I have served on academic committees and always accepted the responsibility and taken action based on the vision and purpose of the committee. I developed and ran the Transplant Nephrology Fellowship Program at UCSF for seven years. Development of outstanding faculty was my goal and every fellow trained under me has matured into a successful faculty member at a prominent transplant program. 

I am currently the Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at UCSF. We have a group of intelligent and strong minded physicians that I have been trying to mold into a unified team. I acknowledge their differences, and take to heart their career goals, all the while building a sense that we are working together for a common goal of continuing to be a premier transplant center. I strongly feel that one best leads by example. I am very much a team player and expect other to be team players, with a team that includes not only physicians and surgeons, but nurses and administrative assistants as well. Read More

 

Enver Akalin

I would like to serve at AST as a councilor-at-large to bring my 20 years experience in kidney transplantation. I have had experience in basic, translational, and clinical research, and management of big transplant programs. I have experience in organ allocation as serving as a Member of Medical Board of New York Organ Donor Network and Research and Ethics Subcommittee. I have experience in running New York Society of Nephrology as an academic program chair, treasurer and president. I have served at American Society of Transplantation, Clinical Trials Committee Member and currently chair Transplantation and Immunology Research Network, Clinical Science Grant Review Committee and transplant nephrology fellowship Accreditation Committee. I am currently a member of American Society of Transplantation, Kidney Pancreas Community of Practice. Read More

 

 

Vikas R. Dharnidharka

Having held many AST positions and served it faithfully in many diverse positions, I would be truly honored to now serve on the AST Board of Directors. AST has been my “home” society for my entire career. I believe that I have the requisite knowledge of transplantation, of AST and of governance, to be able to contribute effectively to the Board.

As someone solicited by 2 different Department chairs to serve as an academic Division Director for the past 9 years, I have to necessarily keep exhibiting, on a daily basis, each of the following: 1. Basic leadership skills (not just to manage, but to lead). 2. A 5-year horizon in thinking/commitment, plus create/edit the strategic plan and SWOT analysis on a yearly basis. 3. Ability to build teamwork among peers with different needs and interests. 

Both within my division and at AST, I have worked with people of different needs, interests, backgrounds and agendas and successfully directed teams to achieve their intended goals. As the last AST Pediatric committee chair who had to create a new Pediatric Community of Practice and shepherd it for the first 2 years, I had to think strategically and work effectively within a collective decision-making body. Read More 

 

David P. Foley

Since becoming an AST member in 2002, I have been a participant in several AST supported scientific meetings.  However, it was not until I became an active member of the Liver and Intestines Advisory Council and the Executive Committee of LICOP that I started to appreciate the true benefits of being in the AST.

My individual goals as a transplant surgeon have always been to become the best clinical surgeon, researcher and educator that I could possibly be. Academic transplant surgery has allowed me the opportunity to carry out my goals of providing optimal patient care, train the next generation of transplant surgeons and physicians, and develop innovative research strategies to move the field forward. The most successful clinical programs require a cohesive, multidisciplinary team that includes experts from surgical and non-surgical disciplines. This necessary framework seen at successful transplant centers is the bedrock of the AST. Read More

 

Marian G. Michaels

The American Society of Transplantation has provided a home for my professional career.  As a pediatric infectious diseases specialist (PIDS) my heart lay in understanding and preventing infections in children who were immunosuppressed. In Pittsburgh, in the early 1990s, this led directly to pediatric transplantation. Mapping out the epidemiology of their infections, trying to better understand the complexity of their interaction with viruses, as well devising preventive strategies became my life’s mission. While the PIDS Society could be a home for part of my world it did not have the bandwidth to help with transplantation and I found myself seeking mentorship from the adult transplant team. Very early on they introduced me to The American Society of Transplant Physicians which ultimately became AST.  This was by far and away the society that aligned with my core mission. Since then I have had the opportunity to watch the society grow and develop. Not only watched, but I actively participated in our society’s maturation into a highly inclusive group using Communities of Practices (COP) model. In fact, infectious diseases was the prototype COP and Pediatrics followed shortly afterwards. The COP model allows for an open interaction of subspecialists within the field of organ transplantation to organize professionally, foster ideas for research, and develop educational tools for our direct community as well as the public. Equally important the COPs demonstrate a dedication to enhance the development of future leaders by giving them a seat at the table and providing mentorship. Both COPs have been highly successful in bringing in greater membership and accomplishing goals of AST. The positive impact and contributions that I have had working with the COPs has reinforced my commitment to our society. Read More