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Single-Cell RNA Sequencing of Urinary Cells for the Deconvolution of Human Kidney Allograft Rejection


Single-cell RNA sequencing is a breakthrough platform that enables discrimination of differential gene expression due to changes within cells from changes due to cell type composition. Grantee will leverage this powerful and innovative tool to sequence urinary cell transcriptome at the single-cell level and catalogue mRNA transcriptomes of human kidney allograft injury from rejection; BK virus infection; or ischemia and tubular cell toxicity.


Principal Investigator: Manikkam Suthanthiran, MD, FACP
Awarded: September 2017

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $50,000



Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Recreating the Developing Lung Microenvironment to Aid Tissue Repair and Regeneration

This work aims to develop methods to regenerate patient-specific lung tissue for transplantation. Grantee has a procedure to remove all the cells from an organ, leaving only the protein scaffold behind. This protein matrix, like the framework of a house, can be used as the foundation to rebuild organs on-demand, using new cells derived from the intended recipient. These lungs can then be custom-made for the person who needs them, therefore reducing wait times and avoiding negative immune responses following the transplant. In order to create new lungs, this project will use novel methods to make the new patient-specific cells using stem cells, and then tests ways to culture and mature the reassembled lungs outside the body, to ensure they can function properly again before transplantation.


Principal Investigator: Sarah E Gilpin, MD

Awarded: September 2017

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $75,000





The Strength Training Intervention in Liver Transplantation (STRIVE-LT): A Multi-Center Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial


Grantee has developed the Strength TRaining InterVEntion for Liver Transplant candidates (STRIVE-LT), a home-based, structured, exercise program designed to reduce physical frailty in this vulnerable population. Grantee will test the efficacy of STRIVE-LT versus standard-of-care on the outcome of physical frailty in 40 liver transplant candidates at 2 U.S. liver transplant centers (Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Duke University). This proposal will enable the Grantee to: 1) establish the research infrastructure to conduct a large-scale RCT at other liver transplant centers, and 2) generate preliminary data to estimate the sample size needed to power a study for the outcome of mortality. Ultimately, the Grantee believes that improving physical frailty will result in high-impact outcomes including reducing mortality both before and after transplant in all liver transplant patients

Principal Investigator: Jennifer C Lai, MD, MBA
Awarded: September 2017

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $68,200




Transplanting Thoracic Organs from Hepatitis C Positive Donors to Hepatitis C Uninfected Recipients: Proof of Concept Trial

There is a significant need for transplantable thoracic organs given the associated high mortality of patients on the heart and lung transplant waiting lists. With the tremendous recent advances in Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment and in order to significantly expand the thoracic organ donor pool, Grantee has designed an open label pilot study to transplant thoracic organs from HCV positive donors into HCV uninfected recipients and will evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of using direct acting antivirals in these transplant recipients.


Principal Investigator: Ann E. Woolley, MD, MPH
Awarded: March 2017

Duration: 24 months
Amount of Award: $149,084 (24 months)


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