Transplant Program Research

As a leader in pediatric health care and the world’s premier center for pediatric transplantation, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation is dedicated to transforming lives through research and scientific study. With research support from government agencies, insurers and the community, UPMC Children’s continues to improve the medical management of pediatric transplant patients and, consequently, increase survival rates for all pediatric transplant patients.

Our research programs and clinical trials are helping to advance pediatric transplantation, with special focus on immunotherapy, transplantation tolerance, organ preservation, bioengineering, living intestine transplants and post-transplant therapies, including the reduction of steroid-based and immunosuppressive drugs.

UPMC Children's is also at the forefront of pediatric heart and lung transplant research. Lab researchers and clinicians work side-by-side to study relevant cardiovascular and transplant-related problems in children. The goal is not only to increase the overall body of knowledge about heart disease and transplantation in children, but also to discover methods to enhance success of the procedures.

In the Pediatric Transplant Research Laboratory, UPMC Children’s investigators are developing ways to improve the effectiveness of anti-rejection medicines so that each child can receive the most appropriate drug at a dose that prevents rejection, but without side effects.

A research team at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute is studying specific biological factors that may enable some patients to be successfully weaned from all immunosuppressive therapy. When precise clinical markers can be determined, it may be possible to develop simple tests that could help predict transplant tolerance.

Through groundbreaking research and advanced training programs, Children’s has developed innovative therapies for previously fatal liver and intestinal disorders. Patients of Children’s pediatric intestinal transplant program represent the world’s first and most successful series of small intestine transplants. Children’s also offers pediatric living-related liver transplants as a lifesaving alternative to the national cadaver organ shortage.


Clinical Studies

Alemtuzumab Use in Intestinal Transplant Patients

Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacogenomics and Preliminary Safety and Efficacy of Alemtuzumab Induction and Tacrolimus in Pediatric Intestinal Transplantation

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*Crohn's Disease Treatment using Blood Stem Cells – Phase I/II

Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation with CD34 Selected Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC) in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients with Severe Crohn's Disease

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Emotional and Social Functioning in Transplant Patients

Psychosocial Functioning and Adherence following Pediatric Intestinal Transplantation

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Genetic Relationships Between Parents and Transplant Recipients

Transmissible Genetic Traits in Transplant Outcomes

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Immune Markers in Normal Blood

Normal Human Subjects for Immune Assay Development

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*Immunodeficiency and End-Stage Lung Disease Treatment with BOLT+BMT Procedure

Bilateral Orthotopic Lung Transplant (BOLT) in Tandem With CD3+ and CD19+ Cell Depleted Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) From Partially HLA-Matched Cadaveric Donors

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Immunosuppressive Drugs and Liver Transplants

In Vitro Correlates of Transplant Tolerance in Children Off Immunosuppression

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Liver Failure Treatment Through Cell Transplant

Hepatocyte Transplantation for Acute Decompensated Liver Failure

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Metabolic Disorder Treatment Through Liver Cell Transplant

Hepatocyte Transplantation for Liver-Based Metabolic Disorders

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*Non-Malignant Marrow Disorder Treatment using Reduced Intensity Conditioning – Phase II

Study of Reduced-Intensity Conditioning In Patients With Non-Malignant Disorders Undergoing Umbilical Cord, Bone Marrow, or Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

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Thymoglobulin Use in Liver Transplant Patients

Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacogenomics and Preliminary Safety and Efficacy of rATG Induction and Tacrolimus Monotherapy in Pediatric Liver Transplantation

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Transplant EBV Disease Study

Transplant Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Disease – Pathogenesis and Immunotherapy

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