About the Lab

The Xenotransplantation and Gene Therapy Laboratory of Christopher G. A. McGregor, M.D., at Mayo Clinic focuses on the understanding of vascular rejection and its control after xenotransplantation, with specific studies in the identity and importance of neoantigens and the development of new donor genetics.

Dr. McGregor, working with principal associate Guerard W. Byrne, Ph.D., an associate professor of surgery in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, leverages these technologies in the development of new cardiovascular devices and stem cell recruitment.

The ultimate goal of Dr. McGregor's Xenotransplantation and Gene Therapy Lab is to help reduce the organ shortage for transplantation and develop more-durable calcification-resistant heart valves.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death. Cardiac valve replacement is a common successful therapy to treat valvular disease, but it's limited by a degenerative process that leads to mechanical failure, calcification and stenosis.

Increasingly, there is recognition that antibodies produced in response to organ transplantation or biological heart valve (BHV) implantation make a significant contribution to chronic allograft rejection and BHV degeneration respectively. The roles of antibodies in organ rejection and in inflammatory responses to biological devices are the recurrent themes that underlie our research.

Research interests

Dr. McGregor's lab has several research interests related to cardiovascular surgery, transplantation, xenotransplantation and regenerative research:

  • The human immune system and genetically engineering pig organs so that they don't trigger the standard human immune response that destroys organs
  • Pig xenotransplantation using transgenic pig donors in the McGregor lab, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Optimization of immunosuppression following xenotransplantation, with specific studies on the pathophysiology of vascular rejection

Lab affiliations

Dr. McGregor's Xenotransplantation and Gene Therapy Lab is affiliated with: