Transplant Immunology

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

renal graft biopsy tissue

A cross section of renal graft biopsy tissue, illustrating the immune response during acute cellular rejection. The arrow points to rare subendothelial mononuclear cells (a type of white blood cell), which have been recruited by the immune system.



Transplantation is an effective treatment for patients experiencing organ failure associated with kidney, heart, lung and liver disease. However, the risks of transplant surgery include transplant rejection—where the recipient’s immune system recognizes the donor allograft as foreign and attempts to remove it—and chronic allograft injury, which is immune system-mediated damage to the organ, most often seen after kidney transplant. To mitigate these risks, an important goal for transplant researchers is to understand transplant-related immune responses against a foreign allograft.

CPMCRI has one of the leading research programs nationwide focused on studying solid organ transplant rejection and tolerance. Our investigators are working to improve outcomes for kidney transplant patients, by identifying blood-based markers to predict those at risk of acute rejection and/or chronic transplant injury after renal and heart transplantation, and to help monitor patients post-transplant.

Bench-to-bedside research in transplant immunology at CPMCRI is enabled by genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, deep sequencing, and other high-throughput technologies.

Investigators and research areas

Liver transplant
Stewart Cooper, M.D.