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Transforming Transplantation: a Cambridge Festival talk

March 31, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The success of organ transplantation in the last 70 years is one of modern medicine’s great stories. Despite that success, right across the globe there remains a mismatch between the number of people waiting for a transplant and the number of organs available. Join transplant surgeon and research director Professor Mike Nicholson as he introduces talks from two young researchers working to solve this problem.

PhD student Serena MacMillan will present: As easy as ABO: towards universal donor kidneys. Her work focuses on efforts to convert all donor kidneys to blood group O, thus circumventing the perpetual issue of blood group matching in transplantation. She uses special substances called enzymes that work as tiny ‘biological scissors’ to make the changes to the donor kidney.

Academic Clinical Fellow James Ashcroft will present: Small but mighty: exosomes explained. He works on extremely small particles called ‘exosomes’ released by cells, which may be able to predict how well a donated kidney will perform in its new owner before it is transplanted. This will potentially enable us to transplant kidneys previously considered unsuitable because of doubts over quality.

Professor Nicholson is Director of the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit (BTRU) in Organ Donation and Transplantation which funds this research.

This event is free but please book a place

Our talk will be followed by one given at 19:00–20:00 by our colleagues at the NIHR BTRU in Donor Health and Genomics who work closely with NHS Blood and Transplant to maintain stocks of blood whilst looking after donor health. This event is also free but booking is again required.

See the Cambridge Festival website for details of all festival events.


March 31, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Lecture Theatre A, New Museums Site
University of Cambridge Admissions Office, New Museums site, Bene't Street
Cambridge, CB2 3PT United Kingdom
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