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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


Ezekian, Brian, Paul M. Schroder, Michael S. Mulvihill, Andrew Barbas, Bradley Collins, Kyle Freischlag, Janghoon Yoon, et al. “Pretransplant Desensitization with Costimulation Blockade and Proteasome Inhibitor Reduces DSA and Delays Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Highly Sensitized Nonhuman Primate Kidney Transplant Recipients.” J Am Soc Nephrol 30, no. 12 (December 2019): 2399–2411.

Full Text

Knechtle, Stuart J., Faouzi Saliba, Bjorn Nashan, El-Djouher Martzloff, Pascal Espie, Antonio Speziale, and Sandy Feng. “EFFICACY, SAFETY, PHARMACOKINETICS AND PHARMACODYNAMICS OF THE ANTI-CD40 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY ISCALIMAB (CFZ533) IN DE NOVO LIVER TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS: RATIONALE AND DESIGN OF THE CONTRAIL I STUDY.” In Transplant International, 32:341–341. WILEY, 2019.


Kwun, Jean, Janghoon Yoon, Adella Clark, Dong-Feng Chen, Stuart J. Knechtle, and Annette M. Jackson. “P153 Utilizing single HLA antigen beads to sensitized nonhuman primate model.” In Human Immunology, 80:174–174. Elsevier BV, 2019.

Full Text

Freischlag, Kyle, Brian Ezekian, Paul M. Schroder, Michael S. Mulvihill, Morgan L. Cox, Matthew G. Hartwig, and Stuart Knechtle. “A Propensity-matched Survival Analysis: Do Simultaneous Liver-lung Transplant Recipients Need a Liver?” In Transplantation, 103:1675–82, 2019.

Full Text

Gao, Qimeng, Michael S. Mulvihill, Uwe Scheuermann, Robert P. Davis, John Yerxa, Babatunde A. Yerokun, Matthew G. Hartwig, Debra L. Sudan, Stuart J. Knechtle, and Andrew S. Barbas. “Improvement in Liver Transplant Outcomes From Older Donors: A US National Analysis.” Ann Surg 270, no. 2 (August 2019): 333–39.

Full Text

Schroder, Paul M., Zachary W. Fitch, Robin Schmitz, Ashley Y. Choi, Jean Kwun, and Stuart J. Knechtle. “The past, present, and future of costimulation blockade in organ transplantation.” Curr Opin Organ Transplant 24, no. 4 (August 2019): 391–401.

Full Text

Knechtle, Stuart J., Julia M. Shaw, Bernhard J. Hering, Kristy Kraemer, and Joren C. Madsen. “Translational impact of NIH-funded nonhuman primate research in transplantation.” Sci Transl Med 11, no. 500 (July 10, 2019).

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Kwun, Jean, Marie Matignon, Miriam Manook, Soulef Guendouz, Vincent Audard, David Kheav, Elsa Poullot, et al. “Daratumumab in Sensitized Kidney Transplantation: Potentials and Limitations of Experimental and Clinical Use.” J Am Soc Nephrol 30, no. 7 (July 2019): 1206–19.

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Knechtle, Stuart J., and Jean Kwun. “Parallels between antibody-mediated rejection and ischemic kidney injury with respect to B cell activation.” Ann Transl Med 7, no. Suppl 3 (July 2019): S151.

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Fitch, Zachary, Robin Schmitz, Jean Kwun, Bernhard Hering, Joren Madsen, and Stuart J. Knechtle. “Transplant research in nonhuman primates to evaluate clinically relevant immune strategies in organ transplantation.” Transplant Rev (Orlando) 33, no. 3 (July 2019): 115–29.

Full Text