Dear friends and colleagues,
Thanks to you, this past year has been a big one for OPA and for the field of organ and tissue preservation as a whole. Together we’ve shown that a coordinated effort could make organ banking technically feasible within years instead of decades, a possibility that has become firmly rooted in the medical and scientific community’s consciousness.
We published an encompassing consensus article in Nature Biotechnology with ~40 global leaders on “The promise of organ and tissue preservation to transform medicine.” Together we outlined the transformative impact of this area on fields spanning transplantation, regenerative medicine and research and discussed the research areas that could be combined to achieve organ banking.
We also worked to make tissue preservation a priority for the DoD’s new $300 million regenerative medicine research institute and launched a community of practice with the American Society of Transplantation dedicated to organ and tissue preservation (click here to become a part of this!).
And of course, the organ preservation community came together to educate each other, learn, and collaborate at this year’s Organ Banking Summit. The summit was rated as “extremely” to “exceptionally” valuable by 77% of attendees, and “extremely” to “exceptionally” interesting and enjoyable by 82% of attendees. Thank you to all of the people whose hard work made this event a success; You can read reflections on the summit in this Nature Biotechnology editorial and coverage in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
I want to give a heartfelt thank-you to all of our donors and particularly highlight the dedication and generosity of three – OPA advisor Dr. Erik Woods and Co-founders Dr. Sebastian Giwa and Kevin Caldwell – that has allowed us grow by leaps and bounds in 2017. Through their company, Ossium Health, they offered a $300,000 matching challenge in 2017. This was far surpassed thanks to the generosity of this community, and in December, they increased the commitment to $350,000. Many supporters rose to meet this challenge as well, helping us to reach $353,610 in matching revenue by the end of the year.
Thanks to this growing funding support we’ve had many new additions to our team, and program directors Dr. Alyssa Ward and Dr. Kate Franz and our administrator Alex Mooney are now full-time staff members. We’ll be opening our first brick-and-mortar office together in the coming months.
With the help of this incredible community, even bigger things are coming in 2018. Subscribe to our new newsletter, the Biopreservation Briefings, to keep up-to-date on OPA’s activities and surrounding research progress as the year goes on.