Research in the Organ Transplant Center

UI Researcher conducts demonstration

Physicians, Surgeons and Immunologists in the University of Iowa Organ Transplant Center are engaged in basic scientific, clinical, and translational research that explores fundamental mechanisms of disease that impact patients with organ failure and offer new approaches to managing the transplanted patient.

As a patient at the University of Iowa Organ Transplant Center, you have the exciting opportunity to participate in research projects, though you have no obligation to do so. Choosing not to participate will not affect your clinical care at all.

OTC physicians participate in sponsored clinical trials for new transplant medications examining novel ways to manage transplant patients. The breadth of the research conducted at the University of Iowa contributes to a better understanding of disease and new therapies that might benefit patients coming to the OTC.

Some of the ways we try to make a difference:

Patrick Brophy, MD

Heads funded research on kidney and liver transplant biobanks and the genetics of congenital renal diseases. Has developed a smartphone app that helps remind young transplant patients to take their critical medications.

Roberto Kalil, MD

Has a National Institutes of Health-funded study that examines the relationship between the function of blood vessels and survival after kidney transplantation. Working with a multicenter team of investigators he also studies the role of elevated uric acid levels in kidney transplant recipients and assesses the long-term outcomes of living donation.

Carla Nester, MD

Leads the investigation on a pilot study of CDX-1135, an experimental drug to treat dense deposit disease.

Richard Smith, MD

Runs a world renowned lab that focuses on complement mediated kidney diseases and allows transplant clinicians to accurately diagnose and tailor therapies for patients with rare renal diseases such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and C3 glomerulopathy that frequently return in the transplanted kidney.

Zoe Stewart, MD, PhD

Studies gene therapy approaches to treat endocrine pancreatic failure, which will eventually aid patients suffering from pancreatic diseases including type I diabetes. Also conducts clinical research in transplant outcomes analysis.

Christie Thomas, MD

Studies genetic renal disease including Fabry's syndrome and atypical HUS. Also heads research programs on race and culture in living organ donation.

Diana Zepeda-Orozco, MD

Focuses her research on improving long-term allograft outcomes by understanding mechanisms contributing to protection of the transplanted kidney from injury.