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Transplantation Immunology

Research in this area concentrates on weakening both the acute and chronic phases of immune responses, to facilitate the acceptance of foreign organ and tissue transplants.  Program members focus on the basic biology of immune cell nonreactivity (tolerance) to foreign organs and tissues as well as on the use of new immunomodulatory agents to promote transplant acceptance without endangering patients’ abilities to resist infections.  Recent advances suggest that cellular reagents, such as tolerogenic dendritic cells, may have the potential to inhibit immune responses to antigens expressed and presented by these cells.

Participating Faculty and Labs

Geetha Chalasani, M.D.
B cells and memory T cells in organ transplantation; pathogenesis of acute and chronic allograft rejection; innate activation and rejection; alloimmunity vs. autoimmunity in rejection

Olivera J. Finn, Ph.D.
T cell mediated tumor immunity and signal transduction pathways in effector T cells; human T cell biology; PKC pathway as a means of promoting and controlling T cell activation and positive and negative selection during T cell development; transplant immunology

Fadi Lakkis M.D.
Allorecognition of the innate immune system

Diana Metes, M.D.
Immune responses to EBV in immunosupressed patients; adoptive immunotherapy; Natural killer (NK) cells and delayed xenograft rejection

Adrian E. Morelli, M.D., Ph.D.
Role of dendritic cells in peripheral tolerance and transplantation

Angus W. Thomson, Ph.D., D.Sc
Transplantation tolerance; dendritic cell function.

Heth Turnquist, Ph.D.
Cytokine immunobiology; Innate immune cell regulation of immunity and tolerance; Transplant immunology; Alarmins; Characterization and application of regulatory immune cells in transplantation