Living Donation

​Transplant Fellowship Program Overview

Multi-Organ Transplant Fellowship

The Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh developed a post-graduate training program in multiorgan abdominal transplantation in 1981.

Since then, the program has been certified continuously by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) and meets the training requirements for certification as “Primary Transplant Surgeon” for liver, kidney, and pancreas transplantation by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

The multi-organ transplant fellowship requires completion of a general surgery residency and surgical board eligibility (or its foreign equivalent) and falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of Graduate Medical Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

The program is a full two-year clinical fellowship with an optional third year for research or advanced clinical training (e.g. pediatric or intestinal transplantation).

Program Components

Didactic components

Outpatient clinics are held on a daily basis and are staffed by both faculty and transplant fellows. These clinics are designed to evaluate both pre- and posttransplant patients and allow participation of transplant fellows in the long-term care of the transplant patient.

A number of clinical conferences are held for both educational and clinical purposes. These conferences are:

  • Liver Transplant Morbidity and Mortality
  • Transplant Infectious Disease
  • Renal Transplant Morbidity and Mortality
  • Intestinal Transplant Morbidity and Mortality
  • Transplant Pathology
  • Transplant Selection
  • Liver Tumor Conference

In addition, a weekly transplant research conference is held to discuss the results of ongoing clinical and basic science research projects.

Research components

The Department of Surgery and the Division of Transplantation are dedicated to the advancement of an active clinical and basic science research program. Areas of clinical research deal with:

  • Organ preservation and monitoring
  • New immunosuppressive agents
  • Living-donor liver transplants
  • Infectious complications
  • Expanding indications for transplant
  • Malignancies following transplant
  • Modulating antibody sensitization
  • Cellular transplantation
  • Small bowel transplantation

Areas of basic science research include:

  • Reperfusion injuries
  • Chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis B and C)
  • Mechanisms of graft rejection
  • Mechanisms of recurrent disease
  • Lymphoproliferative diseases
  • Tolerance induction
  • Animal transplant models
  • Xenotransplantation

The interaction between the clinical and basic science research programs enables cross-collaboration between the clinicians and scientists. Results obtained from the laboratory are converted into clinical protocols, and important clinical observations can therefore be studied.

The research activities are distributed among a multidisciplinary research team, including:

  • Surgery
  • Pathology
  • Medicine
  • Immunology
  • Molecular biology

The research facilities are housed in the Transplant Research Center, which is a 44,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art laboratory space for investigators interested in transplant research.