Improving Patient Care
At the Siragusa Transplant Center, we have pediatric research protocols and clinical trials active every day of the year, providing substantial opportunities for your child and family to participate in groundbreaking research protocols that increase the knowledge base of the medical community and improve pediatric care standards. And most importantly, the doctors, nurses and clinical staff members caring for your child at Lurie Children's are the very same researchers at the forefront of their respective fields. Therefore, you can be assured that your child is getting the best of the best.
Some of the center’s current areas of research include:
Using cardiac stem cells to prevent cell death
Surgical repair of congenital heart defects in children is highly successful. Yet some of these surgical patients develop heart failure due to cardiomyopathy. Our laboratory research into cellular regenerative strategies — using cardiac stem cells endogenous to the heart and small molecules to prevent cell death in heart muscles — may offer new, alternative therapies.
Investigating intestinal stem cell activation
Many intestinal resection patients become dependent on total parenteral nutrition (TPN). This can lead to multiple, and potentially fatal, complications. Laboratory research into intestinal stem cell activation and its role in the adaptive process in the intestine after resection could offer better understanding of the process.
Preventing kidney scarring
Scarring is the leading cause of re-transplantation among kidney transplant patients. The center is now studying the prevention of scarring, with the goal of helping patients avoid re-transplantation.
Eliminating immunosuppression medications
We are one of two centers participating in the NIH-sponsored study to explore safe minimization and elimination of immunosuppression medications after liver transplantation. Results may reshape how liver transplant physicians manage their patients’ care.
Using PBSC before stem cell transplant
A significant number of leukemia patients not cured by conventional chemotherapy require a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). We are developing a regimen from unrelated donor peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) to be used before HSCT transplant to reduce toxicity and improve long-term outcomes.