UCSF Receives Grant to Improve Outcomes in Organ Donor Transplantation

Claus Niemann, MD

Claus Niemann, MD

Claus Niemann, MD, of the UCSF Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, has been awarded a $2 million grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve outcomes in organ donor transplantation.

The grant was awarded to Niemann and his collaborators including John Feiner, MD, as well as Ryutaro Hirose, MD, and John Roberts, MD, chief of the UCSF Transplant Service. Also collaborating on the project are the California Transplant Donor Network and Darren Malinoski, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  

The innovative project is designed to determine the optimal management of organ donors before the procurement operation occurs. Research in this area has been  hindered by numerous obstacles including the logistical challenges of conducting research in large hospitals in California and northern Nevada.

The trial will have access to 10 percent of the entire deceased organ donor pool in the United States.

Recently, the researchers have successfully conducted a randomized controlled trial in organ donors analyzing the role of glucose control in optimizing organ transplant outcomes. The HRSA grant will extend this work in examining temperature control of organ donors and its effects on transplant organ function. The scientists hope the results will set a standard for management of potential organ donors, maximize the utilization of organs, and increase the number of life-saving transplants that are performed in the United States and worldwide.

A world leader in organ transplantation since 1964, the UCSF Division of Transplant Surgery has performed transplants for more than 10,000 patients and has played a key role in defining the field. With advances in surgical technique and improved drugs to prevent infection and rejection, organ transplantation is now recognized as the most effective treatment for many diseases.