The Transplant Immunology research program focuses on improving successful transplant outcomes. The program is exploring innovative ways to reduce transplant rejection, while also avoiding dependency on life-long immunosuppressive drugs that produce detrimental side effects, but are necessary to combat transplant rejection.
Another major research goal is to increase the number of organs available for transplantation with new technologies for synthetic transplants, and the development effective clinical tools for assessing transplant health.
Researchers at Methodist are exploring the following strategies for advancing transplantation:
- Protecting grafts by destroying the alloreactive T cell response using mixed chimeric bone marrow transplant therapy
- Protecting grafts by enhacing the production of graft protecting regulatory T cells (Treg) with cytokine therapy
- Engineering favorable immune responses by manipulating costimulatory and antigen presenting cell pathways
- Identifying biomarkers that enable clinicians to accurately diagnose and predict how their patient will responsd to a transplant, and that determine which organs are destined for tolerance or rejection
- Developing T cell diagnostic tests that enable clinicians to tailor the strength and type of immunosupression therapy to patients so that it is effective, while minimizing complications
- Biomarkers to profile transplant quality and minimize wasting potentially beneficial organs that are currently discarded for lack of reliable quality markers