Alberta Transplant Institute
Alberta Transplant Institute

A multidisciplinary, virtual institute improving transplantation and donation in Alberta, and achieving global impact in cutting-edge research, improvements in patient care, education, and advocacy.

University of Alberta 6-002 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1


Alberta Transplant Institute

Discovered that infants can safely receive heart transplants from donors with mismatched blood groups

Dr. Lori West

Health Innovation

Working with Glyconet, and the Carbohydrate Chemistry professors at UofA, a new diagnostic tool was developed to understand blood groups in the setting of transplantation. The resulting practice of transplanting hearts from donors with mismatched blood groups is now routine at pediatric transplant centres around the world.

How they are changing the world

This breakthrough significantly increased the organ donor pool – and dramatically decreased the waitlist mortality. Dr. West is now examining transplant rejection, and the negative side-effects of immunosuppressive drugs.

Why Edmonton?

The University of Alberta is ranked 6th in the world for transplantation. In leading the CNTRP, Alberta is a hub for transplant related activities.

What does the future look like?

The team are developing a diagnostic device that will make mismatched blood group heart transplants possible for older patients. They are also building a machine led by the National Transplant Institution that can support organs outside the body, allowing them to be moved and treated.

“A machine that supports donated organs outside of the body – that is the future. It will transform the worlds of donation and transplantation.”

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