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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


Cruise, J. L., S. J. Knechtle, R. R. Bollinger, C. Kuhn, and G. Michalopoulos. “α1-Adrenergic effects and liver regeneration.” Hepatology 7, no. 6 (1987): 1189–94.


Knechtle, S. J., P. Kolbeck, S. Tsuchimoto, F. Sanfilippo, and R. R. Bollinger. “Hyperacute rejection of liver transplants in rats.” Curr Surg 43, no. 4 (July 1986): 303–5.


Knechtle, S. J., E. C. Halperin, T. Saad, and R. R. Bollinger. “Prolonged heart xenograft survival using combined total lymphoid irradiation and cyclosporine.” J Heart Transplant 5, no. 3 (May 1986): 254–61.


Knechtle, S. J., E. C. Halperin, C. E. Murphy, T. Saad, K. Abernethy, D. Miller, and R. R. Bollinger. “The effect of cyclosporine, total lymphoid irradiation, and cobra venom factor on hyperacute rejection.” J Heart Transplant 4, no. 5 (September 1985): 541–45.


Inman, R. D., P. B. Redecha, S. J. Knechtle, E. S. Schned, I. van de Rijn, and C. L. Christian. “Identification of bacterial antigens in circulating immune complexes of infective endocarditis.” J Clin Invest 70, no. 2 (August 1982): 271–80.

Full Text

Kawata, Kazuhito, Masanobu Tsuda, Guo-Xiang Yang, Weici Zhang, Hajime Tanaka, Koichi Tsuneyama, Patrick Leung, et al. “Identification of Potential Cytokine Pathways for Therapeutic Intervention in Murine Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.” Plos One 8, no. 9 (n.d.): e74225–e74225.

Full Text