- Dr Wei-Ping Min, Principal Investigator
- Dr Xiufen Zheng, Research Associate
- Prof. Anthony Jevnikar, Collaborator
- Dr Hao Wang, Collaborator
- Prof. Gang Chen, Collaborator
- Prof. Garcia Bertha, Collaborator
- University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
- Prevention of Organ Injury and Rejection in Transplantation
Currently, people who have received organ transplants have to take drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent their own immune system rejecting the transplanted organ. These drugs possess many potential side effects and reduce one’s ability to fight against various infections and cancer, putting transplant patients at increased risk. Moreover, despite these potent anti-rejection drugs, almost all transplanted organs ultimately fail due to slowly progressive rejection. This “chronic rejection” largely stems from the transplanted organ becoming partially damaged during the preservation and transportation stage or during the transplantation procedure itself. To date, we have no way to combat chronic rejection in patients. In this project, we will use a newly developed gene-blocking method to reduce the genes that precipitate organ damage and immune rejection.
This project aims to develop a new organ storage solution that contains new gene inhibition components, called small interfering RNA (siRNA). Donor kidney organs will be stored in this new solution before transplantation in order to prolong organ preservation time, to reduce organ injury during transplantation and to prevent immune rejection after transplantation.
If successful, we will have developed a new treatment to prevent rejection of transplanted organs. This new treatment will not only spare organ recipients from a life-long use of immunosuppressive drugs, reduce the risk of life-threatening infectious and cancers, but also will also improve and prolong the graft function.