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Introduction

This is the second meeting report from 'New Dimensions in Transplantation' a Congress held
in February 1998 in Florence, Italy, that focused on the current renaissance in immunosuppression. The first meeting report concerned optimizing immuno suppression in transplantation using established agents, with particular reference to the new formulationof cyclosporin A, Neoral©. This publication looks at the future of immunosuppression and summarizes some of the mosf exciting, novel approaches that indicate a renaissance in this field.
The word 'renaissance' means 'rebirth'. The Renaissance marked the birth ot the Western age of discovery and exploration of nature and the world. Florence was very much the birthplace of this great movement. Therefore it was an apt, thought provoking and inspiring location in which fo hear the work and thoughts of members of the international transplant community, who are contributing to the current
renaissaoce in immunosuppression.

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This repont is intended to provide highlights of the Congress, looking at the issues the transplant community faces and sharing ideas of  how we can tackle the current challenges of transplantalion in the new millenium. Given the breadth and weight of the conference it has been a formídable task to distill the important concepts presented, without sacrificing important data that provide the basis for these concepts. That data will soon be available when the 
full manuscripts of the presentations discussed in this report are published in Transplantation Proceedings in August.
I thank the sponsors of the Congress, Novartis Pharma, for their help in organizing the meeting in Florence. Over the past 20 years, Novartis has played a major role in the development of new initiatives and treatments for transplantation, supporting our community through partnership and collaboration.






Professor Barry Kahan
Houston, Texas, USA