Research Group

  • Prof. Biruh Workeneh, Principal Investigator
  • Prof. Osama Gaber, Co-Investigator
  • Prof. William Mitch, Co-Investigator
  • Mrs Linda Moore, Co-Investigator
  • Prof. Roman Shypailo, Collaborator
  • Prof. William Wong, Collaborator


  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA


  • Characterizing Weight Gain after Kidney Transplantation

Kidney transplantation generally improves the lives of patients with end-stage kidney disease, but a significant problem that results in shorter transplant life is weight gain after kidney transplantation. There is no consensus about the nature of weight gain after kidney transplantation. We are poised to determine clinically important changes in metabolism and body composition and plan to study those receiving kidneys from living donors. Body composition (i.e., fat, muscle) and energy metabolism of living donor recipients will be determined while dialysis-dependent and up to 1 year after transplantation. We have the patients and experience to measure body cell mass plus the masses of fat and muscle non-invasively using a whole body counter. Whole body counters measure the amount of potassium and nitrogen in the body, from which we can determine body composition. We hypothesize that weight gain after transplantation is a result of increased adiposity and decreased energy expenditure. We will also test if significant changes in muscle and fat occur in the immediate post-operative period — we hypothesize that in this period muscle is rapidly lost and fat is gained. Finally we will test whether changes in muscle:fat ratio impact insulin resistance (or sugar metabolism). Insulin resistance can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Our study would be the first to assess body composition and energy metabolism changes from dialysis to kidney transplantation using high-resolution techniques. These investigations could identify targets to modify risks of weight gain after transplantation.

Progress Report