Research Group

  • Dr David Neujahr, Principal Investigator
  • Dr Adriana Cardona, Research Technician


  • Emory University, Atlanta, USA


  • Predictive Modeling of Outcomes in Lung Transplantation

Lung transplantation is a potential option for patients with end-stage lung disease. While refinements in the field have led to significant improvements in the immediate post-operative survival, the long-term prospects for patients following lung transplantation remain suboptimal, with a five-year survival of only 50%. This research is aimed at understanding the immunologic events that lead to organ failure in lung transplant recipients. Significant heterogeneity remains in terms of outcomes among patients who undergo lung transplantation. We believe that differences in the lung T cell pool between individuals may contribute to this variability. We will test this by performing functional and phenotypic analysis on the cells recovered from the lung. These cells are obtained during routine fiberoptic bronchoscopy procedures. We predict that the balance between activated and exhausted T cells in the lung will inversely correlate with the health of the transplanted lung. Specifically, we are assessing the impact of this measure on the risk for acute cellular rejection. Acute cellular rejection is the clinical entity most highly associated with ultimate graft failure in the form of bronchiolitis obliterans. Demonstrating a relationship between lung T cell balance and this outcome will allow for clinical trials that utilize this type of T cell analysis as an endpoint. Ultimately, these results could lead to individualization of therapy for lung transplant patients, with the hope of improving long-term survival.