Navigation Links
UCLA scientists receive $2 million grant to improve quality of donor livers for transplant

A team of scientists from the UCLA Departments of Surgery and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine have been awarded a three-year, $2 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to fund research aimed at increasing the quality of donor livers.

Dr. Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski, principal investigator for the project and director of the Dumont-UCLA Transplantation Research Center, said he hopes his research will address the decreasing quality of donor organs and a widening disparity between the increasing numbers of potential transplant recipients and inadequate donor organ supply.

The major factor contributing to the decrease in organ quality is the aging donor population, and conditions associated with aging that make the liver less desirable. These "suboptimal" organs are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI), innate immune-mediated tissue damage that occurs during organ harvesting from cadaver sources and during periods of extended cold preservation. Even if successfully transplanted, these marginal livers experience a high incidence of early dysfunction and late rejection.

Kupiec-Weglinski's project seeks to upend the current dogma treating transplant patients with cocktails of relatively non-specific immunosuppressive agents to prevent organ rejection.

He and his team hope to rejuvenate donor livers and improve their quality before transplantation by advancing novel concepts of selectively targeting local innate immune activation, a signature of the hepatic ischemia-reperfusion syndrome, and by enhancing local mechanisms that promote survival and regeneration of hepatocytes, which make up 70-85% of the liver's cytoplasmic mass. They also hope to find ways to boost inherent mechanisms that promote homeostasis in IRI-stressed liver tissue.

To facilitate such a paradigm-shifting objective, the team will employ a step-wise, experimental plan, starting with laboratory models using cultured cells and then moving on to animal models and, ultimately, human liver tissue. Their goal is to validate novel molecular targets that predict donor liver quality and transplant survival.

The project is based on extensive preliminary data and promising early findings, Kupiec-Weglinski said.

"Our project has the potential to result in a significant paradigm shift, opening up the possibility of developing new ways to improve donor organ quality and allow use of otherwise unusable and discarded marginal livers," he said. "If we succeed, it will have a major and direct impact on organ transplantation worldwide."


Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

Related biology news :

1. Cancer scientists discover novel way gene controls stem cell self-renewal
2. UK & USA scientists collaborate to design crops of the future
3. Scientists uncover the secret life of frozen soils
4. Tufts scientists develop new early warning system for cholera epidemics
5. Cattle can be a source of MRSA in people, scientists find
6. LLNL scientists make new discoveries in the transmission of viruses between animals and humans
7. Scientists develop method that ensures safe research on deadly flu viruses
8. Neuroscientists identify protein linked to Alzheimers-like afflictions
9. Illinois scientists put cancer-fighting power back into frozen broccoli
10. Scientists learn how soy foods protect against colon cancer
11. Wistar scientists decipher structure of NatA, an enzyme complex that modifies most human proteins
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015 ... behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and verify ... Signature is considered as the secure and accurate ... identification of a particular individual because each individual,s ... accurate results especially when dynamic signature of an ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International ... million to provide preclinical development services to the National ... contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and ... variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate ... --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... ARBOR, Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Eurofins Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA ... DNA-seq kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ... to enable the preparation of NGS libraries for ... plasma for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies would like to extend ... 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing companies in North America. ... medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by as much as 50 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... company focused on discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, ... Watkins to its Board of Directors (BOD). ... executive officer of Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and ... Industry Organization. Jim Powers , Chairman ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is pleased to announce ... stand-alone facility will be strictly dedicated to basic USP 61, USP 62 and USP ... chance to have complete chemistry and micro testing performed by one supplier. Management ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015   Ceres, ... company, announced today financial results for the fiscal year ... its business. --> --> ... on commercializing forage and feed products with a better ... the company signed distribution agreements with several leading crop ...
Breaking Biology Technology: