Folkert W. Asselbergs
Dr. Folkert W. Asselbergs is Professor in Cardiovascular Cenetics and consultant cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Programme Lead Cardiovascular Genetics at the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, adjunct professor at the department of Epidemiology, Dartmouth Medical College, US, and chief scientific officer of the Durrer Center for Cardiogenetic Research, Netherlands Heart Institute.
He has published more than 145 scientific papers in the field of cardiovascular disease and his work has been funded by the Netherlands Heart Foundation, Netherlands Heart Institute, EU FP7, European Society of Cardiology, BBMRI, National Institutes of Health, and ZonMw. His research program in complex genetics focuses on the discovery of genes influencing susceptibility to cardiovascular disease; the application of these findings for the validation of drug targets; and the use of genetic tests for treatment targeting (stratified medicine).
Dr Asselbergs aims to facilitate collaboration at an international level through his work at the Durrer Center of Cardiogenetic research. The Durrer Center is a national multidisciplinary collaboration that aims to provide expertise, infrastructure and services for collecting, comparing, harmonizing and merging results from individual cardiovascular studies.
Dr. Asselbergs is principal investigator of a number of heart transplant genomic studies that are part of the iGeneTRAiN consortium, and is co-chair of the heart transplant group.
Ajay K. Israni
Dr. Israni is the Genomic principal investigator for the Genomics studies in long-term deterioration of kidney allograft function (DeKAF), an ongoing multicenter study to define, in grafts with late post transplant dysfunction (“creeping creatinine”), clinicopathologic entities that predict rate of progression of chronic graft dysfunction and graft loss.
Collectively, the participating centers perform over 1,000 renal transplants per year and currently follow over 10,000 transplant patients. The genome-wide studies to date in deKAF encompass over 5,500 individuals making it by far the largest transplant genomics study in the United States.
Dr. Israni received his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine with High Honors in Genetics. Subsequently he completed his internship, residency and a Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. For further training, he joined the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine for his nephrology fellowship.
During his fellowship he completed his Masters in Clinical Epidemiology. His Masters thesis focused on improving outcomes in kidney transplantation. Before joining Hennepin County Medical Center in 2005, he was an Instructor in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an attending physician at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Hospital and the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania.
His clinical responsibilities included the care of patients with end-stage renal disease including those being treated with dialysis or renal transplantation. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine, and Adjunct Faculty in School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. He is also the Deputy Director of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Brendan Keating, D.Phil., received studied molecular genetics at the Department of Clinical Medicine at University of Oxford, UK, with his Ph.D. lab-work completed in the Wellcome Trust. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at UPenn, and was a visiting Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK. Dr. Keating designed and developed genomic tools for cardiovascular related studies which have been used in over 200,000 DNA samples across 60 studies including the Framingham Heart Studies, and which have resulted in hundreds of genetic discoveries in various metabolic-related traits including myocardial infarction, dyslipidemia, Type-2 Diabetes and Blood Pressure.
Dr. Keating joined the Faculty at The University of Pennsylvania in 2012, and recently moved his primary appointment to the Division of Transplantation in the Departments of Surgery. His major research interests focus on the analyses of miRNA, mRNA and polymorphisms of donor and recipients genomes in heart, liver, lung and kidney transplantation, with the aim of delivering individualized treatment of immunosuppression therapies, and detection of genetic signals that underpin graft rejection and complications of rejection such as new onset of diabetes after transplantation (NODAT). Dr. Keating is Principal Investigator of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for solid-organ transplant studies within the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Keating is also a member of the Pharmacogenomics and return of results (RoR) working groups of the NHGRI electronic medical record and genomics (eMERGE) network which is integrating clinical genetic data into patient’s electronic medical records for clinical decision support in the individualized dosing of patients for a range of therapeutics. Dr. Keating has led or co-authored over 85 genomic publications and has given over 100 presentations in 25 countries including numerous national and international conferences.
Abraham (Avi) Shaked
Abraham Shaked, MD, PhD, is the Eldrige L. Eliason Professor of Surgery, and Director of the Penn Transplant Institute. Dr. Shaked received his MD degree from the Hebrew University in Israel and completed his general surgery training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where he also accomplished a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in molecular pathology and immunology. He then completed an accredited transplantation fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he served for 5 years as the Associate Director of the busiest liver transplant program in the country. In 1995 Dr. Shaked was recruited to lead the liver transplant program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since then the combined program has become one of the 10 busiest in the country. His clinical activity is focused in adult and pediatric liver transplantation, complex hepatobiliary surgery, biliary reconstruction, and minimization of immunosuppression.
Dr. Shaked is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the field of transplantation and served as President of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Dr. Shaked’s academic record is reflected by his outstanding achievements in basic laboratory research, translational research, and support for clinical science investigation. His laboratory efforts focus on the exploration of early gene expression in organ donors and using molecular identifiers to determine the relationship of proinflammation and the activation of the alloimmune response. These studies are extended to determine biomarkers of rejection in blood and urine of organ recipients. He is supported by continuous NIH funding since 1992. He has published over 150 manuscripts, and is a member of the Editorial boards of American Journal of Transplantation, Transplantation, and Liver Transplantation.