The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Department of Surgery and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute award the prize annually to a national or international leader in the field of organ transplantation and immunology.
Professor Wood has led the Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG) – formerly called the Wood lab at NDS since 1982 and has made huge contributions to the fields of immunology and transplantation. Her research focuses on immune responses that lead to transplant rejection and immune regulation as a strategy to achieve immunological tolerance. In 2005, Kathryn showed that regulatory T cells (Treg) generated by controlled exposure to donor antigens prevented allograft rejection. She has played a key leadership role in the EU funded consortium project - The ONE Study - that has enabled the initial testing of Treg therapy in clinical organ transplantation. Her research has also contributed to the development of a cross-platform biomarker signature to detect renal transplant tolerance in patients with the aim of achieving minimal immunosuppression.
Professor Wood visited the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in October to formally receive the prize, which consisted of a crystal award and an honorarium of $10,000 (£7,531), and to present the Starzl Prize lecture, entitled ‘Immune Regulation in Transplantation – From Mechanisms to Cell Therapy’.