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2018 ASTS Sherilyn Gordon Memorial Travel Award Recipients

Danh Tran

Danh T. Tran, BS 
Medical University of South Carolina

Danh Tran is currently a fifth-year MD/PhD student at the Medical University of South Carolina. Upon successfully completing the first 2 years of medical school, in 2015, he joined the Lee Patterson Allen Transplant Immunobiology Laboratory, directed by Drs. Satish N. Nadig and Carl Atkinson, to work on the PhD portion of his dual-degree training. Danh has spearheaded several projects in the laboratory to understand the role of mitochondrial biology in transplant immunity, and has presented his work at several institutional and national conferences.

Danh graduated cum laude with a BS in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in 2011 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he first developed his scientific interest in immunology. Building on his background in cancer immunology, Danh began his research in the Lee Patterson Allen Transplant Immunobiology Laboratory and subsequently fell in love with transplantation. Under the tutelage of his surgeon-scientist mentor, Dr. Satish Nadig, Danh has developed a keen interest in academic transplant surgery to bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside. Over the course of his career, he has earned multiple awards and scholarships. In his spare time, Danh likes to read, experiment on cooking, and do small road trips.


Daryle M. Blackstock, PA-C, MPH, CCTC

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center 

Mr. Blackstock is the Chief Transplant Physician Assistant at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. He then earned a Graduate Certificate in Physician Assistant Sciences and completed a Master’s of Public Health program. He is an established Physician Assistant and has vast experiences in the field of solid organ transplantation including lung, liver, intestinal, kidney and pancreas. During his tenure in the field of transplantation, he has served as a clinical leader of interdisciplinary teams working to ensure superb patient outcomes. In doing so, he is well versed in regulatory and hospital policies, creation and implementation of policies, development and implementation of clinical pathways. He is a member of many professional organizations and completed a 2-year appointment to the Executive Council for Allied Health Professionals of the America Society of Transplantation (AST). He is also a Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator (CCTC), and is currently serve as the CCTC Representative on the Board of Governors for the American Board for Transplant Certification (ABTC).

As the Chief Transplant PA, it is essential for him to continue to set the high standard for clinical ATP practice.  He will continue his education as he is pursuing a doctorate in public health with interests investigating occupational exposures that influence the pre and post-transplant outcomes. He will continue the education of patients, their families, and caregivers about transplant and their post-transplant care with the most up to date information. He will continue offering ATP student rotations in all transplant disciplines fostering new generation os transplant clinicians. He will continue providing professional development and advancement opportunities for the ATPs under his charge.  He will strengthen relationships with transplant professionals worldwide. 

Mr. Blackstock continues to express his gratitude and honor to have been a recipient of the Sherilyn Gordon Memorial Travel Award. He will continue in his endeavors, holding education at the forefront to honor this amazing person, mother, wife and transplant surgeon for which this award is named. 

Abraham Matar, MD
Emory University

Dr. Matar’s interest in transplantation began as an undergraduate research assistant at Emory University, where he had the opportunity to isolate human pancreatic islets for auto transplantation in patients with Type 1 diabetes. It was there that he first came to appreciate how transplantation could have a profound impact on patients’ lives. Following graduation from Emory, he worked under the mentorship of Dr. David Sachs at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he helped develop large animal models of mixed hematopoietic chimerism for tolerance induction of both allo- and xenografts. Having transitioned from the lab to medical school at the University of Central Florida and now as a general surgery resident at Emory, his passion for transplantation has grown with his new-found clinical experiences. In July he will begin a research sabbatical in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Adams investigating the role of complement inhibition in overcoming co-stimulation blockade resistant rejection. The ASTS Winter Symposium will be an invaluable experience for him as he prepares for a career as a transplantation surgeon-scientist.  

Yanik J. Bababekov, MD, MPH
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Yanik J. Bababekov, MD, MPH, is a General Surgery Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. With a research focus in healthcare delivery science, Dr. Bababekov aims to bridge health services research and innovation. Dr. Bababekov is the Aetna Foundation Fellow in Healthcare Innovation at the Healthcare Transformation Lab and the Marshall K. Bartlett Surgical Research Fellow at the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery. In addition, he has earned the Camer/Rand Foundation Fellowship in Quality and Leadership. Dr. Bababekov obtained a BA in Neuroscience from Middlebury College and earned an MD/MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine. He plans to pursue fellowship training in abdominal organ transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery.