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Womanity-Women in Unity Interviews Dr. Bethany Foster


Dr. Bethany Foster, Canada

WIT Chair
June 13 - This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Dr. Bethany Foster.
Click Here to Read Interview Promotion

Dr. Bethany Foster is Professor of Paediatrics, Chair of the Department of Paediatrics at McGill University and Paediatrician-in-Chief at the McGill University Health Centre. She also serves as acting Division Director of Paediatric Nephrology. Additionally, she is Chair of The Transplantation Society’s Women in Transplantation Initiative. She shares some of the factors that contributed to choosing paediatrics and nephrology, such as how kidney disease affects the person as a whole.

Her research interests extend to studying immunosuppressive medication adherence, graft outcomes in adolescent and young adult kidney transplant recipients, who tend to be at particularly high risk of graft loss. Additionally, her research addresses recipient and donor sex difference in graft outcomes. She shares that male tissues have a specific protein that is not present on female tissues, which may trigger an immune response against the graft.

Prof. Foster is chair of The Transplantation Society’s Women in Transplantation Initiative (WIT), which aims “to advance and inspire women transplant professionals and champion issues of sex and gender in transplantation”. She notes that men still outcome women in transplant medicine and views WIT as an initiative to encourage more women to pursue the field. We discuss the value of mentorship and sponsorship to support women, and emphasis that women need to step up and put themselves forward for leadership roles, thus becoming role models for the women coming up behind them.

In closing Prof. Foster encourages women to believe themselves, be open to constructive feedback, and continue to improve. In your career, as you develop into a self-assured individual, people should accept you as you are, and if you demand it and give them no choice, they might just follow your lead.

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Announcement of 2024-2026 WIT Fellowship and LMIC Research Grant Winners

Sanofi Fellowship Award Winner

  • Dr. Sumoyee Basu
    King’s College London, UK
    Project Title:
    Exploring how T and B cell populations regulate the development of HLA Antibodies, comparing pregnancy and transplantation to inform novel strategies to help sensitised renal patients awaiting (re)transplantation

Paladin Fellowship Award Winner

  • Dr. Slaghaniya Neupane
    University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
    Project Title:
    Investigating Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 Alpha as a Central Regulator of Kidney Graft Repair in a Sex-Specific Fashion

LMIC Research Grant Winner

  • Dr. Sukanya Govindan
    Mehta Hospital, Chennai, India
    Project Title:
    Gender disparities in clinical and social outcomes in young people receiving renal replacement therapy in South Asia

Announcement of 2024 WIT Award Winners

Women in Transplantation (WIT), a Special Initiative of The Transplantation Society, is delighted to announce our WIT Award winners for 2024!
After much consideration from a pool of outstanding nominations, WIT is honoured to recognize Dr. Curie Ahn as our Woman Leader in Transplantation, 2024.
Curie Ahn, Korea
MD, PhD, Nephrology
National Medical Center
This year we are thrilled to be able to award two separate awards to two outstanding women – Dr. Wenshi Jiang and Dr. Katayoun Najafizadeh – who are our Unsung Hero(ine)s for 2024.
Wenshi Jiang, People's Republic of China
Senior Consultant
Second Affiliated Hospital, Guangxi Medical University
Katayoun Najafizadeh, Iran
Iranian Society of Organ Donation
Join us at TTS’s 30th Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, where the WIT Awardees will be announced and presented during the President’s Plenary on Wednesday, September 25th at 10:40am local time.

Women in Transplantation @ TTS 2024

    Women in Transplantation (WIT) is delighted to announce a Satellite Symposium and a Thematic Session during the 30th International Congress of The Transplantation Society (TTS), taking place September 22-25, 2024, in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The Satellite Symposium will take place on Sunday, September 22, 08:00-14:00 (local time) with a break for lunch. The Thematic Session on "Equity and Access to Transplantation" will take place on Tuesday, September 24, 15:40-16:40 (local time). WIT will also celebrate our 15th Anniversary with a Networking Event on Monday, September 23, 18:30-19:30 (local time).


    Women in Transplantation @ TSANZ 2024 Congress

    Women in Transplantation (WIT), a Special Initiative of The Transplantation Society, is delighted to announce a Session during the 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) (ISHLT) Meeting. This meeting will take place Victoria, Australia, at the Melbourne Convention Centre, from June 16-18, 2024.

    Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Transplantation: A Global Perspective

    It is our great pleasure to invite you to attend the new Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Transplantation: A Global Perspective Conference, taking place  September 13 - 14, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario.

    This is a first international conference of its kind that will provide a unique opportunity to understand the key challenges faced by transplant providers and patients by gathering International Transplant Leaders, across organ groups, as well as clinicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers, policy makers, and representatives from academic and community-based organizations. Most importantly, it places patients and caregivers at the center of our focus.


    Women in Transplantation - Showcase of WIT Members

    WIT is proud to feature individuals who contribute to WIT’s mission of: (1) Advancing and inspiring women transplant professionals (Pillar 1), (2) Championing issues of sex and gender in transplantation (Pillar 2), and (3) Advocacy to address sex and gender-related disparities in transplantation (Pillar 3). Learn more about clinicians, researchers, and patients who shed light on disparities and try to overcome them to improve patient outcomes.

    Our first member to be featured is Dr. Brenda Rosales, University of Sydney, Australia. Dr. Rosales is one of the Women in Transplantation Fellowship Award winners.
    Dr. Brenda Maria Rosales
    University of Sydney, Australia
    Bio
    Read showcased article by Dr. Rosales
    The Impact of Sex & Gender on Equity and Access to Cancer Care for Kidney Transplant Recipients

    Cancer mortality in kidney transplant recipients differs by age and sex. This indicates possible systemic biases in the delivery of cancer care. There is a need to evaluate current clinical practice to identify points of sex and gender inequity in and healthcare delivery for cancer management in kidney transplant recipients.

    Cancer disproportionally impacts kidney transplant recipients, but it affects men and women differently. Male kidney transplant recipients have higher absolute cancer incidence and mortality compared to females; however, female kidney transplant recipients experience greater excess cancer death(1,2). Sex and gender differences have also been described in access to healthcare and consequently there has been an increase of gender-based health plans, particularly in cardiovascular disease(3,4).

    Investigation of how sex impact access to cancer care may identify systemic biases in cancer care delivery to kidney transplant recipients.

    Using existing health data and survey of kidney transplant recipients, our work asks, how do sex and gender impact access and equity in cancer care for kidney transplant recipients?

    What does the data say?
    We will use evidence integration and population data to investigate the impact of sex on access to cancer screening, efficacy of cancer treatment and, relative survival in kidney transplant recipients with cancer.

    What do our patients say?
    We will explore gender-based experiences of cancer care in kidney transplant recipients using focus-group interviews and online preferences surveys to identify barriers in access and elicit patient preferences for treatment.

    What does it mean for our patients?
    Our work will provide a better understanding of the varied needs of males, females and people of nonbinary gender and, how current cancer prevention and treatment strategies differ by sex & gender. Our findings will inform strategies to deliver more equitable cancer care for kidney transplant recipients to balance its benefits and harms.

    Literature

    1. Rosales et al. 2020, IntJCancer (doi:10.1002/ijc.32585)
    2. Rosales et al. 2022, AJKD (doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2022.03.010)
    3. De La Mata et al. 2021, BMJ (doi:10.1136/BMJ-2021-068247)
    4. Wyld et al. 2020, Transplantation (DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003224)

    Pillar 3 Patient Brochure


    Recent Past Events and Recordings


    Women's Barrier to Transplant

    In partnership with the Women in Transplantation Advocacy Pillar, we invite you to share your perspectives and experiences as a female kidney recipient. We hope this project will help improve the lives and experiences of women with kidney transplants. Your insights will help us create health literacy tailored to female recipients, as well as expand future studies to all organ recipients.
    Details

    Who can take part?
    • Women over 18 years of age

    What will be involved in participating?
    • Global interviews are taking place
    • Held at a time that suits you
    • Face-to-face via telephone or video conference

    What will be asked?
    How accessible your treatment has been and some of the hurdles you may have faced living with your transplanted kidney.

    If you are interested in participating, please contact:
    Nicole Scholes-Robertson
    Research Fellow and Transplant recipient
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



    The Transplantation Society

    International Headquarters

    740 Notre-Dame St. West, Suite 1245
    Montréal, QC, QC, H3C 3X6 Canada

    Phone: 514-874-1717
    Fax: 514-874-1716
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