WIT Fellowship Award 2021

Women in Transplantation, in collaboration with One Lambda Inc. and Sanofi,
is delighted to announce the winners of the WIT Fellowship Award 2021.

  • Here’s what Dr. Roslyn Mannon, WIT Chair, has to say about the Fellowship Award:

    ‘I'm delighted to have established the Women in Transplantation research awards program. This is an opportunity to train the next generation in an area of significance and impact. I appreciate our sponsors having the same faith and commitment to innovation.’

One Lambda Inc. Fellowship Award Winner

  • Dr. Rizky Sugianto

    Project Title
    Cardiovascular Morbidity in Girls with CKD and Transplantation

    Rizky Indrameikha Sugianto is an epidemiologist and dentist. She graduated as a dentist from Padjadjaran University, Indonesia, in 2007 with distinction. She worked for the Indonesian Health Ministry and was involved in developing a dental clinic as a part of primary health service in a remote area in West Papua, Indonesia. This work awoke her interest in public health and epidemiology leading her to pursue further education in Germany. She obtained her Master in Public Health (MPH) from Hannover Medical School, Germany, in 2013. After the birth of her first child in December 2013, she joined the research group of Prof. Dr. Dr. Anette Melk at Hannover Medical School in July 2014. In 2015 she started her doctoral research focusing on the development of cardiovascular comorbidities in pediatric kidney transplant recipients. After the birth of her second child in September 2018, she resumed her work and obtained her doctoral degree in clinical epidemiology in 2021 from Hannover Medical School with the highest distinction “summa cum laude”. Her findings demonstrated the significance of sex in the evolution of cardiovascular risk. Rizky is currently a postdoctoral researcher and involved in several ongoing projects studying the course of cardiovascular morbidities in healthy children as well as children after organ transplantation. She also actively supervises doctoral students, as well as post-doctoral fellows in the research group. Rizky sees that the importance of sex as a biological factor might have been underestimated by the widely demonstrated gender effect on the transplantation access. So, she will dedicate the next two years to further investigate the role of sex on different cardiovascular morbidities.

    Dr. Sugianto has this to say about her award:
    “It is a great honor for me to be granted this award. The WIT fellowship grants will enable me not only to continue my research but also to grow and gain more experiences in the field and of course to contribute to the discovery of new knowledge in sex differences in cardiovascular outcome after transplantation.”

    Dr. Sugianto is mentored by Dr. Anette Melk, Hannover Medical School

    Anette Melk is a clinician scientist specialized in pediatric nephrology and transplantation medicine at Hannover Medical School. Dr. Melk leads a research group for Interdisciplinary Experimental Transplantation Medicine. Her clinical research aims to decipher factors leading to cardiovascular and renal comorbidity in pediatric patients after solid organ and stem cell transplantation.

Sanofi Fellowship Award Winner

  • Dr. Friederike Martin

    Project Title
    Impact of Sex Hormones on Alloimmunity

    My decision to specialize in visceral surgery was made late during my studies. Throughout my medical studies I was interested in many medical fields. I started to work on my doctoral thesis in 2015 in the field of radiotherapy and neurooncology. There, I gained first experiences in basic laboratory research and learned methods like FACS-analysis, Western blotting, ELISA, migration assays and lentiviral transduction. However, I soon realized that the clinical work in the field of radiotherapy could not catch my interest sufficiently. As part of my medical studies, intern- and observerships were mandatory. In 2016, I had the possibility to go to Boston for an observership at the Division of Transplant Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital with Prof. Tullius. Here, I got insights into the work of a transplant surgeon and the work of a clinician scientist. I got also involved in the research of his team and became fascinated by the work done on the impact of donor/recipient sex and alloimmunity and have continued working on this topic. Ever since, I follow the plan to become a surgeon and clinician scientist myself. After finishing Medical School, I started my surgical residency in 2019 at the Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery at the Charité in Berlin, Germany. Here, I have enjoyed the mentorship of Prof. Pratschke and Prof. Sauer and have recently also reached out to Prof. Sawitzki. Besides my clinical work, I have focused on my research interest in transplantation. I also had the opportunity to continue working with Prof. Tullius in his role as an Einstein-fellow at the Charite leading the Vascularized composite allograft (VCA) research group. For 2022, I am also planning to go to Boston again to work with Prof. Tullius research team. Currently I am working on the ICU in our Department, focusing on the clinical care of transplant patients, an opportunity to see the clinical relevance of research in transplantation immunology every day. I wish to further investigate the relevance of sex and age on transplantation outcome and thus do my part in improving transplantation outcomes.

    Here are Dr. Martin’s thoughts on receiving this award:
    ‘I feel very excited and honored to receive the WIT fellowship award and to be considered capable of being one woman in transplantation who might help to get a deeper understanding of gender dependent differences in transplantation. It provides me the opportunity to develop my own research in the field I'm interested in.’

    Dr. Martin is mentored by Dr. Stefan Tullius, Harvard Medical School

    Stefan G. Tullius, MD, PhD, is the Chief of Transplant Surgery. His research career in transplantation immunology covers a period of more than 15 years. His work on chronic graft rejection has contributed greatly to an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of long-term graft failure. His more recent research interests include individualized immunosuppression and the investigation of basic mechanisms of clinically relevant aspects in organ transplantation, focusing on novel routes for the improvement of organ quality.

    Women in Transplantation wish Dr. Martin and Dr. Sugianto every success with their research projects!