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Overview: Division of Transplantation

Emory transplant surgeon Dr. Andrew Adams in the OR.

The Emory Division of Transplantation's clinical program specializes in islet, kidney, kidney/pancreas, and liver transplantation for adult and pediatric patients. Ranked among the busiest solid organ transplant programs in the country, the Division's clinical services are offered under the banner of the Emory Transplant Center (ETC), an umbrella organization that oversees and integrates all of Emory's academic, clinical, and research resources in organ transplantation. The ETC also offers heart and lung transplants.

Thomas Pearson, MD, DPhil, is the executive director of the Emory Transplant Center and leads the Division of Transplantation. His clinical specialties are islet, kidney, and pancreatic transplantation, and his research focus is transplant immunology.

Faculty of the Division of Transplantation performed Georgia's first kidney transplant in 1966, the state's first liver transplant in 1987, its first simultaneous kidney/pancreas operation in 1989, its first living-related pediatric liver transplant in 1997, its first laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy in 1999, its first islet transplant to treat Type 1 diabetes in 2003, the first hand transplant in Georgia and the Southeast in 2011, and Emory and Georgia's first HIV to HIV kidney transplant in 2017.

The Division's robust transplant immunology research program is investigating innovative strategies to stop rejection of transplanted organs and free patients from the toxic side effects of daily immunosuppressant medicines. Division scientists have established co-stimulation blockade as a viable treatment for achieving long-term survival of organ allografts for transplant recipients, developed the alternative immunosuppressant belatacept, and are evaluating islet transplant surgery as a viable treatment for type 1 diabetes.

General surgery residents study with Division of Transplantation faculty during transplant service rotations in the first and third years of training. At all levels, residents can participate in organ retrieval surgery. The Division also offers offers an accredited two-year, clinical fellowship in adult and pediatric liver and kidney transplantation as well as adult pancreas transplantation.