Taylor Coe Awarded ALF Research Award for Important Work on Liver Transplantation
Irwin M. Arias, MD Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Taylor M. Coe, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital
Role of IdeS in Depletion of IgG to Reduce Antibody Mediated Graft Damage in Non-Human Primate Liver Xenotransplantation
Mentor: James F. Markmann, MD, PhD
What is your first memory/experience of wanting to be involved in scientific research?
I joined my first research lab during undergraduate studies at University of California, San Diego. I worked in a cardiovascular biomechanics research laboratory and I have been interested in biomedical research ever since!
How did you learn that you had won an ALF Research Award?
I was actually on vacation in Mexico, celebrating the conclusion of the first half of my surgical training, when I received the email notifying me of the Award.
Describe your Research Award Project in very simple (layman) language?
Since liver transplantation became an effective means of treating end stage liver disease, there has been a critical shortage of viable organs for these patients. Organs from genetically modified pigs may hold the solution to the inadequate supply of life-saving organs for transplantation. In this study, we aim to evaluate the impact of genetically modified pigs on the incidence and severity of initial xenograft dysfunction, with the goal of expanding the donor liver pool through the utilization of porcine organs.
What do you hope your research project will lead to?
- In the short term?
Further understanding of the antibody mediated rejection, complement incompatibilities, coagulation dysregulation, and innate immunity associated with xenotransplantation.
- In its overall contribution to a specific area of liver research?
New genetic modification techniques have allowed for further edits targeting antibody and complement-activation pathways, which are hypothesized to lead to improved tolerance of liver xenotransplantation.
How did you first hear about the ALF Research Award Program?
I heard about the ALF Research Award through my mentor who has had prior fellows apply for this award.
What is the one thing you would like readers to know about why liver research is so important?
At least 4.5 million adults in the US are affected by liver disease and we must find better ways to treat these patients to improve their length and quality of life.
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