September 25, 1998

Transplantation issues subject of lectureship

Dr. David J.G. White, a world leader in the field of xenotransplantation, will discuss "Transgenic Pigs as Potential Donors of Organs for Man" during the second George Lectureship in Thoracic Transplantation.

The lecture, sponsored by the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, will begin at 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, in 208 Light Hall. A reception will follow.

White, director of research and development for Imutran Limited in the United Kingdom, will also present Surgical Grand Rounds at 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, also in 208 Light Hall. His topic will be "Immunosuppressive Strategies for Xenotransplantation."

A xenotransplant is the use of an organ from another species for transplantation into a human. Faced with a drastic shortage of human donor organs, scientists are studying ways to successfully achieve xenotransplantation, but overcoming the human body's aggressive immune system's assault on organs from another species is a major challenge.

Transgenic animals are genetically engineered by injecting foreign genes into the embryonic animal. Then, the animals' cells follow the genetic instructions of the foreign gene.

The George Lectureship in Thoracic Transplantation was permanently endowed last year through a gift from the estate of Evelyn Dacus George in memory of her son, LeRoy Brunson George Jr. The gift recognizes her son's bravery in the face of unprecedented heart surgery in 1956 and the skill and compassion of his surgeon, Dr. H. William Scott Jr., and pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Gordon Self.

For more information, call 936-0388.