April 1st
Buenos Aires Conference Room

Auditorium Pallady

Global Issues in Transplantation

Transplantation has been heralded as one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in the history of medicine. The field still has many unanswered questions and the motivation to conduct research that will answer them is to improve the care and management of this unique group of patients.

The life-saving nature of transplantation is countered by a number of issues that affect the field of transplant surgery globally, such as the inadequate number of donors, along with the lack of well-developed systems for transplantation in some countries, which has led to the development of so-called “transplant tourism”. Another ethics-related issue is the practice of multiple listing (appearing on more than one waiting list). These are the reasons why we need to be involved in public health initiatives that limit the reversible cause of end-stage organ disease, to develop plans for increased training of transplant professionals, and to advocate for ethical transplant practices. 

Prof. Nancy Ascher is the first woman in the world to complete a liver transplant and the first surgeon to complete an adult-to-child liver transplant. A role model for future surgeons and for all women in academia, Prof. Ascher’s area of interest revolves around the ethics and issues of liver transplantation. She has not only expanded the criteria for liver transplant, as a form of hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, but she has also addressed the recurrence of disease after transplantation. She is one of the few professionals who allow themselves to see flaws in their field, thus being a veracious pioneer of science. In addition to all of the above, Prof. Ascher is a devout protector of human rights, tackling the ethics and policy of transplantation.


Nancy Ascher

Nancy Ascher is a Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is the former President of The Transplantation Society and former Chair of Surgery at UCSF. She has served as a member of the Presidential Task Force on Organ Transplantation, the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Increasing Donor Organs and the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Open Transplantation. She was also invited to join the WHO Task Force on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues, which she joined as a member in 2018.

For her outstanding work, she was presented with the Holly Smith Award for Exceptional Service for 2020. Going above and beyond any expectations, Prof. Ascher was one of the two women in a generation of 220 students to pursue surgery and despite facing several challenges, she continued to pursue her passion and went on to become one of the most prolific and well-known figures in the field of transplant surgery.

If you want to see Prof. Ascher in action, you can check out Episode 3 of The Surgeon’s Cut on Netflix.