The University of Chicago Medical Center has been a leader in diabetes research since the early 1900s. In fact, one of our researchers played a crucial role in the discovery of insulin. Now our research efforts are focused on islet cell transplantation. We have developed a clinical trial, which has been IRB-approved, involving islet cell transplantation and have received state funding to support this initiative.
Anita Chong, PhD, is the Director of the Transplant Immunology Research Center. She and her staff have been awarded several NIH grants and are studying transplant tolerance as well as the immunology of xenograft rejection. They are actively investigating the mechanism for allograft tolerance as well as the roles of antibodies in allotransplantation.
We have an onsite dedicated clinical transplant laboratory which is accredited by JCAHO and CLIA. This lab provides monitoring of all Prograf levels for transplant patients as well as T cell monitoring post transplant. This is the only laboratory in the U.S. that can perform assay levels of Leflunomide or Arava, which are currently being used for the concomitant treatment of rejection and viral infection in clinical transplantation. These assay levels are being provided to a variety of transplant programs in the country currently using this medication.