Transplanting the Untransplantable? – pushing the boundaries

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6 March 2018

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Venue: Perrin Lecture Theatre, Blizard Institute, Newark Street, London E1 2AT

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Centre of the Cell's Big Question Lecture series gives you a chance to hear biology experts discuss their work and question them about it.

Our next Big Question Lecture is "Transplanting the Untransplantable-pushing the boundaries". The guest speaker is Dr Pankaj Chandak.

How can we do transplants in small children? Can we keep organs alive outside the human body before we transplant them into someone? How can we transplant across different blood groups? Can we use robots to help in doing a transplant to help quicken recovery?

These are just some the challenges facing transplant surgeons today. How can we use science to help them? Pankaj Chandak, a Research Fellow and Transplant Registrar at King's College London and Guy's and Great Ormond Street Hospitals will take you on a journey from the early transplants to modern times, highlighting key developments in transplant science and innovation. In particular, he will be looking at how keyhole and robotic surgery have been used to help patients recover quickly and how a novel bypass machine that pumps blood into organs keeps them alive! He goes further to explore the role of 3D printing in transplantation touching on organ bioprinting. Just how close are we to making a new kidney?!

Pankaj Chandak is a Specialist Registrar in Transplant Surgery at Guy's, St Thomas' and Great Ormond Street Hospitals and a Research Fellow at the MRC Centre for Transplantation, King's College London.

His scientific interests include complex paediatric transplantation and organ perfusion technology and innovation. Pankaj is one of only a few people worldwide trained to keep kidneys alive outside the body by using a novel bypass, improving their quality prior to transplantation and reducing the chances of rejection. Pankaj's work also led to use of 3D printing in the planning of challenging kidney transplants in children (also a world first).

Pankaj has received several prestigious awards including The Royal Society of Medicine Norman Tanner Medal, The Cutler's Clark Medal and The Royal College of Surgeons of England Joseph Lister Prize and Medal. He is recipient of The International Paediatric Transplant Young Scholar Award 2017.

Pankaj was medical advisor for the recent Netflix series, The Crown and appeared in Episode 1, where he played the surgeon operating on King George VI (you can see Pankaj in the image above (left) in period costume on the set of The Crown.)

Pankaj has also appeared on the BBC, Channel 5, ITV and has made appearances for film and radio including the BBC World Service. He is setting up the first UK Children Transplant Choir called "Harmonies of Hope".