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Organ Transplant Research

Basic Research

Dendritic Cells and the Immune Response

UCSF researchers are attempting to inhibit the immune response in mouse models by genetically modifying immune cells, called dendritic cells, that normally stimulate the activity of T- and B-lymphocytes. The modified cells will be administered with other immunosuppressive agents, including FTY720 and sirolimus, to improve tolerance to transplantation. Researchers also are investigating the use of dendritic cell-based vaccines for the prevention and treatment of mouse models with liver cancer.

For information, contact Dr. Sang-Mo Kang at (415) 353-1551.

Monitoring Rejection

Currently, taking a tissue sample or biopsy is the only effective way to diagnose rejection of a transplanted organ. UCSF kidney transplant researchers are working to develop immunologic status tests (assays) that correlate well with rejection risk. They are examining whether the presence of donor-derived DNA in either the blood or urine of kidney transplant recipients correlates with organ rejection or other clinical events.

For information, contact Dr. Ryutaro Hirose at (415) 353-1551.

Skin Cancer in Renal Transplant Recipients

Skin cancer is extremely common in transplant patients. UCSF researchers are studying risk factors in transplant patients with a study of genetic changes observed in unaffected skin, premalignant and malignant lesions. This work will be complemented by experiments in transgenic mice that have a tendency to develop squamous cells cancers of the skin.

For information, contact Dr. Ryutaro Hirose at (415) 353-1551.

Pathophysiology of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)

Working in a mouse model, researchers are studying the circulating factor thought to be the causative agent of the common kidney disease, FSGS. A clinical component of this study addresses the use of packed red blood cells (plasmapheresis) in treating FSGS.

For information, contact Dr. Flavio Vincenti, (415) 353-1551.

Clinical Research

Transplantation in HIV-Positive Patients

UCSF transplant surgeon Peter Stock has been awarded a $3 million grant to study the feasibility, safety and efficacy of performing solid organ transplants in patients who are stable and infected with HIV. Increasing numbers of HIV-infected people are confronted with end-stage liver and kidney disease.

The state of California-funded Phase I pilot study, which will collect data on HIV-positive transplant recipients, is a response to the longer, healthier lives that HIV-positive patients can live with highly active antiretroviral therapy. Researchers are studying the effect of HIV on the immune response against transplants, the effect of immunosuppressive drugs on HIV disease, and the complex interactions between immunosuppressive and antiretroviral medications.

For more information, contact Dr. Peter Stock at (415) 353-1551.

Related Information

Contact Us

To reach the Organ Transplant Program, call (415) 353-1551.

See more information about organ transplant research on the Department of Surgery website.

Related Conditions

Our Experts

Dr. Ryutaro Hirose,
organ transplant surgeon
Dr. Sang-Mo Kang,
organ transplant surgeon
Dr. Peter Stock,
organ transplant surgeon
Dr. Flavio Vincenti,
kidney specialist