Research Group

  • Dr. Deborah M. Stroka, Principal Investigator
  • Dr. Daniel Candinas, Co-Investigator


  • University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


  • The Role of Oxygen in Transplant Rejection

Chronic allograft rejection following kidney, heart and liver transplantation represents the major cause of late graft failure. The pathogenesis of this clinically important problem is incompletely understood and warrants further investigations. The aim of our current work is to determine if hypoxia is an important factor in this process. In order to investigate the role of hypoxia in late organ loss, we are producing a transgenic mouse that carries a transgene that is activated only under conditions of decreased oxygen. This hypoxia-sensitive reporter mouse will detect low tissue oxygen levels and will be used in a heart transplant model to study the presence of tissue hypoxia in correlation with the process of chronic rejection. We will further investigate the role of hypoxia in the various cell types involved in chronic rejection, such as smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells and macrophages. These studies may identify hypoxia not only as an important regulating factor, but also a predictive marker in late stage graft loss. If our hypothesis proves to be correct, a long-term goal is to specifically regulate hypoxia-driven responses in order to intervene and to reverse the transplant rejection process.