The Division of Abdominal Transplant team spans multiple disciplines to address the complex problems of organ donation and transplantation as surgeons, hepatologist, nephrologists, critical care doctors and scientists delve into the intricacies of immunogenetics.
Serving both adult and pediatric populations, faculty within the department are driving better outcomes through research to understand the diseases and risk factors causing organ failure. Faculty associated with the Immune Evaluation Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine, conduct studies on cellular and antibody immune responsiveness in relation to graft rejection, and immune response to allogeneic stem cell infusions for heart failure patients.
On average, about 20 people die every day from the lack of available organs for transplant. Decisions for organ use and allocation are often based on subjective surgeon judgment, simple risk scores such as the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), and accepted protocols.
Researchers in the department have been questioning these accepted practices; instead, they are harnessing the expanding power of computing to understand nonlinear patterns of associations between donated organs and transplant recipients to help clinicians make more informed decisions. With improved evidence-based models to asses risks and predict outcomes, organs that would have been discarded are increasingly being used successfully to save lives.