Faculty Research

The researchers at the Transplant Research Program are maximizing our potential to accelerate discovery and ultimately to improve care for pediatric transplant patients. Highlights of faculty projects include:

  • Dr. David Briscoe has a long-standing interest in the understanding of chronic allograft rejection, and is studying responses that both sustain and resolve inflammation. Dr. Briscoe's team performs basic discoveries in the area of inflammation resolution, translational studies in animal models of transplantation and is developing assays for the monitoring of patients using precision biomarkers that allow for the risk stratification following transplantation.
  • Dr. Kevin Daly identified a biomarker that predicts the development of chronic rejection at least four years before it occurs in heart transplant recipients.
  • Dr. Natasha Frank and Dr. Markus Frank identified a stem cell pool that can be harvested from the eye and can be used to grow cornea in vivo. This is one of the first examples of constructing a fully functional human tissue from a molecularly defined adult human stem cell. Application of this research technology has the potential to lead to novel stem cell-based approaches to corneal transplantation and hopefully to other tissues and organs in the future (Ksander et al. Nature 2014).
  • Dr. Soumitro Pal is uncovering novel signaling mechanisms underlying the cause of the increased risk of cancer in transplant recipients His research focuses on how targeted therapies can prevent post-transplantation cancer, and they have given us clues into molecules that may be useful as monitors of early pre-cancer events so that preventative therapy can be initiated.
  • Dr. Gary Visner has been studying mechanisms of rejection following lung transplantation and novel approaches for prolonging survival. His work has identified novel agents that prolonged lung allograft survival in a mouse lung transplant model.