The 9th International Living Donor Abdominal Conference


Venue: Matera, Italy
Date: 30 August – 1 September 2018

FINAL CALL – Do Not Miss Out!


The 9th International Living Donor Abdominal Conference is being held in Matera, Italy between August 30th and September 1st 2018.

This is an excellent meeting addressing all aspects of both living kidney and liver donation. Topics such as donor and recipient selection, operative techniques and organ preservation are all extensively discussed at a very high level.

In order to encourage participation by the next generation in transplantation, a dedicated and interactive workshop for the Young Professionals in Transplantation is being organised to coincide with this meeting. This will incorporate interesting cases and issues pertinent to training, such as operative techniques and how to deal with unexpected events. This workshop will be organised by the YPT and Education Committees with support from prestigious senior faculty who are attending the main meeting.

Thanks to generous support, bursaries for 20 YPTs have been made available to fund the full cost of attending the workshop, the conference, 3 nights accommodation and catering. If accepted, the applicant will simply have to pay for their air travel to and from Bari, Italy and  transfer to Matera (estimated to be approximately €250).

There are 20 YPT spaces available. Do not miss this opportunity and if you apply, please send an email to with your speciality and level of training, the country that you work in and a brief statement explaining why you would like to apply.

We would like representatives from across Europe and from across all disciplines within transplantation. Please find the workshop and conference programmes attached.

The deadline for applications is Saturday 30th June 2018.

For any further information please contact



Transplant Natters – The BTS Nursing Newsletter May 2018 Issue

Transplant Natters – The British Transplantation Society Nursing Newsletter is here including the latest news, interviews and more.


Transplant Natters
May 2018 Issue

SaBTO Advisory Committee Recruitment

The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) is currently recruiting for new members.

For more information view the letter below or visit GOV.UK to apply.

The closing date for applications is midday on 6 June 2018.


The BTS Spring Newsletter

The British Transplantation Society Spring Newsletter is here including the latest news, reports and events.



SaBTO Publish New Guide to the Microbiological Safety of Human Organs, Tissues and Cells used in Transplantation

The committee for the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs has just published a new revision of the guide to the microbiological safety of human organs, tissues and cells used in transplantation, now renamed as the SaBTO Microbiological Safety Guidelines.

The new guidelines are available below and on the SaBTO website.


10 Educational Bursaries for Researchers Presenting at The Transplantation Society (TTS) Congress 2018

Kidney Research UK, in collaboration with Chiesi, is offering 10 educational bursaries for researchers who will be presenting their work at TTS in Madrid this year.

Please note a short deadline of 14th May 2018.


BTS Hepatitis B and Solid Organ Transplantation Guidelines Available for Consultation.

We are pleased to advise that the new ‘BTS Hepatitis B and Solid Organ Transplantation Guidelines’ are available for consultation.

The consultation is open until Wednesday 28th February 2018.

Please disseminate this notification through your networks and return comments to the Chair of the Standards Committee at

The editors wish to thank all those who have contributed to this document for their considerable work and support.

UK Guidelines for Living Donor Kidney Transplantation Available for Final Consultation

We are pleased to advise that the latest revision of the ‘UK Guidelines for Living Donor Kidney Transplantation’ is available for final consultation.

The consultation is open until Monday 12th February 2018.

Please disseminate this notification through your networks and return comments to the Chair of the Standards Committee at

The editors wish to thank all those who have contributed to this document for their considerable work and support throughout the revision process.

Travelling Fellowships in Transplantation 2017-18

Travelling Fellowships will usually be awarded annually. Their aim is to benefit transplant patients and to commemorate the work of the St John Ambulance Air Wing 1972-1993.

  1. The purpose of the awards is to enable the recipient to visit other Transplant Centres in the United Kingdom or abroad to widen their knowledge and experience.
  1. Awards of up to £10,000 each will be made in 2017-18.
  1. Applications are invited from workers in all aspects of transplantation. These may include basic scientists, surgeons, physicians, nurses and others whose work benefits transplant patients.
  1. Applicants should be resident in the United Kingdom.
  1. Applications should include a summary (of not more than 1000 words) of the proposed visit, the particular interests of the units to be visited and the expected benefits in terms of:
    I. What is your role in transplant medicine
    II. How would you summarise your project if you were explaining it to someone with no medical background
    III. How will your project make a real difference to transplant patients
  1. Agreement from the Centres to be visited should be obtained before application.
  1. Applications should include a short curriculum vitae and be accompanied by a supporting letter from the applicant’s head of department and a statement of support from the visiting department.
  1. Applications must be made by email.
  1. Applications must include the estimated total cost of your project and the amount that you are applying for to St John Ambulance. Appropriate receipts must be available for inspection.
  1. Awards will be paid in two parts. 75% when awards are made and the final 25% when a report of the project has been received.
  1. A report for possible publication will be expected within six weeks of the visit.
  1. Any award is at the discretion of the selection committee convened by The Priory of England and the Islands, whose decision is final.
  1. The closing date for applications is 28th February 2018


Download Application Form


For further information please contact:

Clinical Team Coordinator
Telephone No: 020 7324 4284

Derek Gray (1950-2017): A Tribute


Derek Gray



Sir Peter J Morris pays tribute to one of Oxford’s outstanding academic surgeons who brought great renown to the department in the field of pancreatic islet transplantation.

In 1976 I was interviewing several applicants for the post of Senior House Officer on the new Renal Transplant Unit of the Nuffield Department of Surgery (NDS) to replace Chris Khoo, the first SHO. One of the applicants was Derek Gray, a graduate of Leeds University, who had worked with the internationally renowned Professor of Surgery at Leeds, John Goligher as a House Surgeon. Derek gave a good interview as I recollect already stating that he wished to pursue a career in academic surgery, but I think what really clinched the post for him was the reference from Professor John Goligher –

“Derek was a first-class medical student and I was fortunate to have him as my House Surgeon.  He was the most outstanding House Surgeon that I had ever had”.

Derek took up this post and everything that John Goligher had said about him proved to be true. He was outstanding in the Transplant Unit and I should point out that in those early days there was just the SHO and the Professor! During this time, he raised with me the question of whether the treatment of acute rejection might be done equally well with less problems with two or three high doses of intravenous methylprednisolone. The norm in those days was to massively increase the oral steroid dose and then taper it off over the next month or so. Needless to say, this was not without complications. In any case arguably the first randomised control trial in organ transplantation was carried out and directed by Derek Gray. It showed convincingly that rejection was reversed in most cases quite rapidly by intravenous methylprednisolone but what was striking was that the complication rate was halved compared to the standard treatment with continuing large doses of oral prednisolone. This was published in Lancet in 1977 with the intriguing title given to it by Derek “The big shot or not?” This attracted enormous interest and within the next few years the standard treatment of acute rejection became intravenous boluses of methylprednisolone.

Following his time as an SHO, although he had expressed the wish to pursue academic surgery, I felt he needed a good grounding in general surgery and sent him to Gloucester to work under Dr. Mike Gear and his team. This was a very successful move and Derek then came back to the NDS after two years in Gloucester very well trained in general surgery. He had been awarded an MRC Training Fellowship in the NDS to pursue research in the field of pancreatic islet transplantation as he had been impressed with the work of Danny Finch and John Garvey who were the first Research Fellows in the Pancreatic Islet Research Programme that I had established after arriving in Oxford in 1974.  Derek did some very innovative experimental research projects with pancreatic islets in the rodent but he was desperately interested in trying to isolate islets from the human pancreas which had not been achieved at that date except in very crude proportions. After nearly a year at work he was successful in producing an exceptionally pure isolation of human pancreatic islets, the first time that this had been achieved. A few years later the first human islet transplant was performed in Oxford, the culmination of Derek’s work over many years. The techniques that he had developed were rapidly adapted by the other few Units in the world working on human pancreatic islet transplantation and automated particularly by Camillo Ricordi and his colleagues. For this reason alone, Derek can be regarded as one of the pioneers of human pancreatic islet transplantation.

Following his three years as an MRC Training Fellow, his outstanding thesis on Pancreatic Islet Transplantation resulted in the award of a Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil). He was then appointed as a Clinical Lecturer in the NDS with a special interest in vascular surgery and renal transplantation. Later he was promoted to a Readership in surgery and then to a Professorship of Experimental Surgery. He rapidly established his own Pancreatic Islet Research Laboratory which was incredibly productive over many years. Sadly, in his mid-40’s he developed Parkinson’s disease which presented in one arm but this gradually forced him to stop operating. However, he kept doing transplant outpatient clinics, ably assisted by his wife Annie who took his dictation for him for the notes. The patients loved this team effort as Derek had been very popular with them. His main activity remained the running of the Pancreatic Islet Research Laboratory until Paul Johnson took that over but Derek continued to contribute ideas and supervision. Derek served as a Councillor and later Secretary of the International Pancreatic and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA). In recent years IPITA established the Derek Gray Distinguished Travelling Scholarship Award as recognition of all his contributions to the field and the Association.

Derek was an original thinker as illustrated by his development of a theory for the biological role of the major histocompatibility complex molecules which he termed MHC based suppression. None of us, I have to say were enthusiastic about this concept, but that was not to say it was wrong. He also developed a computerised timetabling system for Medical School teaching which gave students the opportunity to feedback their opinion of their last teaching session. To this he added the concept of notional credits for teaching so that it was possible to reward those teachers who delivered excellence. This system is used in several Medical Schools outside the UK, but again was an illustration of his original thinking.

Derek was a Fellow of Oriel College and there he taught gross anatomy to first year medical students as well as introducing computer-driven projection of dissectible anatomy, comparing and contrasting that with radiological images.

All in all, Derek was one of the outstanding young people that I have had the privilege to work with and it is so sad that his academic surgical career but not his research career was brought to an untimely end by his Parkinson’s disease.

He leaves behind two sons, James and Robert. His wife, Annie, who was an enormous support to Derek, sadly died of pancreatic cancer some years ago.

Thus again, we say goodbye to one of the NDS’s outstanding academic surgeons who brought great renown to the NDS in the field of pancreatic islet transplantation.

Sir Peter J Morris AC, FRS