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Transplant Program

Virtual Kidney Transplant Symposium 2022: Navigating Through Transplant

Event Details

At this year's Virtual Kidney Transplant Symposium, attendees learned about the continuum of care for patients who require a kidney transplant with an emphasis on:

  • Optimizing clinical management
  • Patient education and support before and after kidney transplantation

The symposium included presentations by members of the Temple Kidney Transplant Program and personal accounts from living donors and recipients.

Speaker Bios

Serban Constantinescu, MD, PhD is Professor of Medicine in the Section of Nephrology, Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He earned his MD/ PhD from Carol Davila University in Romania. He completed Nephrology and Transplant fellowships at University of Pennsylvania. Since 2011 he has been the Medical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Programs at Temple University Hospital.

His research focuses on pregnancy outcomes in solid organ recipients for female transplant recipients who have had post-transplant pregnancies and male transplant recipients who have fathered pregnancies. He is the co-investigator for the Transplant Pregnancy Registry International, an ongoing research study focused on the effects of pregnancy on transplant recipients and the effects of immunosuppressive medications on fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

Antonio Di Carlo, MD, CM, is a transplant surgeon at TUH and St. Christopher’s Hospital for surgeon. Dr. Di Carlo performs kidney, liver and pancreas transplants and living donor nephrectomies. Dr. Di Carlo also addresses other surgical needs in transplant patients and patients with end-stage organ disease. Dr. Di Carlo is the Chief of the Abdominal Organ Transplant Program.

Adam Diamond PharmD, BCPS, FAST is a clinical pharmacy specialist in abdominal organ transplant. Dr. Diamond completed post-graduate training after pharmacy school in the area of solid organ transplant at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. His clinical practice includes caring for kidney, liver, and pancreas transplant recipients. Dr. Diamond is also actively involved in various national transplant organizations and clinical transplant research.

Eman A. Hamad, MD 

Sunil Karhadkar, MD, FACS, is a transplant surgeon at TUH and St. Christopher’s Hospital. Dr. Karhadkar performs kidney, liver and pancreas transplants and living donor nephrectomies. Dr. Karhadkar also addresses other surgical needs in transplant patients and patients with end-stage organ disease including parathyroidectomy and vascular access surgery for dialysis. He also focuses on outcomes research in transplantation and was recently highlighted in Nephrology Times for his study, “Obesity and Outcomes of Simultaneous Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation.”

Diana R. Kline has spent that past seven years as a dedicated, passionate educator and advocate for organ donation and transplantation. She currently works at Temple University Hospital conducting outreach to patients and physicians for the kidney and liver transplant programs. Prior to working at Temple, she spent five years at the Gift of Life Donor Program in Hospital Services as an educator in the field of organ donation to healthcare workers throughout Philadelphia and the state of Delaware.

John Mulligan has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. His experience is varied working with patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He has worked in the health care business sector as a clinical educator for medical device and pharmaceutical companies. His clinical specialties include renal and cardiac care. John has a passion for education and has been an adjunct faculty member for the Holy Family University RN-to-BSN program.

Nikunjkumar T Patel, MD is a Nephrologist practicing with St Luke's/Temple University Transplant Program. He enjoys working with patients with transplants and patients undergoing the transplant evaluation. He completed his medical school at AUC, and his medicine training at Cooper University hospital, and his nephrology training at Brown University and University of Pennsylvania. He enjoys time with his family outdoors.

Michiko Taniguchi, MSci, Ph.D., F(ACHI), is an Associate Director of the Immunogenetics Laboratory and Assistant Professor at TUH.  She joined the faculty of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in May 2022.  Her passion for HLA came from her experience as a senior research scientist at Terasaki Foundation in Los Angeles under the mentorship of Dr. Paul I. Terasaki, a pioneer in HLA antibody testing.  She received a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from Kobe University in Japan, an M.S. in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Southern California, and a B.App. Sc. in Medical Laboratory Sciences from RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in Australia after obtaining medical science training at Ulster University in Coleraine, United Kingdom.  

Elizabeth Zorzanello Emery, EdD, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian who works with the outpatient kidney, liver and lung transplant teams at Temple.  Her clinical experience is rooted in nutrition support of patients with complex nutritional needs, and she has practiced clinically in Philadelphia for over 30 years.  Prior to joining the transplant team at Temple, she was Director of the urban-health focused Master of Science in Nutrition program at La Salle University.  Her experience in these settings has afforded her the opportunity to work with individuals across the life span, of varying cultures, with food and housing insecurity, intellectual and physical disability, lack of access to healthcare, and other contexts. She has a special interest in health equity and universal access to nutritious foods as a basic right and the basis for optimal health.


Antonio Di Carlo, M.D., CM, FACS, FRCSC: Introduction to Temple Transplant Team & Concepts of Transplant
Learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of Transplant options for type I and II Diabetes, including simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant 
  • Discuss Living kidney donation
  • Define aggressive decease donor kidney transplant
  • Discuss transplant options for patients with renal failure

Serban Constantinescu, M.D., Ph.D.: Genetic Connection to Kidney Disease/Polycystic Kidney Disease
Learner will be able to:

  • Describe the strategies for evaluating kidney recipients and family members with inherited kidney diseases, who are considering kidney donation
  • Discuss Polycystic kidney disease, including types of genetic mutations, as well as the role of genetic testing for transplant recipients and kidney donors
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Alport Syndrome and role of genetic testing in determining inheritance pattern

Nikunj Patel, M.D.: CMS Effort with Dialysis - Getting Patients Listed
Learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) model
  • Discuss the methods we are implementing to help patients move thru the process of transplant evaluation.
  • Identify hurdles to kidney transplant evaluation

Sunil Karhadkar, M.D., FACS: Innovations in Transplantation: Getting A Kidney Transplant Faster 
Learner will be able to:

  • Describe Innovations in transplantation to decrease the time awaiting an organ for transplant

Eman Hamad, M.D., FACC, FHFSA, FACP: Cardio Renal Syndrome
Learner will be able to:

  • Identify and classify cardio renal syndrome
  • Demonstrate an understand the pathophysiology of Cardio renal syndrome
  • Discuss the management of patients with cardio renal Syndrome 

Michiko Taniguchi, Ph.D., F(ACHI): HLA Epitope Matching to Improve Outcomes
Learner will be able to:

  • Describe the structural and functional aspects of HLA epitopes—the role of eplets and epitopes
  • Discuss the tools for HLA epitope assessment (HLAMatchMaker and PIRCHE) in patient-donor matching
  • Discuss the effect of HLA epitope matching for risk stratification with the evidence of more precise HLA-DR/DQ matching in kidney transplantation
  • Demonstrate the usefulness of epitope analysis in HLA donor-specific antibody interpretation

Adam Diamond, PharmD, BCPS: Immunosuppression-Metabolic Complications of Immunosuppression and Risk of Diabetes, Hypertension, and Hyperlipidemia After Transplant
Learner will be able to:

  • Identify common immunosuppressive medications utilized after kidney transplantation
  • Describe the risk for development of metabolic complications of immunosuppression 
  • Develop a plan to monitor and treat common metabolic complications of immunosuppression 

Elizabeth Zorzanello Emery, EdD, MS, RD, LDN: Addressing Obesity Disparities in Kidney Transplant
Learner will be able to:

  • Define health disparities and health equity
  • Recognize the role of nutrition insecurity in obesity-related health disparities
  • Examine the impact of disparities in obesity on access to kidney transplantation and donation
  • Discuss evidence-based treatment of obesity with patients

John Mulligan, MSN, RN, CCTC: Kidney Living Donor Options
Learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of direct donation and paired donation
  • Describe the function of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
  • Discuss the role that the National Kidney Registry (NKR) plays in living kidney donation
  • Identify the difference between remote donation and remote work-up

Diana R. Kline: Patient Panel
Learner will be able to:

  • Discuss real life experiences with transplant
  • Describe experiences from the patient perspective in various transplant phases