The focus of our laboratory is the development of novel strategies to enhance the function of high-risk transplanted organs. At present, much of our work involves the use of ex vivo organ perfusion technology, in which the graft is maintained in a metabolically active state outside the body. This platform provides the opportunity to assess the viability of the organ and to deliver therapeutic treatments to enhance graft function.
Scientifically, our focus is on cellular mechanisms of ischemia-reperfusion injury, inflammation, and innate immunity. Current projects include characterization of the production and release of inflammatory molecules during ex vivo organ perfusion and the development of therapeutic strategies to reduce injury from damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). Future projects will include the use of ex vivo organ perfusion technology to deliver gene therapies designed to augment graft function.
Key Projects Underway
- Development of therapeutic strategies to reduce injury from damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs)
- The use of subnormothermic temperature as an anti-inflammatory strategy in ex vivo lung perfusion
- Delivery of therapeutic agents to enhance mitochondrial function of extended-criteria donor livers
- Implantable oxygen biosensors to monitor tissue oxygen tension during ex vivo organ perfusion
Recent Grants and Awards
- 2017 ASTS Faculty Development Grant
- 2018 Duke University Physician-Scientist Strong Start Award
- 2018 Duke University Chancellor’s Discovery Award
- 2019 Duke Transplant Center Pilot Funding Grant
- Recent publication: “DAMPs induce inflammatory injury during machine preservation of the liver: Potential targets to enhance a promising technology” in Liver Transplantation
Surgical residents and medical students are encouraged to inquire about research opportunities.