2021 Speaker Information

CEoT features experts that you recognize covering the latest and most prevalent topics in the transplantation field. Learn more about our set of experts.

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2021 Keynote Speaker Amy P. Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D. is an oncologist and internationally recognized clinical data expert and clinical researcher.  As the Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Abernethy helps oversee FDA’s day-to-day functioning and directs special and high-priority cross-cutting initiatives that impact the regulation of drugs, medical devices, tobacco and food. As acting Chief Information Officer, she oversees FDA’s data and technical vision, and its execution.  She has held multiple executive roles at Flatiron Health and was professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, where she ran the Center for Learning Health Care and the Duke Cancer Care Research Program.  Dr. Abernethy received her M.D. at Duke University, where she did her internal medicine residency, served as chief resident, and completed her hematology/oncology fellowship. She received her Ph.D. from Flinders University, her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and is boarded in palliative medicine.


Dr. Benjamin A. Adam, MD, FRCPC is an Anatomical Pathologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta. He completed medical school and residency training in Anatomical Pathology at the University of Alberta, followed by subspecialty training in renal pathology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, cardiothoracic pathology at Toronto General Hospital, and transplantation pathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. His research is focused on molecular transplantation pathology, including the use of cutting-edge gene expression technologies to diagnose and assess allograft rejection, infection, and ex vivo perfusion-related injury and repair. He has authored over 35 peer-reviewed journal articles and traveled throughout the world to present and lecture on the topics of his research and clinical expertise.


Upton D. Allen, is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Dr. Allen is a Senior Associate Scientist in the Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children. His primary appointment is with the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Paediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children.  He is cross-appointed as a professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.  Dr. Allen is interim director of the Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre, Hospital for Sick Children. He is well recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the field of EBV-related post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). He has led numerous initiatives in the area of transplant infectious diseases. He has had numerous invited lectures internationally, visiting professorships, scientific publications, several book chapters, scientific abstracts and several peer-reviewed research grants.


Sandra Amaral, MD, MHS is the Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Program and the Hand Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology.   Dr. Amaral leads several NIH-funded studies focused on kidney transplant access and outcomes. She is the principal investigator (PI) of U-REAACT, a randomized clinical trial testing text messaging and behavioral economic incentives to promote treatment adherence in transplanted youth. She is co- PI of VIRTUUS, an international cohort study to validate urinary biomarker signals associated with rejection and infections in children with kidney transplants. She is also co-PI of the REACH study which is focused on reducing disparities in access to transplant for youth and adults.   Dr. Amaral serves on the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN) Council and is currently vice chair of the Vascular Composite Allograft Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing. 


2021 Keynote Speaker Dr. John Beigel is at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He attended the Medical College of Ohio, complete residency at the University of Cincinnati, a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and a fellowship in Infectious Disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Since completing fellowship, his research interests are primarily focused around clinical research and therapeutics in influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. He has been at the NIH since 2000 (except for one year venture in the biotechnology industry). He has led a portfolio of several multi-center international, treatment studies for influenza (including plasma therapy and combination antivirals), and most recently has led NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) for advancing therapeutics for COVID-19. His current position is Associate Director for Clinical Research within NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.


Dr. Roy Bloom graduated from University of Witwatersrand Medical School, completed a residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center, followed by nephrology fellowship training at Harvard Medical School and University of Pennsylvania. He is Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Medical Director of its Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program. Dr Bloom is currently a member of the AST Board of Directors. He has served on AST Committees related to patient care, education and practice improvement. He has been a member of various AST, KDIGO and KDOQI Work Groups. He has co-chaired the AST/ASN Transplant Course and is an AST/ASN Transplant Nephrology Core Curriculum faculty member. Dr. Bloom serves on the Cutting Edge in Organ Transplantation meeting planning committee. He has co-authored almost 200 publications. He is an associate editor for the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Research interests include transplantation viruses, clinical immunosuppression, non-invasive diagnostic tests and post-transplant outcomes.


Emily A. Blumberg, MD is a Professor of Medicine and a member of the ID Division at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the Program Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program and the Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases. She has held numerous leadership roles, including serving as the President of the American Society of Transplantation from 2019-2020, Chair of the IDSA Training Program Directors Committee and of the IDSA Medical Scholars program, Chair of the UNOS Disease Transmission Advisory Committee, and Vice-Chair of the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability.  Her research focuses on viral infections in transplant recipients and donor derived infections.


2021 Keynote Speaker Atul Butte, MD, PhD is the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor and inaugural Director of the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute (bchsi.ucsf.edu) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Butte is also the Chief Data Scientist for the entire University of California Health System, with 20 health professional schools, 6 medical schools, 5 academic medical centers, 10 hospitals, and over 1000 care delivery sites. Dr. Butte has been continually funded by NIH for 20 years, is an inventor on 24 patents, and has authored over 200 publications, with research repeatedly featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired Magazine. Dr. Butte was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, and in 2013, he was recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change in Open Science for promoting science through publicly available data. Dr. Butte is also a founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies: Personalis (IPO, 2019), providing medical genome sequencing services, Carmenta (acquired by Progenity, 2015), discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications, and NuMedii, finding new uses for drugs through open molecular data. Dr. Butte trained in Computer Science at Brown University, worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft, received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT.


Dr. Darshana Dadhania is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and is the Medical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital-WCM. She received her Master of Science in Clinical Investigation in 2009. She has served as the site-PI for CTOT-04 and CTOT-03 trials and is a multi-PI for North East Consortium for transplant outcomes in APOL1 risk variant kidney recipients –APOLLO-6. Her research has focused on the development of noninvasive biomarkers associated with immune and virus mediated graft injury and biomarkers prognostic of long-term graft function.  As a multi-PI, she is collaborating with investigators at Cornell University to study the utility of urine cell-free DNA to evaluate infection related graft damage using metagenomic sequencing.  She is the past Chair of the AST Kidney Pancreas Community of Practice and has chaired a number of consensus conferences focused on long-term graft outcomes.


Christopher Ensor, PharmD, FAST, FCCP is an international thought leader in complex immunologic challenges with a focus on precision medicine and novel therapeutic strategies for antibody mediated rejection (AMR) and chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) in Thoracic Transplantation. I maintain a practice with the Advanced Lung Diseases programs at AdventHealth. My research focuses on novel therapeutic strategies and outcomes after thoracic transplantation, including precision medicine approaches. I have introduced two first-in-field therapies for AMR after lung transplantation: the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib and the CD38 antagonist daratumumab.


Christine S. Falk, PhD., is full professor for Transplant Immunology and director of the Institute of Transplant Immunology at Hannover Medical School (MHH). She focusses on mechanisms of ischemia/reperfusion injury and consequences for innate and adaptive immunity, especially tissue-resident T and NK cells in the context of lung, heart and kidney transplantation. She graduated as PhD at the Institute of Immunology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, in the field of tumor immunology and continued to work on T and NK cell recognition of solid tumors as postdoc fellow at the Institute of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Centre Munich. In 2004, she received her Venia Legendi at LMU for Human Immunology. 2006-2010, she worked at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, as group leader of the Research Group “Immune Monitoring” with a strong interest in the improvement of cancer immunotherapy by understanding the mechanisms involved in treatment resistance.  


Maryjane Farr, MD is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Associate Professor of Cardiology and Medical Director of the Adult Heart Transplant Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is a graduate of Barnard College (BA’89), Columbia College of P&S (MD’98) and completed her Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Fellowship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (’05).  Dr. Farr was the Director of Clinical Trials in Heart Failure and Transplantation at Columbia from 2007-12, obtained an NIH training grant to complete a Master's of Science at the Mailman School of Public Health (MS’12), and received the Shorin Silverstein Research in Transplantation award for 2012-14.  In addition to running a high-volume heart transplant program, Dr. Farr is the author of >150 papers and abstracts related to heart failure, transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support. Her specific areas of interest are in donor and recipient selection, primary graft failure and long-term survival. Dr. Farr has held leadership roles in transplant, including heart subcommittee chair of the UNOS Thoracic Committee, member of the UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee, Associate Councilor to Region 9, and was recently appointed to the New York State Transplant Council and Certificate of Need Committee.