April 11, 2008
Bridging the fields of transplantation and genetics

williamsThe MGH Transplant Center has selected the first recipient of a new, two-year research fellowship, the Combined MGH Transplant Center/Broad Institute Research Training Award. Winfred Williams, MD, (right) a senior transplant nephrologist with the MGH Transplant Center and an associate member of the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was chosen for his proposal, "Multicenter Study Evaluation of Novel Variants in the Human Genome as Determinants of Tissue Compatibility in Bone Marrow and Renal Transplant Recipients."

Designed as a way to bring expertise in genomics to studies of clinically important problems in organ transplantation, the fellowship, worth approximately $82,000 annually, is available to researchers from both the MGH Transplant Center and the Broad Institute and is funded by the MGH Department of Medicine. With the support of the fellowship, Williams plans to create a program of both basic and clinical investigations into the genomic determinants of kidney transplant outcomes. "We are in the early stages of exploring the powerful tools of genomic medicine and constructing a comprehensive approach to studying the genetic underpinnings of transplant outcomes," he says. "My initial studies are aimed at looking at structural gene variants between kidney donor and recipient pairs that may contribute to the genetic risk of transplant organ rejection and graft failure."

"This fellowship emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary research to important clinical problems in transplantation," adds Jay Fishman, MD, associate director of the Transplant Center. "The MGH Transplant Center is grateful for the interest in this fellowship expressed by the research community and the support of the Department of Medicine."

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