CDTRP Theme 4 is pleased to announce its new co-leads, Dr. Mamatha Bhat and Dr. Jonathan Choy!

After almost ten years of service, Dr. Megan Levings and Dr. Atul Humar will transition out of their roles as Theme 4 leads, but they will remain active CDTRP members. We want to thank Megan and Atul for the dedication, passion, enthusiasm, and motivation they have brought to Theme 4 (Tailor an Optimal Immune System for Each Patient)!

Dr. Mamatha Bhat

Dr. Mamatha Bhat is a staff Hepatologist and clinician-scientist at UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Program and Assistant professor at UofT’s Division of Gastroenterology. The goal of Dr. Bhat’s research program is to enable a precision medicine approach to long-term complications after liver transplantation through a better understanding of their mechanistic basis. She has been specifically examining non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, post-transplant diabetes and hepatocellular carcinoma in the context of liver transplantation. Her research program employs a bench-to-bedside paradigm that connects clinical outcomes with basic research using bioinformatic analysis of ‘omic datasets (e.g., transcriptomic, miRNA, methylation, intestinal microbiome) and machine learning tools.  She has also had experience applying ML tools to large datasets, validated in institutional data. Her research program has been supported by funding from CDTRP, CLF, American society of Transplantation and NSERC. She was the recipient of the Polanyi Prize in 2020.

“I believe I could bring unique perspectives to developing Theme 4, as a clinician-scientist with expertise in computational biology and machine learning, as applied to patient clinical and molecular data to inform personalized care of transplant recipients. By serving as co-lead, I would like to foster learning opportunities in these areas, and help investigators incorporate such different tools into their own research and help them realize the clinical translation of their findings.”

Dr. Jonathan Choy

Dr. Jonathan Choy is Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University. He is a transplant immunologist by training and his team is broadly interested in understanding the immunological mechanisms of transplant rejection and associated vascular injury using cell culture, animal model and clinical studies.

“I am excited to serve as co-lead of Theme 4 with Dr. Bhat.  Since the inception of the CDTRP, Megan, Atul and Elaine have done an amazing job in developing and leading this Theme.  Under their leadership, there have been many accomplishments from CDTRP researchers that contribute to understanding and potential treatment of transplant failure.  They have also led the acquisition of substantial new resources to support transplant researchers across Canada.  I am honored to serve in their footsteps.  In the coming years, I hope to support Theme 4 researchers in their continued success in the current research landscape, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of transplant recipients.  This includes enhancing the development of collaborative teams, research opportunities with other Themes, and the visibility of Canadian transplant research.  Also, increasing the engagement of trainees will be essential to ensure the future success of transplantation and donation research in Canada.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time if you have suggestions and/or questions that I can help with.”

Outgoing messages

Megan and Atul have been part of executive of the network since CNTRP inception in 2013. They will remain active CDTRP members, but wanted to address the community as they leave co-leadership of Theme 4.

“It has been an incredible opportunity to part of the CDTRP since its inception almost 10 years ago. Theme 4 has achieved many milestones – from completing the CARE trial to rolling out a national immune monitoring platform to being close to ready for a first-in-human trial of thymic Tregs. I am delighted that Jonathan and Mamatha have agreed to take on the lead – with their new energy and ideas Theme 4 is well positioned to continue catalyzing transplant immunology research across the country and beyond. I look forward to connecting with all of you on future Theme 4 calls!”

– Megan Levings

“It has been my honour to serve as co-lead of theme 4.  I’ve had the privilege of hearing about so many innovative projects and learning from the diverse group of people that have been part of theme 4.  We are in good hands with our new leads and I look forward to continue to be part of this vibrant theme.”

– Atul Humar

Please join us in welcoming the new co-leads at our next Theme 4 meeting on May 12th, 11 am PT | 12 pm MT | 1 pm CT | 2 pm ET.