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Research

I am certain that organ transplantation will forever remain as one of the greatest gifts to the body and soul of mankind.
--Arthur George Elliott

Operating room
The first successful long-term organ transplant, performed by Dr. Joseph Murray and medical staff in Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, in 1954.
Photo courtesy of "Surgery of the Soul," Science History Publications

Loma Linda University Medical Center is an internationally recognized leader for highly innovative research in the field of transplantation.

The Transplantation Research Team consists of:

  • Transplant surgeons
  • Hepatologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Scientists
  • Research coordinators
  • A variety of supporting medical staff.

There is a broad spectrum of research within the Transplantation Institute ranging from clinical trials involving people to molecular research. All clinical studies are performed either in conjunction with pharmaceutical companies, or initiated by physicians within the department. These studies are closely monitored by the Institutional Review Board, which assures safety and compliance in all research matters. The knowledge gained from this research leads to the development of improved drugs and techniques to benefit those who receive transplants.

The Center for Transplant Immunology Research is a division of the Transplantation Institute, where immunological approaches to transplant are becoming state of the art. At the Center for Transplant Immunology Research, scientists examine transplantation at the cellular level, with a focus on solid organs, hepatopoietic cells, pancreatic islet cells, and stem cells. Through collaborative efforts of clinicians and scientists, cutting-edge approaches to transplant are being developed.

There are opportunities to participate in clinical trials at the Transplantation Institute.

Below is a list of ongoing clinical trials. If you would like more information, please contact us.

Clinical Trials

Renal (Kidney):

C2 study: a randomized trial comparing two immunosuppressants used in Hispanic kidney transplant recipients

Hepatology (Liver):

Alcoholic hepatitis study: a randomized controlled trial for persons with alcoholic hepatitis

Immuknow study: evaluating the association between Immuknow levels and clinical parameters in liver or kidney recipients

Point of care testing: instant bedside diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in persons with liver disease

SAMe study: a randomized trial using SAMe to treat persons with alcoholic liver disease

Photo courtesy of Dr. Frank Jones, Tulane University Health Sciences Center

Publications 2005-2006

Published Papers:

Ojogho Okechukwu, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, Linda Chen, MD, Pedro Baron, MD, Edson Franco, MD, D. Duane Baldwin, MD. Simultaneous pediatric kidney transplantation and bladder augmentation in a 20-month-old boy. Pediatric Transplantation: E. Publication March 16, 2007; doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2007.00696.x

Pedro W. Baron, Fatenah Majlessipour, Antranik A. Bedros, Craig Zuppan, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, George Yanni, Okechukwu N. Ojogho, Waldo Concepcion. Undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver successfully treated with chemotherapy and liver resection. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery: E. Publication January 17, 2007; doi: 10.1007/s11605-006-0044-4

A Li, O. Ojogho, E. Franco, P. Baron, Y. Iwaki , A. Escher. (2006). Pro-Apoptotic DNA Vaccination Ameliorates New Onset of Autoimmune Diabetes in NOD Mice and Induces foxp3+Regulatory T Cells in Vitro. Vaccine 24: 5036-5046.

A Li, O. Ojogho, A. Escher (2006). Saving Death: Apoptosis for intervention in transplantation and autoimmunity. Clin & Develop Immunol 13:273-282.

Broome DR, Guirguis MS, Baron PW, Cottrell AC, Kjellin I, Kirk GA. Gadodiamide-associated nephrogenic systemic fibrosis: why radiologists should be concerned. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2007; 188 (2): 586-92.

Ben-Youssef Ramzi, Iwaki Yuichi, Baron Pedro, Franco Edson, Rowsell Edward, Buckert Linda, Ojogho Okechukwu. Successful living related kidney transplantation across an anti-donor HLA antibody. Transplant Proc. 38:1280-2, 2006.

Ben-Youssef R, Baron PW, Franco E, Walter MH, Lewis T, Ojogho O. Intrapyloric injection of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of persistent gastroparesis following successful pancreas transplantation. American Journal of Transplantation 2006; 6 (1): 214-218.

Ben-Youssef R, Baron P, Edson F, Raghavan R, Okechukwu O. Strongyloides stercoralis infection from pancreas allograft: case report. Transplantation 2005; 80 (7): 997-998.

Baron P, Ben-Youssef R, Ojogho O, Franco E, Concepcion W, Smith D. Hemobilia secondary to a posttransplant lymphoma after liver transplantation. Transplantation 2005; 79 (12): 1766-1767.

Ojogho O, Sahney S, Cutler D, Baron PW, Abdelhalim FM, James S, Zuppan C, Franco E, Concepcion W. Mycophenolate mofetil in pediatric renal transplantation: non-induction vs. induction with basiliximab. Pediatric Transplant. 2005; 9 (1): 80-83.

Presentations:

Okechukwu N Ojogho, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, D.Duane Baldwin, MD, Fouad Abdelhalim, MD, Shobha Sahney, MD, Edson Franco, MD, and Pedro Baron, MD. Pediatric renal transplantation into a dysfunctional lower urinary tract. 4th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplant Association, March 17-21, 2007, Cancun, Mexico.  Pediatric Transplantation Vol. 11 Issue s1 Page 84. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2007.00684.x.

Okechukwu N Ojogho, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, Edson Franco, MD, and Pedro Baron, MD. The immune profile of pediatric kidney transplant recipients with dysfunctional allografts. 4th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplant Association, March 17-21, 2007, Cancun, Mexico.  Pediatric Transplantation Vol. 11 Issue s1 Page 90. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2007.00684.x.

Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, Pedro Baron, MD, Edson Franco, MD, and Okechukwu N Ojogho, MD. The role of intercurrent EBV infection on ATP levels in CD4+ T cells of pediatric kidney transplant recipients. 4th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplant Association, March 17-21, 2007, Cancun, Mexico.  Pediatric Transplantation Vol. 11 Issue s1 Page 90. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2007.00684.x.

A Li, O Ojogho, E Franco, P Baron, Y. Iwaki , A Escher. Pro-Apoptotic DNA Vaccination Ameliorates New Onset of Autoimmune Diabetes in NOD Mice and Induces CD4+CD25+foxp3+Regulatory T Cells. February 15-19, 2006: 7th International Conference on Immunosuppression, Berlin, Germany.

A Li, O Ojogho, E Franco, P Baron, Y. Iwaki, A Escher. A THERAPEUTIC DNA VACCINE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES INDUCES CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ TREGS. March 21-26, 2006: Tolerance, Autoimmunity and Immune Regulation, Breckenridge, Colorado.

Alice Li, Okechukwu Ojogho, Edson Franco, Pedro Baron, Yuichi Iwaki, Alan Escher. Pro-Apoptotic DNA Vaccination Ameliorates New Onset of Autoimmune Diabetes and Induces foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells. FOCIS 2006 Symposium. San Francisco, California. 06/01/2006 to 6/05/2006.

A Li, O. Ojogho, E. Franco, P. Baron, Y. Iwaki, A. Escher. Pro-Apoptotic DNA Vaccination Induces Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells and Suppresses Islet Inflammation in Mice. Pro-Apoptotic DNA Vaccination Induces Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells and Suppresses Islet Inflammation in Mice. World Transplant Congress. Boston, MA. 07/22/2006 to 07/27/2006.

Hansen Kwok M.D., Nancy Chang Pharm.D, Jill Weisman Pharm.D, Edson Franco M.D., Zeid Kayali M.D., Pedro Baron M.D., Okechukwu Ojogho M.D., Michel Mendler M.D.VALUE OF A GLOBAL IMMUNE CELL FUNCTION ASSAY IN PREDICTING RECURRENT HCV IN LIVER TRANSPLANTATION PATIENTS. American Transplant Congress, San Francisco, CA, May 5-9, 2007.

Hansen Kwok M.D., Nancy Chang Pharm.D, Jill Weisman Pharm.D, Edson Franco M.D., Zeid Kayali M.D., Pedro Baron M.D., Okechukwu Ojogho M.D., Michel Mendler M.D. DISTINCT DIFFERENCES IN GLOBAL IMMUNE CELL FUNCTION PROFILES BETWEEN HCV (+) AND HCV (-) POST-LIVER TRANSPLANTATION PATIENTS. Digestive Disease Week (AGA and AASLD), Washington, DC, May 19-24, 2007.

Okechukwu N Ojogho, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, Edson S Franco, MD, Linda J Chen, MD, Janet M Williams, RN and Pedro W Baron, MD. Antibody induction therapy with low dose anti-thymocyte globulin in simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation. World Transplant Congress meeting, Boston, July 22-27, 2006. (Poster # 153-I), Abstract # 1358. Pedro W. Baron, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, D. Duane Baldwin, MD, Edson Franco, MD, Linda J. Chen, MD, and Okechukwu Ojogho, MD. The first 100 cases of hand-assisted laparoscopic donor nephrectomy: no conversion to open procedure, no blood transfusion required and no delayed graft function occurred. World Transplant Congress meeting, Boston, July 22-27, 2006. (Poster # 69-IV), Abstract # 2651.

Pedro W. Baron, MD, Michel Mendler, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, Zeid Kayali, MD, Patti Radovich, CNS, Brijie Elhazin, FNP, Edson Franco, MD, Linda J. Chen, MD, David Bush, MD, and Okechukwu Ojogho, MD. Control of non-resectable hepatocellular carcinoma by proton-beam radiotherapy prior to liver transplantation. World Transplant Congress meeting, Boston, July 22-27, 2006. (Poster # 208-IV), Abstract # 2790.

Pedro W. Baron, MD, Antranik A. Bedros, MD, Fatenah Majlessipour, MD, Craig Zuppan, MD, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, MD, George Yanni, MD, Linda J. Chen, MD, Edson Franco, MD, Okechukwu Ojogho, MD, and Waldo Concepcion, MD. Large undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver successfully treated with chemotherapy and liver resection. American Hepato Pancreato Biliary Association Annual Meeting, March 2006, Miami Beach, Florida. (Poster # 55, AHPBA)

Pedro W. Baron, Okechukwu Ojogho, Shobha Sahney, Ramzi Ben-Youssef, Drew Cutler, Jill Weissman, Edson Franco, Craig Zuppan, Waldo Concepcion. Low dose anti-thymocyte globulin compared to basiliximab induction therapy in pediatric kidney transplantation. American Journal of Transplantation 2005; 5 (s11), 155-576. doi: 10.1111/ j.1600-6135.2005.abstracts.x (Abstract # 1335, p-341). Poster # 1335, ATC 2005.