Current Grants

Current Award

Vancouver Coastal Health Team Grant Award
Dr. Sara Belga

A Novel CMV-Specific Cell-Mediated Immunity Assay to Predict CMV Infection in Renal Transplant Recipients – A Pilot Prospective Study

Dr.Sara Belga’s project seeks to design a blood test to assess immunity to Cytomegalovirus (CMV) to personalize care in kidney transplant patients.

CMV is a common virus that typically does not cause serious problems in people with normal immune systems. Following transplantation, anti-rejection medications can dampen the immune system, allowing the virus to resurface and cause problems. Currently, transplant patients who are at risk of developing CMV infection are given antiviral medications; however, these medications can have serious side effects.

The goal of this study is to trial one immune monitoring test in kidney transplant patients to assess those at risk for CMV infection. We will use these blood tests to track patients’ immune system during the first-year post-transplant to identify warning signs before patients develop CMV disease. This test will be a personalized approach to CMV monitoring that may improve patient outcomes by allowing for early identification of those at high risk of CMV infection.