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EPITA Vice-Chair 2019-2021

Julie KERR-CONTE is professor of cell biology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Lille, in northern France and is responsable for the production of human pancreatic islets for research and clinical transplantation. She is also deputy director of the research laboratory INSERM U1190 (director F Pattou). Julie, American, received her BS at SUNY Albany, and did a Masters at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in James Southard / F Belzer’s laboratory on the role of Glutathione in the University of Wisconsin “Belzer’s” organ preservation solution. A French surgeon, Pr Karim Boudjema who was a fellow in the UW lab in Madison proposed that Julie take a sabbatical year in Strasbourg in 1990 to help him set up a laboratory at the Fondation Transplantation. During this year in Strasbourg she met Francois Pattou who was doing his Masters in the lab. Subsequently she went to Lille to set up an islet transplant lab with Francois Pattou, her husband since 1992. The lab composed of > 25 people has done over 1000 human islet isolation and 500 porcine, >150 human islet grafts in 60 patients. She is a member of the European Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association (EPITA). The EPITA-AIDPIT workshop which is held every year in Igls outside of Innsbruck Austria is a unique conference with the “keystone” feel where professors, students, postdocs are encouraged to exchange on an informal basis. Igls is a small village thus over the 3 days you meet the different participants numerous times. This conference gives young investigators on opportunity to present for the first time in english. EPITA-ADPIT meeting with its workshops is a unique opportunity to Exchange with other islet isolation centers in Europe informally on technical problems and advances in the field. This year the 10th EPITA-39th AIDPIT workshop has dared reunite the Pancreas and Islet transplant teams with the stem cell translational experts and the final scientific session is focused on WHO MOVED MY CHEESE (after fantastic book on how to deal with change by Spencer Johnson-)What is the future of pancreas transplantation, islet transplantation, stem cells, and what is the patients’ perspective?

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