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Transplant Medicine

While organ and tissue transplantation can be a life-saving measure, patients often struggle with the toxic side effects of daily immunosuppressant medicines to achieve permanent, long-term acceptance of organs.

Yerkes researchers are focused on achieving immune tolerance to organ and tissue transplants while preserving protective immunity within the recipient. During the last 15 years, Yerkes researchers have been pivotal in the development and application of costimulation blockers to facilitate transplantation of both solid organs as well as pancreatic islets to treat type 1 diabetes. This research started in nonhuman primates at Yerkes and was subsequently translated to highly successful human clinical trials.

To accommodate the growing program, Yerkes will construct a new transplant medicine facility. Research will focus on modulating the immune system so the body will accept a foreign organ, thereby reducing the medications needed following transplant surgery.

Yerkes Investigators Studying Transplant Medicine