ISOP History

The International Society for Organ Preservation was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit corporation in New York in 1999.  The impetus for the association was actually started at the first wetlab symposium sponsored by the Ohio State University Hospitals and LifeLine of Ohio Organ Procurement (LOOP) in 1994.  LOOP felt that with collaboration of other centers that the needed information about pulsatile kidney perfusion could begin to reach others in the donation and transplant industry.

Dr. Folkert Belzer had stated as early as 1989 that he had developed both solutions that were in use for cold storage (CS) and pulsatile perfusion (PP) and that he preferred to pulsatile perfuse or “pump” all kidneys in which he intended to transplant.   The data was statistically significant in favor of PP and the wetlabs promoted that method of preservation.  CS was included for the reason that it is a standard means of preservation.  The 1994, wetlab was a two day symposium with the first day including speakers and papers published on preservation with the second day a “hands-on” workshop.

Consequently, two more symposiums were held in 1995 and 1996 and then the same group was invited to hold a similar symposium at the International Congress at Washington, DC in 1997.   Approximately, 35 industry professionals signed up and then an additional 30 showed up after they discovered the program on the schedule.  The speakers were all well respected scientists presenting on their published articles on cold storage and pulsatile preservation.  After two more wetlab/symposiums with South Eastern Organ Preservation Foundation (SEOPF) and NATCO, Ben Arrington and Max Polyak (of New York Hospital, New York, NY) and Fred Gage (of Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC) incorporated the ISOP in 1999.

An award named for the late Dr. Folkert Belzer who was instrumental in pulsatile preservation and the University of Wisconsin Solution (UW) solutions for CS and for PP was instituted in 1999.  Awardees were Sherwood Hall who had set up most of the PP labs in the 70’s and 80’s, Tom Sherman, and Bob Hoffman.

For the next several years the ISOP conducted symposia/wetlabs with NATCO and SEOPF, in Los Angeles, CA; Long Beach, CA; Albuquerque, NM; New York, NY and Atlanta, GA. With the partnerships previously listed, ISOP was able to extent preservation education to nearly 300 preservation specialists, doctors and administrators attended since 1994.

In 1999, ISOP created an examination and began testing to show proficiency in preservation: the CTOP I level was a 100 question written exam primarily for cold storage preservation; and the CTOP II was a hands-on examination with en bloc kidneys, where proficiencies demonstrated such as dissection, cannulation, pump placement and operation.  In 2009 the American Board for Transplant Certification (ABTC) announced that it was constructing a new exam, whereby ISOP individuals (Tom Sherman, Jim Locke and Ron Skolek) as well as a team of industry professionals worked with ABTC to assist with writing the new Certified Transplant Preservationist (CTP) exam.  Accordingly, ISOP applied for Educational Provider Status with ABTC and was granted that designation in late 2009 and has recertified each year since.

Today you will find ISOP traveling the country educating preservationists by preparing them for CTP exam.  To date, ISOP has conducted 19 prep courses for this test and trained over 300 preservation professionals on the following dates and cities:


ISOP Presidents to Date:

ISOP Gratefully Acknowledges the Generous Support of the Following Sponsors

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International Society for Organ Preservation (ISOP)