Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique

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Allocution d'ouverture P.J. Kestens

(Séance solennelle du 28 octobre 2000)

Symposium international « Tolerance Induction to Vascularized Allograffs ».

Allocution d'ouverture par le Pr P.-J. KESTENS, Président de l’Académie.  

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It it’s a pleasure for me to welcome you today on this “International Symposium on Tolerance Induction to vascularized Allografts”.  On behalf of the “Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique”, I would like to thank the speakers who have accepted to come to Brussels, from the USA, from France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and also, of course from our own country.

This symposium is devoted to a very new approach in the field of organ transplantation which was a dream untill recently, namely, the acceptance of the grafted organ by the host in absence of immuno-suppressive drugs, avoiding the deleterious effects due, mostly, to the knock-out of the immune reactions of the recipient.

We are endebted to Prof. J. van Rood, from the Netherlands, who is the Honorary President of the symposium.  I like to mention that he is well known for his contribution to organ transplantation in Europe and his pivotal role in the creation and the development of Eurotransplant for this reason, he was nominated as Professor “Honoris causa” of the University of Louvain.

We like to thank our Colleague, Prof. J.-B. Otte, Member of the Academy, who will act as chairman and moderator, and Prof. P. Gianello, for their commitment to the elaboration of today’s program.

I was particulary happy to note that they made a judicious choice of the speakers for this symposium : they all are prominent scientists in the field of transplantation and immunology, but, to my delight, half of them are lady scientists ! This is an example for our Academy, where only three female members are seated, and a very good argument to force our Compagny into more parity between men and women representation.

I use to say that small scientific meetings are more rewarding to the participants than “mega congresses”.  I am sure that the symposium of today will be another demonstration of this reality.