London Leads the Nation in Transplantation Excellence

Canadian Conference Recognizes Top Research from Lawson and LHSC

April 25, 2012

Transplant Award recipients
Arthur Lau, Ye Su, Xusheng Zhang along with Dr. Zhu-xu Zhang (far right) and Dr. Anthony Jevnikar (back row).

Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) have received outstanding recognition for transplantation research and care. At the recent meeting of the Canadian Society of Transplantation (CST), researchers and clinicians presented advances that may significantly decrease the likelihood of transplant rejection and improve patients’ quality of life after transplantation.

Scientists Ye Su, Kim Chi Tran, Arthur Lau, and Xusheng Zhang from the Matthew Mailing Centre for Translational Transplant Studies swept all four awards for the top-rated basic research abstracts. Much of their work is focused on improving the success of transplantation by manipulating the immune system so that it more readily accepts the organ. Other research focused on reducing organ injury during the retrieval and transplant procedure so that organs perform better after transplant with less likelihood of rejection.

Clinicians from LHSC’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program also excelled in clinical abstract awards. Dr. Roberto Hernandez, liver transplant surgeon, received the 2012 Clinical Abstract Award from among more than 70 submitted abstracts. Under the supervision of Dr. Hernandez, Dr. Kris Croome, transplant fellow, received the 2012 Trainee Clinical Abstract Award.

These clinical studies are important in helping us determine how best to use the limited organs that are available for transplant. The clinician-researchers developed a scoring system, based on patient characteristics, to accurately predict survival following a second liver transplant. This score will be valuable in making clinical decisions as to which patients will do well following re-transplantation.

“Our scientists and clinician-scientists will discover new treatments, including novel immune therapies, molecular ‘fingerprinting’ to identify how well patients respond to anti-rejection drugs and the ability to accept their new organs, possibly without long-term drugs,” says Dr. Anthony Jevnikar, Director of Transplantation Nephrology at LHSC and Scientist at Lawson.  “Nanotechnology approaches will improve organ preservation, and stem cells will be used to ‘repair’ organs.”