Lung Transplant Research

Duke is a world-leader in lung transplant research. We have led numerous clinical trials that have contributed to advancing patient care.

Researchers in the Duke Lung Transplant Program have authored hundreds of peer-reviewed research publications,  textbooks, and special journal issues devoted to lung transplantation.

Researchers at Duke are working to develop new and highly effective therapies to improve and extend the lives of lung transplant patients.

Gene Editing and Small Molecules to Enhance Donor Lungs

Discoveries from the Duke Ex Vivo Organ Laboratory (DEVOL), co-directed by Matthew G. Hartwig, MD, are detailing how viral based gene transfection in isolated donor lungs can reduce primary graft dysfunction, acute rejection and chronic lung allograft dysfunction following lung transplantation. 

Researchers from DEVOL are also leading work towards developing new platforms for extended duration of organ preservation in order to be able to treat aspiration, pneumonia and infections in potential donor lungs.

Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation (CTOT)

A $21 million, seven-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) awarded to Duke (PI: Scott Palmer, MD) will support the search for more durable treatments for lung transplant patients. The scale of the award and its duration offer researchers a rare opportunity to help prevent lung transplant patients from experiencing chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD).

The grant will support an interventional, multicenter clinical trial of a novel immunosuppressive strategy that will allow researchers to build on experiences in a previous Clinical Trials in Organ Transplant (CTOT) initiative that created the Lung Transplant Clinical Trials Network (LT-CTN), a five-center consortium including Duke, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, University of Toronto and Cleveland Clinic.