Linda Cendales, MD - Basic Science Research Faculty

Linda Cendales, MD

Associate Professor
Department of Surgery
Emory University School of Medicine
and the Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center

Early in her career, Dr. Cendales recognized that applying transplant biology to complex composite tissues requiring innervation, integument barrier function, and motor function would involve as of yet un-defined complexities of immunology, reconstructive surgery, orthopedics and surgical technical science that was not represented in modern medicine, that being, vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA).

The field of VCA comprises the vascularized transplantation of multiple tissues such as skin, muscle, bone, nerve, and tendon as a functional unit, such as a limb. It is envisioned as a means of replacing non-reconstructable tissue defects, such as those created by traumatic amputations or congenital limb malformations. Dr. Cendales’s work facilitates the development of this emerging medical field. Her team developed a non-human primate model to test new anti-rejection therapy and has initiated trials to characterize the biology of VCA rejection. These studies in VCA in non-human primates are the largest reported in the scientific literature to date. Her group also conceived of and devised the first classification scheme for human VCA rejection and Dr. Cendales presented these findings as the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the American Transplant Congress in 2003. In addition, she organized the first public international consensus discussions conference in VCA at the Ninth Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology in Spain in 2007 resulting in the Banff VCA 2007 classification for skin allograft pathology, and will organize the VCA session in the Tenth Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology to be held in Banff in 2009. Dr. Cendales’s goals are to advance this burgeoning emerging discipline from the bench to the bedside in a rigorous academic fashion.

Dr. Cendales is the only person in the United States with formal training in both, hand and transplant surgery. She leads the Laboratory of Microsurgery and the VCA program at the Emory Transplant Center. She is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Emory School of Medicine and the Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Recent Publications (2007 – 2008)

  • Cendales LC, Kanitakis J, Schneeberger S, Burns C, Ruiz P, Landin L, Remmelink M, Hewitt CW, Landgren T, Lyons B, Drachenberg CB, Solez K, Kirk AD, Kleiner DE, Racusen L. The Banff 2007 working classification of skin-containing composite tissue allograft pathology. Am J Transplant. 2008 Jul;8(7):1396-400.  
  • Newell KA, Cendales LC, Kirk AD. Finding the right job for the tool: alemtuzumab and its role in renal transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2008 Jul;8(7):1363-4.  
  • Cendales LC, Kirk AD. Nonhuman primates for the study of composite tissue allotransplantation. Transplantation. 2007 Jan 27;83(2):241.