- Dr Mandy Ford, Principal Investigator
- Emory University, Atlanta, USA
- Role of Memory T Cells in Transplant Rejection
Organ transplantation is a cure for many end-stage diseases. However, the body’s immune system recognizes the graft as foreign and begins to reject it. Current immunosuppressive drugs can stop this rejection but have many unwanted side-effects. A new class of drug, specifically targeting immune cells, may be beneficial in this regard. However, we believe that a certain type of immune cells, called memory T cells may be refractory to this treatment. The goal of this project is to identify certain patient populations that may possess increased numbers of memory T cells, including those that suffer from chronic viral infections or those that have spent many years on hemodialysis, and may therefore be poor candidates for this therapy. Understanding what makes this new class of drug work in some patients and not others, is a first step towards individualized therapy specifically tailored for each patient population during transplantation.