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Please click here to register and book accommodation for the 12th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology.
PLEASE NOTE : WE WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS AFTER AUGUST 9, 2013. ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED BY AUGUST 9, 2013 IN ORDER FOR YOU TO BE A CONFIRMED PARTICIPANT OF THE MEETING. DELEGATES WITH OUTSTANDING PAYMENTS MUST CONTACT MS. AKSHATHA RAGHUVEER AT BANFFAP@UALBERTA.CA ASAP.
If you need further assistance regarding registration and accommodation details, please, contact: email@example.com
Welcome Message for the 2013 Banff Meeting: Future-Proofing Ourselves Against Exponential Change in Transplantation - Kim Solez, M.D.
Welcome to the 12th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology! Twenty-two years after the first Banff Allograft Pathology meeting in 1991, transplant pathology remains a dynamic and exciting field. The comprehensive and innovative program of the 2013 Banff meeting in Brazil reflects the latest advances in transplantation and the intriguing new research and clinical care questions which are coming into the foreground. The outstanding presentations at this meeting are a tribute to the excellent work of the program committee chaired by Dr. Mark Haas.
This year we are very proud that the Banff Meetings and Consensus Process for the first time have an infrastructure. As of late February 2013 we now operate under the egis of the Banff Foundation, a Swiss non-profit foundation that was created specifically for this purpose with support from ROTRF and will be the dominant force in our planning for the future. Preparations for the 2013 meeting have been particularly challenging during the transition period to the new structure, and we are most grateful to our local organizers in Brazil, Drs. Daisa David, Dr. Elias David-Neto, and Dr. Maria Cristina Ribeiro de Castro for all the hard work that went into preparations for this excellent 2013 meeting which I am sure you will all enjoy very much.
It is intended that ultimately the Banff Foundation Board of Directors will have nine members. At present we have seven: Kim Solez (Chair), Michael Mengel (Treasurer). Lorraine Racusen, Denis Glotz, Michael Mihatsch, Anthony J. Demetris, and Niki Schmidt. We anticipate adding the other two members to the Board of Directors by the end of 2013.
At the 2011 Banff Meeting in Paris I gave an after-dinner speech on Banff and the Singularity in Transplant Pathology in which I said we must "keep calm and carry on" in spite of exponential change that will render the field of transplantation almost unrecognizable. Shaf Keshavjee has talked at TEDMED about the future of transplantation that includes the ex vivo tuning up of transplanted organs with gene therapy, "personalized medicine for the organ", and the possibility of creating "super-organs" better than the organs the patient was born with. Meanwhile stem cell creation of organs has been shown in some cases to create not just misshapen organs, but actually organs with missing parts, for instance kidneys without loops of Henle. Far from transplant pathologists being written out of the future, it is likely that they will morph into tissue engineering pathologists where the old questions still present themselves - because many of the diseases encountered now will still occur in organs created from stem cells - but also a whole host of new developmental questions never asked before will arise such as "does this organs have all the parts it needs to function?". Klaus Thurau's 1976 concept of "acute renal success" - of oliguria in acute tubular injury being life saving because otherwise patients would pour all their body water out in a massive lethal polyuria - has always seemed only theoretical, but we will see this happen before our eyes forty years later if we start implanting stem cell derived kidneys without loops of Henle.
The best way to future-proof ourselves against the changes coming in the future is to study the future in a concerted way. I teach a unique course on Technology and the Future of Medicine at the University of Alberta which provides many valuable insights. One of the most interesting questions that arises in the course is very simply "the Future of the Future", whether the future is a post-scarcity world of abundance as predicted by X Prize CEO Peter Diamandis, a world in which everything we want is possible, or a world of massive unemployment and human insignificance in a world increasingly controlled by machines which sociologist James Hughes predicts. Whichever future you come to believe in, or something in between, it is important to keep in mind the words of pathologist Rudolf Virchow in 1848: It is the curse of humanity that it learns to tolerate even the most horrible situations by habituation. Physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor, and the social problems should largely be solved by them. If one accepts Virchow's concept of the social responsibility of medicine this means there still is a great deal for physicians to do even if all disease is eliminated in the future.
By extension I believe there will be much for the present generation of transplant pathologists to do in the future, and so the Banff meetings and Banff Foundation will remain relevant for at least another two decades. Maybe it is a good thing we have given the Foundation such a general name as it could cover a multitude of possible activities in the future. It will be good for all of us to remain vigilant about the possible changes the future may bring. In this connection I urge you to have a look at the videos from the course I teach on Technology and the Future of Medicine and engage me about subjects you find there that interest you. We should not be passive victims of the future, working together we can help shape a positive future for all of us.Enjoy this splendid meeting in Brazil and let's keep on keeping on!
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