Transplant Researchers and Projects

Researchers Focus on Minimizing Immunosuppressive Drugs

At UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, George Mazariegos, MD is coordinating clinical efforts to safely minimize immunosuppressive medications after liver transplantation. The goals of this clinical practice are to maximize quality of life and minimize the undesirable side effects of immunosuppressive therapy while maximizing long-term liver function.

Dr. Mazariegos has also collaborated with colleagues at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute to develop simple blood tests that can be drawn with a patient's regular blood work in order to help determine their likelihood of rejection or the possibility of lowering immunosuppressive medications. This "tolerance assay" is funded by the Immune Tolerance Network, an international multidisciplinary organization funded by the NIH.

Researchers in Pediatric Liver and Intestinal Transplantation

Also heading up investigation and ongoing clinical efforts in the area of pediatric liver and intestinal transplantation is Rakesh Sindhi, MD. He runs an independent laboratory effort at the Rangos' Research Center, which is closely integrated with his clinical research program in drug development. Dr. Sindhi is directing three investigator-initiated studies that collectively constitute the world's largest, single-center, pediatric transplant experience with Rapamycin®, a new immunosuppressive agent. He also is the principal investigator of an RO1 project, supported by the NIAID branch of the NIH, which will develop cellular biomarkers as surrogate endpoints of immunosuppression.

Learn more about Pediatric Transplantation Research Studies.