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Stuart Johnston Knechtle, MD

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Professor of Surgery
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

During my career as an academic surgeon, I have had the privilege of leading and/or participating in a diverse portfolio of hypothesis-driven research projects.  These projects have centered on the immunology of surgery and transplantation, including both cellular and antibody-mediated immune responses.  During my training I studied the response of hyper-sensitized recipients to allogeneic liver transplantation, and am currently studying means of reducing immunologic memory that might allow more successful transplantation in sensitized recipients.  This immune response involves pathways of coagulation, antibody-mediated rejection, and cellular rejection and current work in my lab involves these three pathways.  The other major focuses of my work have been co-stimulation blockade and immune cell depletion as approaches to immunologic unresponsiveness or tolerance.  My research group has been involved in translational and clinical research to develop these mechanistic tools for the benefit of human organ transplant recipients.

Recent Publications

Knechtle SJ, Shaw JM, Hering BJ, Kraemer K, Madsen JC. Translational impact of NIH-funded nonhuman primate research in transplantation. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 10;11(500). pii: eaau0143. Reprint | Full Text

Education and Training

  • Transplant Fellow, Surgery, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1989 - 1991
  • Residency, Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, 1982 - 1989
  • M.D., Cornell University, Weill Medical College, 1982

Selected Grants


Kwun, Jean, Jie Li, Clay Rouse, Jae Berm Park, Alton B. Farris, Maragatha Kuchibhatla, Joseph W. Turek, Stuart J. Knechtle, Allan D. Kirk, and M Louise Markert. “Cultured thymus tissue implantation promotes donor-specific tolerance to allogeneic heart transplants.” Jci Insight 5, no. 11 (June 4, 2020).

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Moris, Dimitrios, Brian I. Shaw, Jared Gloria, Samuel J. Kesseli, Mariya L. Samoylova, Robin Schmitz, Miriam Manook, et al. “Textbook Outcomes in Liver Transplantation.” World J Surg, June 2, 2020.

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Kwun, Jean, and Stuart Knechtle. “Experimental modeling of desensitization: What have we learned about preventing AMR?” Am J Transplant 20 Suppl 4 (June 2020): 2–11.

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Sawitzki, Birgit, Paul N. Harden, Petra Reinke, Aurélie Moreau, James A. Hutchinson, David S. Game, Qizhi Tang, et al. “Regulatory cell therapy in kidney transplantation (The ONE Study): a harmonised design and analysis of seven non-randomised, single-arm, phase 1/2A trials.” Lancet 395, no. 10237 (May 23, 2020): 1627–39.

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Schinstock, Carrie A., Roslyn B. Mannon, Klemens Budde, Anita S. Chong, Mark Haas, Stuart Knechtle, Carmen Lefaucheur, et al. “Recommended Treatment for Antibody-mediated Rejection After Kidney Transplantation: The 2019 Expert Consensus From the Transplantion Society Working Group.” Transplantation 104, no. 5 (May 2020): 911–22.

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Kwun, Jean, Brian Ezekian, Miriam Manook, Jaeberm Park, Janghoon Yoon, Kyle Freischlag, Mingqing Song, et al. “Targeting Calcium Release-activated Calcium Channel Is Not Sufficient to Prevent Rejection in Nonhuman Primate Kidney Transplantation.” Transplantation 104, no. 5 (May 2020): 970–80.

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Dangi, Anil, Shuangjin Yu, Frances T. Lee, Melanie Burnette, Stuart Knechtle, Jean Kwun, and Xunrong Luo. “Donor apoptotic cell-based therapy for effective inhibition of donor-specific memory T and B cells to promote long-term allograft survival in allosensitized recipients.” Am J Transplant, April 10, 2020.

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Schmitz, Robin, Zachary W. Fitch, Paul M. Schroder, Ashley Y. Choi, Annette M. Jackson, Stuart J. Knechtle, and Jean Kwun. “B cells in transplant tolerance and rejection: friends or foes?” Transpl Int 33, no. 1 (January 2020): 30–40.

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