Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Immunology Focus area: Transplant Immunology
Descriptive Title of Research: Investigating the effects of normothermic machine perfusion on liver and kidney transplantation
I have two main basic science research focuses: immunology and oncology.
In regard to Transplant Immunology, we are investigating the therapeutic potential of normothermic ex-vivo perfusion (NEVP) systems in organ transplantation. We hope to promote transplant acceptance by studying and then modifying the immunological effects NEVP has on the graft. Specifically, research focuses on decreasing rejection of transplanted organs through immunomodulation. Modifying the composition of graft-resident immune cells and altering expression of cellular surface molecules to create a regulatory environment in the organ may decrease its immunogenicity after transplant. The clinically relevant goal of these studies is to decrease the need for induction and maintenance immunosuppression after transplant.
My Transplant Oncology research focuses on identifying novel biomarkers that will enable accurate prognosis and treatment targets for patients who have undergone liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver cancer diagnosis through the identification of circulating tumor cells and tumor nucleic acids hold the promise of early detection in at-risk populations. In addition to earlier detection, it is imperative to understand the mechanisms behind cancer progression and spread in order to identify potential therapeutic targets. Understanding which cancerous cells have the capacity to spread will assist in targeting these cells for destruction in future research. The clinically relevant goal of these experiments is to provide early recognition and treatment options for patients with HCC.
Link to Publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/david.al-adra.1/bibliography/public/
Graduate Program Affiliations: Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
Lab Website: https://www.surgery.wisc.edu/research/researchers-labs/al-adra/