Dr. Hossam Abdelsamed received the CLA Foundation’s Research Funding Award for his work entitled, “Epigenetic Programming in Liver Transplant Patients: A Novel Tool to Discover Non-invasive Biomarkers and Understand Liver Tolerance Mechanisms.”
Synopsis: The life-saving standard care of therapy for end-stage liver diseases is liver transplantation (LT). Although in humans the liver is generally considered as a tolerogenic organ, human liver allograft recipients still require immunosuppressive drug (IS) therapy post-transplantation. Moreover, acute liver rejection remains a common complication despite IS therapy regimens. In this context, there are still critical gaps in our knowledge in two main areas: (1) understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating graft rejection/tolerance and (2) identification of non-invasive safe biomarkers that can predict acute liver rejection. Since epigenetic modifications play a major role in a wide range of biological processes and diseases, we have approached the above-mentioned challenges through the lens of epigenetics.