LLGL is pleased to assist in funding worthwhile research projects working to improve the world of organ donation.
We are very proud to have funded some extremely exciting research into perfusion machines. This cutting edge study uses a brand new clot-busting solution infused into the donor organ via a perfusion machine to prevent the risk of thrombosis and increase the number of viable organs for transplantation.
Perfusion machines are already being used to prolong the viability of organs before they are transplanted into the recipient. However, this innovative new technique perfuses the organ with special anti-coagulant proteins to pre-condition it and prevent clotting. The research, which is being carried out by Imperial College, under the London Renal and Transplant Centre at Hammersmith Hospital, is currently focusing on kidneys; the results are extremely promising.
The hope is that this technique will have a three-fold positive effect on the donation and transplantation of organs. Firstly, it will increase the number of viable organs, which will in turn increase the number of transplants carried out. Secondly, it will reduce the event of clots forming in the newly transplanted organ, which can cause organ failure. Thirdly, this technique will reduce the need for anti-clotting drugs to be given to the patient, thereby reducing the risk of bleeding and associated complications.
The average wait for a new kidney is three to four years. Mr Vassilios Papalois, the consultant transplant surgeon at Hammersmith Hospital who is overseeing the project run by PhD student Karim Hamaoui, says "We hope that we will be able to use organs that are currently considered to be unsuitable for transplantation and also increase the chances of post-transplant survival and long-term function of those organs. There is immense potential benefit for our patients."
The results from this project are extremely promising and were recently published in The Journal of Transplant and The Journal of Surgical Research.
In recent years we have been working with a committee headed up by the transplant team at Newcastle University to allocate funds each year to be used as “pump priming” grants for potentially valuable research projects in the field of solid organ transplantation. The allocation of these funds will be decided by a review board of five eminent clinicians and researchers, under the chairmanship of Professor Derek Manas, following a formal submission process. The call for submissions will be advertised in July of each year and awarded by September.
In 2014 we received a generous donation from the Smiths Group, which we used to create our first Travel Fellowship.
The travel fellowship was created for the development of collaborations, professional development and for the improvement of clinical care within transplant medicine. The fellowship is a bursary that provides travel expenses to the value of £5,000 which allows the awardee to attend other hospitals/institutes.
After advertising in the British Transplant Society newsletter, we received applications from a number of excellent candidates from varying areas of transplant medicine and research. A committee of Trustees decide who should receive this fellowship.
LLGL was delighted to award two Travel Fellowships in 2016 to clinicians, nurses and allied health professionals wishing to make collaborative visits to other institutes. These fellowships are designed to promote international cooperation and advance training of those in the organ transplantation field.
The LLGL Travel Fellowships should offset the cost of travel and other expenses to enable transplant medicine professionals to carry out short-term studies in well-established transplant centres, enabling them to learn and use techniques or research approaches/methods not implemented in their host institution.
The maximum grant is up to £5,000 (GBP) for each Travel Fellowship. Fellowships will not be awarded to attend medical/scientific meetings, nor for course fees where training is requested. The application process is competitive and the board of trustees will review all applications.
To request an application form for a Travel Fellowship, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Results will be announced towards the end of each year. The successful applicant will be expected to make use of the fellowship grant within six months of the award.
LLGL Trustee, Dr Luke Yates, has written a number of blogs following ongoing organ transplantation research in all areas. This exploratory work is necessary due to the shortage of organ donors.
New Hope for Liver Transplants
Do Leeches Hold the Key to Improving Organ Transplants?
The Deep Freeze - could frozen frogs teach us how to preserve organs for transplant?
The Extraordinary World of Transplanting Pig Organs Into People