The Issues


Transplant rejection is the process by which the immune system recognizes the transplanted organ as "foreign" and initiates immune responses against it. These immune responses lead to functional failure of the transplant. Currently, transplant rejection is prevented through systemic administration of many different immunosuppressive drugs. As their name suggests, these drugs suppress the immune system, thereby preventing any adverse reaction against the transplant. Although these drugs have helped in preventing immediate rejection, the chances of long term survival of the transplanted organ still remain low. Additionally, most of the clinically used immunosuppressive drugs are known to have many life-threatening side effects when used systemically.

Our goal is to engineer therapeutics that can address the two pronged problem associated with organ transplantation, which are 1) Immune mediated rejection, 2) Adverse side effects of systemic delivery of immunosuppressive drugs.

The Facilities - Starzl Institute