Dear friends and colleagues,
It’s been a true honor and adventure to have been part of founding and leading the Organ Preservation Alliance. And it’s with great optimism that, after a two year leadership transition, I’ll now also be leaving my role as Chairman and handing that over to Jedd Lewis.
Back in 2012 OPA was just an idea by some crazy young leaders from interdisciplinary backgrounds in the Global Solutions Program at NASA and organ cryobanking was an orphan and in many ways neglected field.
We've come a long way together since then: two Organ Banking Summits, targeted funding for dozens of labs from the U.S. government, consensus meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill, a technology roadmap to organ banking, a new branch of the American Society of Transplantation, a landmark consensus article in Nature Biotechnology, coverage by e.g. PNAS, The Economist, Scientific American, WIRED, NBC, BBC, and other organizations. And most recently, record fundraising successes including meaningful funding to help seed a major research program .
And capacity wise, over the last year and under Jedd’s leadership, OPA has grown for a volunteer based organization to having a core and talented staff of amazing post-docs and other passionate team members.
So while the mission we all have all aligned on is a Grand Challenge and most of the adventure still lies ahead of us, it seems to me that we may have arrived at the end of the beginning.
The ability to replace organs and tissues on demand could save or improve millions of lives each year globally and create public health benefits on par with curing cancer. So let’s all - in our different and new* ways - continue to make the vision we’ve aligned on a reality.
With many large stakeholder organizations and the scientific community now aligning around the goal of organ banking, the future is ours to create. I can't wait to watch the next chapters unfold.
To everyone who helped OPA get to this point, three words: WOW. THANK YOU.
With great affection,
Stay in touch:
Sebastian Giwa, PhD
* Note: As a founder of the Organ Preservation Alliance I’ll of course still be around and available to help. Most of my time will now be devoted to directly accelerating organ cryo R&D through Sylvatica Biotech and academic research partnerships and to a smaller extent improving other areas of medicine through two other biotech companies that I’ve helped co-found: (i) Ossium Health (building a global cryobank of bone marrow from deceased oran donors) and (ii) Elevian (Harvard spinout developing regenerative medicines that target root-cause aging processes).