2018 Research Innovation Grant

The Addison Fund of the Transplant Research Foundation of BC is pleased to partner with the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program for their 2018 Research Innovation Grant Competition.  Through the power of partnership, the Addison Fund is proud to co-fund the following projects, both of which have the potential to significantly impact the care of pediatric transplant patient.

We know research will be what transforms transplant into a cure so that kids like Addison can live long and healthy lives”, says Elaine Yong, founder of the Addison Fund and mother of a pediatric heart transplant recipient. “We are proud and excited to support two innovative research projects specifically focused on the needs of pediatric transplant patients.

Investigating the role of metabolism in predicting outcomes in pediatric transplant patients

Team Lead: Tom Blydt-Hansen

Research Team: Dr. Kathryn Armstrong (BC), Dr. Simon Urschel (AB) and Dr. David Wishart (AB)

For children living with kidney or heart transplants, we know that some will develop chronic forms of rejection after the first year that limits the chance of success. Some children’s immune systems adapt better and become “tolerant” to the new organ, but we don’t know all of the reasons. While medications are important, we also know that a child’s metabolism can play a role, which includes things like nutrition and disease. This team will look at patient samples to see if there are changes that we can measure in metabolism that predict who will have a positive or negative response to the transplant.

Optimizing varicella immunization in children living with transplants to prevent disease and improve long-term health

Lead Researchers: Dr. Karina Top (NS), Dr. Manish Sadarangani (BC) and Dr. Catherine Burton (AB)

Due to effective vaccine programs, chickenpox (or varicella) is relatively under control. However, for children living with a transplant, varicella can cause pneumonia, brain infections, and even death. Studies show that varicella vaccine is safe and effective in some transplant patients and experts developed a guideline for determining which children with organ transplants could safely get the varicella vaccine. This team will study how to use this guideline in transplant clinics to identify concerns that parents and healthcare providers have about varicella vaccination in children with transplants, and measure how the vaccine affects children’s quality of life. The results will assist physicians in determining the best way to vaccinate children with organ transplants.