Research and Development

Driving advancements to save more lives

Authorizing donation of organs and tissue for medical research can help save and improve the lives of countless people, even when transplantation is not an option. When you say YES to donation for research, you can give hope to others through advancing knowledge of diseases, understanding new treatments and improving processes that can lead to more successful organ transplants in the future.

Southwest Transplant Alliance is dedicated to supporting national, local, and internal research programs to save and improve more lives. We partner with hospitals, medical schools, biomedical centers and universities who require donated organs and tissues for select studies.

Research entities seeking biospecimen samples for qualified studies may submit an application for review.


National Research Support: 

STA partners with the following national entities to provide available organs for placement in research studies:

  • International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM)
  • Promethera
  • National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI)
  • Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD)

The APOLLO Study – National Institute of Health
Coordinated by Wake Forest School of Medicine

Southwest Transplant Alliance is currently participating in APOLLO, a national observational study testing kidney donors and kidney transplant recipients for variants of the APOL1 gene. The purpose of APOLLO is to improve the lives of those who donate or receive a kidney by learning more about the genetic variations in the APOL1 gene that are found in some people of African descent. This collaborative effort engages the existing network of Organ Procurement Organizations and HLA Laboratories, a community advisory council comprised of kidney donors, recipients and advocates, and approximately 240 transplant programs across the United States – all with the sole mission of better understanding the impact of the APOL1 gene on kidney transplantation outcomes.

Learn more at www.theapollonetwork.org


Local Research Support: 

STA partners with the transplant centers and medical schools within our service area to provide organs and tissue for specific research projects. Below are some of the current projects we support.

 Baylor University Medical Center Dallas

  • Esophagus/Stomach: Researching the cellular aspect of the donor esophagus and upper stomach to characterize and compare with those of patients with achalasia or esophago-gastric junction outflow obstruction.
  • Pancreas: Studying donor pancreases to continue improvement on the transplantation of Pancreas Islet Cells.

 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Heart: UTSW Medical school is conducting research on the Cardiac Metabolism in Donor hearts, specifically to evaluate for cold x-vivo perfusion. They are also looking at investigating the cellular change of hearts with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Liver: This study examines the function of discard livers using ex-vivo normothermic machine perfusion. Existing and novel biomarkers will be compared to hepatocyte function at multiple time points. This will indicate which biomarkers should be used to determine improved function in discard livers.
  • Lungs: Current research on donor lungs specifically looks into the use of X-Vivo lung perfusion and the ability to improve lungs and increase the number of lungs for transplantation.
  • Prostate and Bladder: Research on donor prostate and bladder maps out healthy tissue to better understand the process of Benign Prostatic Hypertension as well as prostate cancer. This project has also been involved and submitted data for the International Human Cell Atlas Project.

Southwest Transplant Alliance – Current Internal Research

STA staff researchers also institute internal studies to improve recovery and transplantation outcomes.

  • Lungs: This data research project utilizes the SALT protocol to help with lung recruitment for better lung transplant outcomes from deceased organ donors.