Marc and Jennifer Lipschultz Precision Immunology Institute

Transplant

Funded by multiple NIH, NCI R01s, R21s, P01s, a U01 and complemented by several foundation grants and industry-supported clinical trials, transplant research at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) in collaboration with PrIISM, the Tisch Cancer Center, and the Recanati Miller Transplant Institute is thriving.

Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) research led by the James Ferrara lab focuses on the immunology of BMT, particularly its major complication, graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). The team has identified and validated the first clinically useful biomarkers for acute GVHD; the ISMMS acts as the data coordinating center for an international consortium to conduct biomarker-guided clinical trials in acute GVHD. The Ferrara group’s basic laboratory component studies the biology of the key biomarkers relating to GVHD and has illuminated unexpected interactions between the innate and adaptive immune systems, leading to conceptual breakthroughs and the discovery of novel therapeutic targets. 

Research in solid organ transplant science is performed by the Peter Heeger and Barbara Murphy labs, as well as labs led by Jordi Ochando, Paolo Cravedi, Joseph Leventhal, and Madhav Menon. The laboratories study basic mechanisms linking complement to cell death and T cell immunity, new approaches to inducing graft tolerance including via modulating erythropoietin receptor signaling, novel molecular mechanisms of allograft fibrosis and chronic allograft nephropathy, alloreactive B cell memory, and the development of unique approaches for in vivo imaging of ongoing allograft damage, among other topics. Translational studies address molecular signatures of incipient graft failure, identifying and testing biomarkers of acute kidney transplant injury and testing the impact and mechanisms of anti-TNF induction therapy on late kidney allograft function through an NIH-funded, randomized, controlled, multicenter, and international trial.

All transplant research is supported by the Translational Transplant Research Center (Peter Heeger, Director), with its good laboratory practice-compliant immune monitoring core, common flow cytometry and sorting equipment for mechanistic studies, a microsurgery core facility that performs transplants in mice and a T32 training grant for postdocs in transplantation science. Collaborative clinical trials within the Recanati/Miller Transplant Institute (Sander Florman, Director) include studies of outcomes and interventions in HIV+ kidney or liver transplant recipients, prevention of delayed kidney graft function, treatment of antibody-mediated, kidney transplant rejection, and prevention/treatment of HCV in liver transplant recipients, among others.

Inquiries regarding open faculty positions in transplant science should be sent to peter.heeger@mssm.edu.

Investigators with a major focus in transplant include: Paolo Cravedi, James L. M. Ferrara, Miguel L Fribourg-Casajuana, Peter Heeger, Jordi Ochando