The Centre for Evidence in Transplantation (CET) was established by Sir Peter Morris in 2005 after he had finished as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This followed a morning coffee discussion with Iain Chalmers, Director of the Cochrane Collaboration at the time, who suggested such a move. It was enabled by a grant from the Allison Foundation and was based entirely at the Royal College of Surgeons of England within the Clinical Effectiveness Unit initially but also associated with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. However, it now also has a foothold in Oxford where it is based with the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.
The Centre is devoted to evaluating the quality of evidence in organ transplantation (kidney, heart, lung, pancreas, liver, etc.) and defines gaps in our knowledge in these different areas. This particularly relates to the evidence in organ preservation and the use of current immunosuppressant drugs and many of the newer ones have been evaluated over the last ten years. The Centre produces systematic reviews based in general on randomised control trials, remembering that systematic reviews are Level 1 evidence in the medical field. Many contributions have been made in kidney, liver and cardiac transplantation by the Research Fellows and Research Associates working in the unit. Doctor Liset Pengel, who started as the first Senior Research Associate in the CET, is now Chief Executive Officer of the Centre and Mr. Simon Knight, who was one of the first Research Fellows and has been on the Oxford Training Programme for transplantation as an Academic Clinical Lecturer but now a consultant, is the Deputy Director.
The Centre has also produced the electronic Transplant Library of all high-quality evidence in organ transplantation, including all randomised controlled trials, good-quality systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines and this has been created to be easy and quick to search. This is proving extremely popular and for example is taken for all members of the European Society for Organ Transplantation and also the British Transplantation Society. In addition, the Canadian Society of Transplantion and the Texas Transplantation Society are amongst some of the other major groups that provide access to the Library for their members. There are also numerous Institutions who also take the Transplant Library as one of their electronic data resources. The Transplant Evidence alert which contains new additions to the Transplant Library is circulated to 22,000 transplant professionals worldwide each month.
The Centre has now also agreed a CET Network (CETN) which so far involves the Rotterdam Transplant Unit, Imperial Transplant Unit and the Comprehensive Transplant Institute Outcomes Center at the University of Alabama It is expected that the CETN will expand considerably over the next few years.
The CET also produces the Transplant Trial Watch (TTW) which is freely available as an app on both iPhone and Android. The TTW summarises ten interesting trials in transplantation that have been added to the Library in the past month and includes a critical commentary written by CET staff. This is also proving to be a very popular site.
In July 2016 Peter Morris stepped down as Director and was replaced by the CEO Dr Liset Pengel and Mr Simon Knight, Deputy Director and consultant surgeon, as Co-directors. Mr John O’Callaghan became the Deputy Director. The CET was renamed the Peter Morris Centre for Evidence in Transplantation to continue his legacy.