Winner of the Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award 2019: Stijn Verleden

Today Eurotransplant awarded Stijn Verleden, PhD, from KU Leuven, Belgium, with the Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award 2019. He received this award for his research in unraveling and treating the risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic rejection after lung transplantation. His study titled ‘Donor-specific and -nonspecific HLA antibodies and outcome post lung transplantation’ was published in the Respiratory Journal.

Award winning research

In this study, Verleden investigated the role of circulating donor specific (DSA) HLA antibodies on rejection-free and graft survival in a large cohort of lung transplant recipients. Although the role of DSA in most organ transplantations is established, its role in lung transplantation has been neglected and not comprehensively investigated in large patient cohorts. In this cohort, Verleden found 17% of patients developing DSA. He was able to demonstrate important prognostic differences in persistent versus non-persistent DSA. Where persistent DSA were associated with a shorter rejection free survival (HR 3.386) and shorter graft survival (HR 3.071), transient DSA were only associated with a shorter rejection-free survival but not graft survival.

Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award

For the second year, Eurotransplant awarded a researcher with the ‘Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award’. The Award is named after Eurotransplant’s Founding Father who passed away on July 21, 2017. This award of €2.500 is granted to a clinical and/or scientific researcher to pursue or continue a career in the field of organ and tissue transplantation. Nine scientific publications from young professionals from different Eurotransplant member states were submitted. An international scientific jury reviewed the publications and selected the publication by Verleden as winning paper.

Award ceremony

The Award was handed over by Prof. Dr. Bruno Meiser, President of the Board of Eurotransplant during the Presidential Symposium at the Eurotransplant Annual Meeting. Following the award ceremony, award winner Verleden presented his paper to the audience. The Eurotransplant Annual Meeting is a two-day medical-scientific congress where professionals in organ donation, allocation and transplantation meet and discuss the latest developments and innovations in this working field.

Prof. Dr. Bruno Meiser, President of the Eurotransplant Board and Stijn Verleden, PhD