Jeffrey L. Winters, M.D., studies the use of apheresis in the treatment of human disease.
Apheresis is a type of medical procedure that involves connecting a patient or donor to a device. This device pumps blood from the patient or donor and separates the blood into its components, retaining one of the components and returning the remainder. In some treatments, the retained component is modified and then returned.
The long-term goal of Dr. Winters' research is to provide evidence to support or refute the use of apheresis as a treatment for human disease. He seeks to make apheresis a rational, evidence-based area in medicine with practical guidelines for the use of photopheresis, plasma exchange and other procedures.
In addition to research in apheresis, Dr. Winters also performs research in areas of immunohematology and complications of blood transfusion.
- Optimization of the collection of peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cells for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Dr. Winters investigates the optimization of the settings for currently available apheresis devices when collecting stem cells. The goal is to maximize the number of stem cells collected with each procedure while minimizing the collection of contaminating cells.
- Validation and evaluation of apheresis devices. Dr. Winters works with apheresis devices before and after they are approved for sale in order to improve their operation and utility. Because of the research performed in this area, apheresis device manufacturers have changed their devices to improve their safety and efficiency.
- Application of apheresis to the treatment of human disease. Many diseases have been treated with apheresis, but in many cases, the exact role of apheresis has not been determined. Dr. Winters has investigated the use of apheresis to treat multiple sclerosis, crossmatch incompatible kidney transplantation, dilated cardiomyopathy and a number of immune-mediated disorders.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Winters' work in stem cell collection has resulted in a reduction in the number of procedures needed to collect the dose of cells required for transplantation, which in turn has resulted in improved patient satisfaction and safety. The reduction in procedures, as well as the elimination of contaminating cells, has also resulted in cost savings.
As already mentioned, the investigation and evaluation of apheresis devices has resulted in changes that have improved patient safety and decreased the use of health care resources.
Finally, Dr. Winters' examination of the use of apheresis in certain diseases has helped to identify disorders in which it should and should not be used, saving patients from unnecessary, ineffective treatment.
- President, American Society for Apheresis, 2010-2011
- Apheresis Applications Committee, American Society for Apheresis, 2005-present
- Associate Editor, Journal of Clinical Apheresis, 2004-present
- Junior Investigator Award, American Society for Apheresis, 2002