header image

Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology

2017 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology 

Dr. Kathryn J. Wood is Emeritus Professor of Immunology at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, U.K., and the head of the Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG) at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.  She received her BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham and her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1981.  In 2016 she was named the Khoo Oon Teik Visiting Professor at the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation (NUCOT), National University Hospital of Singapore. 

Dr. Wood’s research focuses on immune responses that lead to transplant rejection and immune regulation as a strategy to achieve immunological tolerance. In 2005, she showed that regulatory T cells (Treg) generated by controlled exposure to donor antigens prevented allograft rejection. She has played a key leadership role in the international consortium (The ONE Study) that has enabled the initial testing of Treg therapy in clinical organ transplantation.  Her research has also resulted in development of a cross-platform biomarker signature to detect renal transplant tolerance in patients with the aim of achieving minimal immunosuppression. Currently, her laboratory has four key areas of focus: 1) strategies for the induction of tolerance to alloantigens in vivo using biological therapeutic agents, 2) mechanisms of tolerance, particularly the role of Treg  and their therapeutic potential, 3) the development and validation of biomarkers for predicting rejection and for monitoring the immune status of transplant recipients, and 4) the impact of the immune system on cells and tissues generated from stem cells for use in tissue repair and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Wood’s contributions to the fields of immunology and transplantation have been recognized internationally. Among the awards she has received are the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2001-2006), election to the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (2002), the Paul S. Russell Visiting Professorship at Harvard University (2006), the Gold Medal of the Catalan Society of Transplantation (2011), the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Rose Payne Award (2011), TTS-Roche Award for Outstanding Achievement in Transplantation Science (2012),  the Federa Prize (Netherlands) (2014), and The Transplantation Society Women in Transplantation Achievement Award (2014).  Dr. Wood has had a major impact on transplantation research worldwide through her leadership roles in transplantation societies, including presidency of The Transplantation Society (2004 - 2006), and service on advisory panels at the National Institutes of Health/Immune Tolerance Network, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and the Canadian National Transplant Research Program.  She is a former editor of Transplantation (1992-2014) and now serves on the Editors’ Advisory Council.  Dr. Wood was founding Chair of the Women in Transplantation initiative (WIT) of The Transplantation Society.  She has mentored a significant number of immunologists and surgeon-scientists who now hold leadership positions in transplantation in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Department of Surgery, and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute are honored to present the 2017 Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology to Dr. Kathryn Wood in recognition of her outstanding basic scientific and clinical research achievements.

The Starzl Prize lecture will be held at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Saife Hall Lecture Room 6