PhD student and Medical Scientist, University of Pretoria and National Health Laboratory Service
Chronic renal disease is a major problem in the world. In our resourse limited country, with such a burden of renal disease, we can't afford to transplant kidney without ensuring, to the best of our ability that these organs will not be rejected. Even though histocompatibility testing is presently undertaken, little is still known about alloreactivity which often results in transplantation failure. My research is focused on: 1) The development and evaluation of novel procedures for rapid, reproducible and efficient measurement of T-cell alloreactivity both pre- and post transplantation. 2) The comparison of the three currently available major procedures for the detection of cytotoxic antibodies to identify which is best suited to optimise pre- transplantation donor-recipient matching as well as in the post-transplantation detection to donor alloantigens. The outcome of this project will not only benefit renal transplantation patients, but all patients awaiting donor organs. I am hoping in future, this procedure will be incorporated by the Department of Health as a Gold Standard in their policy of patients awaiting organ transplantation.