Highlights of the CDTRP 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting

The CDTRP was pleased to recently host its 8th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) from December 8 to 10, 2021. This virtual ASM was an excellent opportunity to inform and advance the science of organ donation and transplantation. This event was a huge success as it was three great days packed with informative and engaging presentations and discussions for its 195 registrants.

This ASM’s Planning Committee was co-chaired by Lorraine Hamiwka (Theme 5) and Marat Slessarev (Themes 1 & 2) and with feedback from the CDTRP community and Theme leads. Other members of the Planning Committee had included:

  • Sabine Ivison (Themes 4 & 5)
  • Warren Fingrut (Themes 1, 2 & 3)
  • Vanessa Silva e Silva (Themes 1 & 2)
  • Nicholas Murphy (Trainee, Theme 2)
  • Ke Fan Bei (PFD partner, Themes 1, 3 & 4)

The CDTRP would like to thank all the ASM’s planning committee, moderators, speakers, panelists, and registrations for their time, effort and discussions to make this ASM a successful event.

Just prior to the ASM, CDTRP was delighted to have partnered with Women in Transplantation (WIT), an initiative of The Transplantation Society for a special event on December 7 entitled “Women in Donation”. This was the first WIT event related to the careers of women specifically involved in donation. Hosted by Dr. Lori West and moderated by Dr. Vanessa Silva e Silva, a series of short presentations by invited speakers highlighted their career trajectories (e.g., how they became interested in the field, how donation fits into their larger view of their work and essential issues that they think are important.) About 90 participants had registered for this event. This virtual event also gave an overview of the WIT initiative and had several short presentations from women in donation through their personal stories about experiences, challenges, and opportunities.

View recording here.
Highlights from this year’s ASM’s presentations

The morning of the ASM’s Day 1 centered on the serious impacts that COVID-19 has had on organ donation and transplantation. Participants heard about the science of COVD-19 in transplantation, how Canadian ODOs came together to ensure safety, and how British Columbia’s organ donation system has had to adapt under COVID-19 conditions. Then this session ended with a personal story of how a transplant family is living through this COVID-19 pandemic.

Afterwards, participants were shown a video which highlighted the excellent work that CDTRP has accomplished this past year with its partners and supporters. Next, attendees listened to six trainee presentations who are working on various research projects on organ donation and transplantation. Then registrants were presented on talks related to barriers and opportunities in international research and training in donation and transplantation.


The morning of Day 2 had concentrated on a point- counterpoint discussion of using normothermic regional perfusion (NRP) after circulatory determination of death. This discussion had familiarized attendees with the logistical, empirical, and ethical challenges of implementing NRP in Canada, and had assessed the pros and cons of moving ahead with this technology’s use. Next, attendees learned about the various ethical and legal challenges of using antemortem interventions.

After hearing two moving personal stories of how donor and recipient found each other, participants then heard about the risks, benefits, ethical, legal issues and considerations of when the donor and recipient families meet. Next, the perspectives on having the donor and recipient families meet were shared by Trillium Gift of Life Network, the organ procurement organization in Ontario. The theme for the last session on Day 2, was on the status of donation and transplantation in underserved populations. Six trainees each gave an informative and quick presentation on their work related to this theme.


Day 3 started with a focus on the future of the CDTRP as Juniper consulting updated everyone on their project at how research and innovation in organ donation and transplantation in Canada can be better supported. Then participants heard about future funding opportunities from the CIHR. Afterwards, members heard about some new advances in immunology and cell therapy. Then, the ASM wrapped up with its last theme which was on presentations related to mental health within the donation and transplantation system.

If you missed attending some of this ASM, recordings of each day’s sections will be posted soon on the CDTRP website.
To help us improve participation and satisfaction with our events, we would appreciate if you could please take a few minutes to complete our ASM’s survey below.

CDTRP is happy to announce the dates of its 9th Annual Scientific Meeting: December 7-9, 2022. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months!