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Hand Transplant Research

Although hand transplantation is clearly in the early stages of being considered a standard of care treatment for hand/upper extremity amputation, we sought the oversight of the Springfield Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine to initiate a clinical trial of hand transplantation (IRB protocol # 12-811, final approval 10/17/2013).  We are currently recruiting patients for the SIU Hand Transplant Trial and are studying a number of outcomes.

Our Clinical Hand Transplant Research Interests

  • Prevalence and distribution of potential vascularized composite allotransplant donors, implications for optimizing the donor-recipient match
  • Functional MRI study of the re-organizing brain in hand amputees and hand transplant recipients in collaboration with University of Missouri Colombia and The Christine Kleinert Hand Institute
  • Effect of early steroid withdrawal on acute rejection episodes in hand transplant patients
  • Evaluating the outcomes—the quest for the best subjective and objective outcome measures in hand transplantation
  • Use of a novel standardized photography method for optimizing donor-recipient match in hand transplantation
  • Improvement in hand transplant surgical techniques including novel methods of bone osteotomy and osteosynthesis

Our Laboratory Hand Transplant Research Interests

  • Induction of donor-specific tolerance in vascularized composite allotransplantation via upregulation of FoxP3+ alloprotective T regs
  • Impact of early transition from Tacrolimus to Sirolimus on nerve regeneration in vascularized composite allotransplantation
  • Ex-vivo modification of vascularized composite allografts using gene therapy, a potential avenue of tolerance induction
  • Methods of reducing ischemia time and ischemia-reperfusion injury in vascularized composite allotransplantation


For more information please contact:
Tiffany Whitaker
Senior Research Development Coordinator
(217) 545-2531

Toll free - 1-855 SIU-HAND (1-855 -748-4263)