As one of the largest transplant centers in the country, we perform more than 300 transplants and 800 operations each year, and see more than 4,000 visits to our clinic. Beyond this high case volume, we rank among the best in the country for clinical outcomes. We’re also proud of our skill at treating patients who would otherwise go untreated, including those with serious artery damage, obesity, and peripheral vascular disease.
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Transplant surgery began as a high-risk experimental procedure and has evolved into a successful and life-giving medical therapy in part thanks to the healthcare advances developed here at Michigan. Beginning with the first transplant in Michigan in 1964, we’ve gone on to treat more than 10,000 patients, and today we rank in the top 15 among transplant centers nationwide in the numbers of living donor transplants. We are among the few teams in the nation equipped to offer vascularized composite allograft transplants, for transplants of the face and abdominal wall. We also perform transplants of the kidney, pancreas, liver, lung, cornea, and bone marrow.
We are dedicated to training the future leaders in our field, beginning with nurturing a pipeline for undergraduate and medical students, many of whom go on to train as surgical residents. Our highly competitive Transplant Surgery Fellowship Program emphasizes increasing independence and multidisciplinary collaboration as fellows learn to support patients through the entire lifecycle of care, from preoperative evaluation through post-transplant care and immunosuppression. By the time fellows graduate, they will have the expertise and the leadership skills to guide junior team members through transplant procedures.
Research conducted by Michigan transplant biologists is changing our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of organ failure, organ transplant, and immune response. Beginning in the 1990s, we studied B cell responses to organ transplantation, now widely recognized as the most vexing biological hurdle to the long-term success of transplanted kidneys, hearts, and lungs. Today, we’re one of the few programs nationwide to link discovery with personalized medicine, as researchers explore questions that evolve from clinical practice. Research interests include: applications for genetic engineering for organ transplant and organogenesis; understanding the genes and proteins that govern the development of immunity to transplants and infectious organisms; and development of a perfusion device for liver preservation.