Fifty Years of the BTS

Established in 1972, the BTS is celebrating its 50th anniversary year in numerous ways, one of which is by providing additional resources to help members get involved in this celebration of half a century of organ transplantation.


BTS – The First Fifty Years

Watch our specially commissioned commemorative video giving an insight into the past, present and future of the BTS.
Learn More

The History of the BTS

Find information on our history, including Past Presidents and award winners.
Learn More

Lifetime Achievement Awards

See who the BTS have recognised this year with special Lifetime Achievement Awards for their outstanding contributions to transplantation..
Learn More

Honorary Membership 2022

See who the BTS have recognised this year Honorary Memberships for their outstanding contributions to transplantation.
Learn More

BTS 50th Anniversary Session

Watch our 50th anniversary session from this year’s Congress.
Learn More

BTS Andrew Paris Memorial Fellowship

Find out more about the BTS Andrew Paris Memorial Fellowship and how to apply.
Learn More

Gala Dinner

View photos taken at the BTS Gala Dinner.
Learn More

Tree Planting- a BTS Legacy

Our 50th Anniversary Bamboo cups have funded a tree-planting legacy, marking a milestone in BTS history and endorsing our commitment to the green agenda for the benefit of future generations.
Learn More

BTS – The First Fifty Years

Watch the film below

The History of the BTS

Learn about the history of the British Transplantation Society, it’s Presidents and it’s award winners.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Lifetime Achievement Awards celebrate the clinicians and scientists who have made pioneering developments, advancements and discoveries over the past 50 years in the transplantation field and dedicated their careers to providing care to transplant patients.

The awards are not only to express gratitude from the Society and its members but also from the countless patients who have received life-saving transplants and ongoing care.

The BTS membership made nominations for candidates they believed should receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. The twenty nominations received were then put to an independent panel, chaired by Professor Gurch Randhawa, for further assessment with a final selection of six recipients.

Further to this, the BTS Executive wanted to reserve two awards to make additional acknowledgements to those who they believed should be honoured for their outstanding contributions to transplantation and had been omitted from the members nominations.

Lifetime Achievement Awards – Nominees from the membership

Lifetime Achievement Awards – Winners

Professor Christopher Watson

Chris Watson received a Lifetime Achievement Award because of his collaborative, engaged, expert, innovative and committed contribution to organ transplantation in the UK and wider, for over 35 years.

He is a dedicated, innovative, practice-changing, widely respected clinician who always wears his expertise lightly.

Professor Michael Nicholson

Professor Mike Nicholson is the outstanding International Transplant Surgical Innovator of his generation.

Without his continuing endeavours the British Transplantation Society would lack one of its major research contributors, not only in his personal insights and innovations, but the work of all of his protégés throughout the country.’

Professor Darius Mirza

Darius has always prioritised his role as a teacher to all members of the transplant team. He has transformed the lives of many patients and families, with his skill and knowledge as a surgeon, his care for his patient and the support he has given colleagues nationally and internationally.

His greatest professional skill is his ability to communicate with patients whether adult, teenager or child, finding the ability to engage in conversation and put them at ease, ensuring they are the focus before discussing medical information, in language they can understand.

Professor Peter Friend

Peter has been part of the fabric of Organ donation and Transplantation in the UK for more than 30 years.

He has transformed the field of transplantation through ground-breaking research, innovation, commercialization and clinical translation of improvements in organ perfusion.

Professor Sir Roy Calne

His career is a catalogue of innovation. There are many truly great pioneers in the field from the UK who are now no longer in practice, and Roy Calne stands within that small elite group.

Roy Calne was involved in a number of UK and world firsts….the first liver transplant outside the US, the first heart-lung-liver transplant with John Wallwork, the first small bowel transplant and first multivisceral transplant in the UK.

Ms. Lisa Burnapp

‘Lisa Burnapp has dedicated her life and career to organ donation and transplantation focussing on living kidney donation.

She has been at the forefront of all the progress and developments in the field and has been the driving force behind the UK living donor kidney-sharing scheme, which is an exemplar to the rest of the world.

As a nurse – Lisa has held many important national and international positions that very few nurses have achieved

President’s Awards

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub is Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Founder and Director of Research at the Magdi Yacoub Institute at Harefield Heart Science Centre, Founder and President of the Chain of Hope and Founder and Director of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation which created the Aswan Heart Centre.

Born in Egypt and graduated from Cairo University Medical School in 1957 he trained in London and held an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago. A former British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery for over 20 years and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Harefield Hospital from 1969-2001 and Royal Brompton Hospital from 1986-2001, Professor Yacoub established the largest heart and lung transplantation programme in the world at Harefield Hospital where more than 2,500 transplant operations have been performed. He has developed novel operations for several complex congenital heart anomalies.

Research led by Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub includes tissue engineering heart valves, myocardial regeneration, novel left ventricular assist devices and wireless sensors with collaborations within Imperial College, nationally and internationally. He has also supervised over 20 higher degree (PhD/MD) students and authored or co-authored more than 1,400 published papers and numerous book chapters on topics including Transplantation, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Aortic valve surgery.

He has a passion for readdressing inequalities in global healthcare delivery with a focus on developing cardiac services in many countries including Egypt, The Gulf region, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Mozambique Rwanda and Uganda. Here his teams at Chain of Hope link experts together around the world to bring life-saving treatments to children in developing and war-torn countries.

Continuing his desire to make healthcare accessible to all, his Centre in Aswan, offers state-of-the art medical services, free of charge to all patients regardless of colour, religion, or gender and trains a generation of young Egyptian doctors, nurses, scientists, and technicians at the highest international standards. Advancing basic science and applied research is an integral component of the program and he oversees over 60 scientists and students in the areas of Heart Valve Biology and Tissue Engineering, Myocardial Regeneration, Stem Cell Biology, Mechanisms and treatment of Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension in his Centres.

Among his honours he was awarded a Knighthood for his services to medicine and surgery in 1992 and awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list. He was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998 and Fellowship of The Royal Society in 1999. A lifetime outstanding achievement award in recognition of his contribution to medicine was presented to Professor Yacoub by the Secretary of State for Health in the same year. In 2011 was awarded the Order of the Nile for Science and Humanity and the prestigious Lister Medal in 2015 in recognition of his contribution to surgical science.

Professor Sir Peter Morris

Peter Morris qualified in Medicine at Melbourne University in 1957 and held surgical and academic posts there, in the UK and in the USA. His professional scientific career revolved around transplantation and transplantation biology, with a major interest in the immune response to histocompatibility antigens and its suppression. In addition to his work in transplantation, in the earlier part of his career he made many contributions to the knowledge of the association between HLA and disease, as well as playing a major part in the early anthropological studies of HLA around the ‘Pacific Rim’ area. His interest in clinical transplantation began at the Royal Post-Graduate Medical School, Hammersmith, where in 1962 Professors Ralph Shackman and James Dempster performed the first living unrelated renal transplant. It continued at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston USA, where after a year as a senior surgical resident he became a research Fellow with Jack Burke, studying the immunology of surgical infection. His embryonic interest in the histocompatibility system in man was aroused by Dr Paul Russell, who was developing a living related transplant programme. It was further stimulated at Duke University by Dr Bernard Amos and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was enormously impressed by Paul Terasaki’s work on microcytotoxicity techniques. In 1966 he was invited by Dr David Hume, an eminent pioneer of transplantation, to develop a tissue typing laboratory for the Medical College of Virginia (MCV). This he achieved quite quickly. In the same year he joined Professor Maurice Ewing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne, where he continued to work in general and transplantation surgery as well as in transplant immunology. Along with his PhD student John Fabre (also a future BTS President) he developed a rat model of allograft tolerance, which was to remain a long-term research project.

In 1973 he was appointed Nuffield Professor of Surgery at Oxford University, where he founded, and was Director of, the Oxford Transplant Centre, which achieved outstanding results in renal transplantation. He established a major vascular unit and also developed an internationally renowned research programme in transplant immunology, including histocompatibility testing. He was elected as Chairman of the British Transplantation Society in 1978. Later he was a co-founder, with John Bell, of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. From 1984 to 1986 he was President of the Transplantation Society, from which, in 2006, he received the Medawar Prize (along with Carl Groth and Pekka Hayry). From 1976 he was an associate editor of its journal, Transplantation, and later, in the 1980s, he succeeded Richard Batchelor as its senior editor in Europe.

In 1994, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and, in 1998 became a Foundation Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. From 2001 to 2004 he was President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. In 2005 he established, and became Director of, The Centre for Evidence in Transplantation (CET). The CET evaluates the quality of evidence in the field of organ transplantation and has been responsible for the development of an electronic library of all randomised controlled trials in organ transplantation. In the United States he was elected Foreign Member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the American Philosophical Society. He has been awarded numerous honorary fellowships, honorary degrees and awards (including, in 1998, the Lister Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons and, in 2006, the Medawar Prize of the Transplantation Society). He has been a visiting professor in some fifty institutions. In 2012 he delivered the Halford Oration at the 150th anniversary of the Melbourne University Medical School. He has published over 700 scientific articles and is among the 200 most cited authors in clinical medicine worldwide. His book, Kidney Transplantation: Principles and Practice, which is a leading work in the field, was first published in 1979 and is now in its eighth edition. In addition, he edited the Oxford Textbook of Surgery (1994). In 1996 he was knighted for services to medicine, and in 2004 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to medical sciences. He was made an Honorary Member of the BTS in 1997.

As a medical student Peter Morris played professional cricket and baseball in Melbourne. Later, at Oxford, he took part in tennis tournaments with Roy Calne and other colleagues in Oxford and Cambridge, and also enjoyed golf trips with Ross Taylor, Douglas Briggs, and Bob Johnson (all Past Presidents of the BTS). On January 6 2002 he was the ‘castaway guest’ of Sue Lawley on Desert Island Discs.

Honorary Membership 2022

In its 50th anniversary year, the BTS were delighted to offer honorary membership for the first time to international personalities as well as home-grown stars in transplantation who have made significant contributions to the Society over the years.

Professor John Dark

Professor John Dark: Past president of the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) from 2010-2011 and ESOT 1999 – 2001.

Awarded Honorary FRCP Edinburgh 1995, London 2002

Honeyman Gillespie Lecture; Edinburgh, 1988, Sydney Watson Smith Lecture; RCP Edinburgh, 1994, Clement Price-Thomas Award RCS England 1995,Tudor Edwards Lecturer RCS England 1999, Hilary Festenstein Lecturer, BSHI 2014

First bilateral lung transplant in Europe 1989

First DCD lung transplant 2002

Professor Dark has an active research program on reperfusion injury and lung rejection and has over 200 publications.

Dr. James Douglas

BTS Archivist extraordinaire since 2002

Author of BTS history 2007, 2015, 2022

National Treasure – always.

Professor Dorry Segev

His NIH-funded research includes kidney exchange, desensitization, long-term donor risk, access to transplantation, expanding transplantation including HIV+ donors, geographic disparities, post-transplant outcomes, COVID vaccines, and the intersection between transplantation, gerontology, and cognitive decline. With an undergraduate degree in computer science and a graduate degree in biostatistics, Dr. Segev focuses on novel statistical and mathematical methods for simulation of medical data, analysis of large healthcare datasets, and large multi-center innovative clinical trials and cohort studies.

Dr. Segev has published over 750 peer-reviewed research articles, and is ranked #1 worldwide in organ transplantation expertise and influence by ExpertScape. Reflecting his contributions to health care, he was recently elected into the National Academy of Medicine. Reflecting the creativity and broad reach of his contributions, he received a prestigious Global Thinker Award from Foreign Policy Magazine and was named an Innovator of the Year by TIME Magazine. His work has directly influenced policy, including two Congressional bills (the Norwood Act for kidney exchange and the HOPE Act for HIV-to-HIV transplants), and is regularly featured in widely read media including several front-page features in the New York Times.

Dr. Segev is most inspired by his role as a mentor, having mentored over 100 graduate students, residents, and faculty, and is the only surgeon in the US funded by an NIH/NIAID Mentoring Grant.

Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, is Professor of Surgery and Epidemiology and Vice Chair of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health, and the founding director of the NYU Center for Surgical and Transplant Applied Research (C-STAR).

Dr. Segev was the first to demonstrate the survival benefit of incompatible kidney transplantation across the United States, and is responsible for the first HIV-to-HIV transplants in the United States. He was also the first to demonstrate poor immunogenicity to COVID vaccines in the immunocompromised, work for which he received a Letter of Commendation from Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Professor Lori West

Dr. Lori West is a Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery, Medical Microbiology/Immunology and Laboratory Medicine/Pathology at the University of Alberta and Director of the Alberta Transplant Institute. A clinician-scientist, she has longstanding interest and expertise in pediatric heart transplantation and transplant immunology, particularly related to ABO glycoimmunology. Her pioneering work on crossing ABO-barriers led to global impact on infant heart transplantation.

Dr. West is also the Director, together with Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert as co-Director, of the Canadian Donation Transplant Research Program, a national research coalition funded since 2013 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She previously held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Heart Transplantation, is past-president of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation and the Canadian Society of Transplantation, and immediate past-chair of the Women in Transplantation international initiative of The Transplantation Society.

A Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Dr. West was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2020. Dr. West joined the British Transplant Society in 1987 during her doctoral studies in Prof. Kathryn Wood’s laboratory at the University of Oxford and has maintained close ties with colleagues in the U.K.

Professor Elizabeth Pomfret

Elizabeth A. Pomfret, MD, PhD is a Professor of Surgery and Chief of Transplant Surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.  She is an established multi-organ transplant surgeon with additional surgical training in Live Donor Liver Transplantation.

Dr. Pomfret is an international leader within the field of transplantation, and served as the Executive Editor of Transplantation, the most highly cited journal in the field of organ transplantation from 2015-2019. She served as the President of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) from 2014-2015 and on various other organizational and governmental boards including the ASTS Board of Directors as a Councilor-at-Large from 2009 through 2012, and the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors from 2011 – 2014, and is president-elect of the ASTS.

Dr. Pomfret is an active researcher with a record of peer-reviewed publications and has lectured worldwide on current issues in the field.

BTS 50th Anniversary Session

Watch the video below

BTS Andrew Paris Memorial Fellowship

The BTS are honoured to be able to offer a Travelling Fellowship bearing Andrew Paris’ name for clinicians wishing and willing to continue adventurous endeavours.

Gala Dinner

Tree Planting- a BTS Legacy

Consistent with our green agenda and leaving a legacy for future generations, we agreed to mark our 50th Anniversary by planting trees.

With thanks to ‘Forestry England’ and a group of enthusiastic BTS volunteers and friends, we managed to bring our 50th Anniversary tree planting ambition to fruition on 3rd February 2023. Our oak and hornbeam saplings are now the proud inhabitants of an area in Blackwood Forest, nr. Winchester, Hampshire which ‘Forestry England’ is re-planting with indigenous species. This lasting legacy is the culmination of our celebrations to mark 50 years of the BTS, which started at our Congress in Belfast in September 2022.

The project is funded from the sale of our bespoke 50th Anniversary bamboo reusable cups – seen sported by our volunteer group (pictured). We are grateful to everyone who has purchased these to boost our tree-planting fund- you have contributed to marking a moment in BTS history and helped to create a lasting legacy for the Society and future generations.

With special thanks to:

  • Gurch Randhawa for putting us in touch with ‘Forestry England’
  • Esta Mion (pictured) and the ‘Forestry England’ team for hosting our wonderful volunteer planting day
  • Our tree-planting volunteers

The project is funded from the sale of our bespoke 50th Anniversary bamboo reusable cups – seen sported by our volunteer group in the photo below. We are grateful to everyone who has already purchased one or more to boost our tree-planting fund. If you still wish to contribute to marking a moment in BTS history, it is not too late. The last of our limited edition cups will be available to buy at the special Congress price of £10.

Watch this space for future updates on our BTS tree planting project. All enquiries to