The University of Colorado has been at the vanguard of transplant research and care since the 1950s.

It is here that the world's first liver transplant took place! Our research is supported by the University of Colorado Department of Surgery and the Colorado Center for Transplant Care, Research and Education (CCTCARE)

At CU, we do Basic Science Research for both the liver and the kidney.

The Liver:

Ongoing liver research efforts are in the Division of Transplant Surgery regarding several models of ischemia-reperfusion injury and regeneration. In general, the cumulative focus is on the role of extracellular adenosine signaling following liver injury and developing therapeutic strategies to reduce post-reperfusion organ dysfunction.

At present, we have established the Human Transplant Tissue Bank, which allows us to evaluate tissue changes in the setting of transplantation at both the cellular and molecular level in human specimens. This is an essential tool by which to establish clinically relevant laboratory lines of investigation in vivo and in vitro.

The Kidney:

The best treatment for end-stage renal disease is a kidney transplant. For appropriate candidates, kidney transplants decrease the rate of death in the next ten years by 50%. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of usable donor kidneys. Our ongoing research is focused on reducing the injury that occurs when a kidney is removed from a donor, stored for a short time, and then transplanted into the recipient.

Limiting this injury would provide better short- and long-term results from kidneys that are currently being used, as well as allow us to use kidneys that would otherwise be discarded.