Organ transplantation is a life-saving procedure for many individuals. Unfortunately, the long-term success of this procedure is compromised by the rejection of the transplanted organ(s) by the recipient's immune system. T cells are specialized cells of the immune system that protect against infections but that recognize and damage transplanted organs. Understanding how T cell responses are controlled will help to develop new methods to increase the long-term and specific acceptance of transplanted organs.
Dr. Jonathan Choy's research is focused on understanding how T cell survival and persistence is regulated and how these processes contribute to organ transplant rejection. By understanding this, Dr. Choy intends to find new ways of controlling the immune response against transplanted organs. Preventing rejection will improve outcomes for the approximately 2,000 Canadians who receive solid organ transplants each year, as well as for the many Canadians who are already living with transplants.