1st REAL Latin America: Covid in Organ Donation and Initiating LDLT in Latin American Countries

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March 25, 2021

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This webinar is a collaboration between ILTS and ALEH
(Asociación Latinoamericana para el Estudio del Hígado).




  • Become familiarized with organ donation activity during Covid-19 in Latin American countries and Spain
  • Learn about Latin American activity in Living Donor Liver Transplant
  • Understand process of initiating Living Donor Liver Transplant program in Latin American countries and Spain



    • INTRODUCTION | Marina Berenguer, Juan Pablo Arab and Martin Dib
    • SESSION 1 | “Covid in Organ Donation” Beatriz Domínguez-Gil (Spain) & Liliana Bisigniano (Argentina)
    • Q&A Part 1
    • SESSION 2 | “Initiating LDLT in Latin American Countries” Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro (USA) & Luis Gustavo Podestá (Argentina)
    • Q&A Part 2
    • CONCLUSION | Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro



Beatriz Domínguez-Gil is a medical doctor and specialist in Nephrology with a PhD in internal medicine. She joined the Organización Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT) in November 2006 becoming its Director-General in May 2017. ONT is the national authority responsible for the oversight, coordination and organization of the donation and clinical use of organs, tissues and cells in Spain. Immediate past Chair of the Committee of Transplantation of the Council of Europe (CD-P-TO), president of the Iberoamerican Network/Council on Donation and transplantation (RCIDT) and member of the WHO Task Force to promote ethical practices in the donation and transplantation of organs, tissues and cells. Past Chair of the European Donation and Transplant Coordination Organization (EDTCO), past councillor of The Transplantation Society (TTS) and member of its Ethics Committee, and past Chair of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism. She has more than 120 publications in scientific journals and book chapters.


Liliana Bisigniano has a degree in pediatrics and pediatric nephrology and was awarded by the Argentine Society of Pediatrics and the Ministry of Health for both. She is a Pediatric nephrologist, Director of the technical and scientific committee at INCUCAI, and responsible for the creation, control and auditing of the national registries including patients on dialysis, waiting lists for both organ and tissue transplantation, and patients undergoing both organ and tissue transplantation, and for the design of the national regulatory frameworks related to center validation, certification of health care providers performing organ, tissue and cell transplantation, definition of the organ and tissue distribution and allocation programs, statistical analysis of the national dialysis registries, waiting list, and organ transplant outcome in terms of patient and graft survival associated with donor and recipient – related variables, and procurement logistics.
Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro is Chief of the Division of Transplantation at the University of Rochester (URMC) since August 2016. There, he’s demonstrated his ability to grow a program, leading his team to double the number of organ transplants with the best outcomes in the program’s history. Under his leadership, URMC restarted live donor liver transplants, performing 30 operations over 2.5 years as well as introducing a very active program of donation after cardiac death. Dr. Hernandez is also heavily focused on liver resections, and is one of a handful of US surgeons performing the ALPPS procedure. Dr. Hernandez recently opened the second active program on liver transplantation for unresectable colorectal liver metastases in the US. Dr. Hernandez has received multiple grants for innovative research in liver cancer and regeneration and has >100 peer-reviewed publications in HPB and liver transplantation. In 2019, he joined the editorial board of Annals of Surgery, the highest impact factor surgical journal. Dr. Hernandez has positions in many societies, including the Scientific Committee of the ALPPS Registry, Chair of the ILTS Education & Scholarship Committee, and President of the New York Liver Transplant Consortium.
Luis Gustavo Podestá graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with an Honours Diploma in his residency at the Hospital de Clínicas. He obtained two scholarships to train for a year with Dr. Starzl, a pioneer in transplantation worldwide, at the University of Pithsburgh, Pennsylvania, with whose team he performed 600 transplants per year. In 1990, he moved to Los Angeles, where he was Surgical Director of the liver transplant programme at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was Director of the Liver Transplant Section at the Favaloro Foundation. He is Director of the Department of Surgery and Chief of the Liver Transplant Service.•In 29 years of experience in Hepatobiliary Surgery and Transplantation, and as a member of national and international societies, he published over 80 publications in peer-review journals, 12 chapters in surgery textbooks and over 50 presentations at International Congresses.2015 he received the Hippocrates Award of the National Academy of Medicine, Area “Researcher in Medicine”.




Marina Berenguer is a Consultant Hepatologist at La Fe University Hospital in Valencia, Spain. President-Elect of the International Liver Transplantation Society in 2019. Research Coordinator within a National Network Research Center in Hepatology, CIBER-EHD”. Co-founder in 2016 of the Spanish Group of Women Hepatologists (GEMHEP). Recipient of several awards, including the Medical-Scientific Award from the Liver Transplant Patient Association in 2007, the Professional Career Acknowledgement granted by the Regional Government in 2010 and the Professionalism Award granted by EVAP-Business and Professional Association in 2019.


Juan Pablo Arab Professor of Medicine at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile School of Medicine. Trained at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Dr. Arab is a Transplant Hepatologist and Physician Scientist with an interest in translational and clinical research in alcohol-related liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He is the Director for Living Donor Liver Transplantation at his institution. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on gastrointestinal and liver diseases in high-impact factor journals, several book chapters and delivered lectures at national and international meetings. He is the Vice-President of the Chilean Hepatology Association and member of the Education & Scholarship Committee of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS).


Martin Dib graduated from medical school at University of Chile, after which he did a Research Fellowship in Liver Regeneration at Harvard University. He completed his General Surgery Residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University and his Clinical Fellowship in Abdominal Organ Transplant and Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery at the University of Toronto. He worked as a Transplant Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in 2018 moved back to Chile to develop a Live Donor Liver Transplant Program in Latin America and is currently the Chief of Transplant at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.


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