At the Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center and in the research labs that support our basic science and translational and clinical efforts, we believe in a patient-centric bench to bedside approach. The research we do in our laboratories should advance the science of transplantation, and it is our goal that these advances result in better outcomes for patients in our clinics. Every UVa transplant scientist, physician, and surgeon is motivated by this goal.
Leading Medical Research
Our current research includes:
- Isolating healthy islet cells from the otherwise low-functioning pancreas of a patient with chronic pancreatitis, which then can then be infused back into the patient’s body, giving them better blood glucose control.
- Turning human tissue (such as skin and fat) and cells into stem cells that could be used to repair injured tissue and organs. For example, stem cells could more quickly and effectively treat diseases like diabetes and its complications, such as diabetic eye disease.
- Exploring materials that are biocompatible (able to be used with our 3D printer to create a bioartificial pancreas), such as degradable nanofibers, and bioprinting techniques, such as microfluidics. The 3D printer and the cells are stepping stones toward artificial organ development to address the organ shortage crisis.
- Using genomics to develop biomarkers capable of providing earlier diagnoses for patients, which will allow treatments to be given sooner and have a greater likelihood of success. Biomarkers could also be used to create personalized immunosuppressive medicine; to monitor how well an organ is functioning after a transplant, improving long-term post-transplantation outcomes; and to develop immunologic unresponsiveness in organ transplant recipients in the absence of drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Identifying new methods to mitigate ischemia reperfusion injury (injury that occurs to an organ during the time that it is outside a body).
- Investigating the microbiome of healthy individuals and of transplant recipients, to better understand the relationship between state of health and transplant outcomes.
The Best Patient Care
Our clinical work has a record of excellence. Visit “Get the Facts” on the UVa Health Transplant Services website to view our outcomes data.
Thank you for your interest in the Transplant Surgery Division of the University of Virginia. Whether you are a prospective patient, scientist, surgeon, or simply interested in learning more about transplants at UVa, we appreciate you stopping by our website. Please contact me if you have any questions about our program.
Kenneth L Brayman, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Transplant Surgery
Professor of Surgery, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering
NABI Biopharmaceuticals Professor of Transplantation
Director, Center for Cellular Transplantation and Therapeutics
Director, Pancreas and Islet Transplant Programs