Timucin Taner, M.D., Ph.D., has a clinical practice focused on liver transplantation, and conducts laboratory research aimed primarily at understanding the interaction between the transplanted liver and the recipient's immune responses. The immunobiology of the liver transplant differs significantly from that of other solid organ transplants, as liver allografts are, overall, less prone to rejection. Furthermore, the transplanted liver appears to provide immunoprotection to other simultaneously transplanted solid organs from the same donor. By investigating clinical outcomes and histological and molecular markers, Dr. Taner has demonstrated that kidney allografts that have been transplanted simultaneously with a liver incur less immune injury over the long term. His laboratory is investigating the details of this phenomenon.
- Liver transplant rejection. Investigating the mechanisms through which liver transplant rejection occurs, particularly by recipients' antibodies against donor antigens (antibody-mediated rejection of the liver) is a focus of Dr. Taner's research.
- Protective effect of liver transplant on other simultaneously transplanted organs. Dr. Taner facilitates ongoing investigation to unravel the mechanisms underlying the protective impact of the liver transplant, including histologic, cellular and genetic studies.
- Cell-based therapy to decrease organ rejection. Dr. Taner is a primary investigator at Mayo Clinic in several trials of cell-based therapy in liver transplant recipients to decrease organ rejection, and to limit the recipients' exposure to immunosuppressive medications.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Taner's work will yield a better understanding of the unique immune responses that are brought about by a liver transplant, and help clinicians tailor the recipient's' immunosuppression medication to reduce the potential side effects. In addition, by detecting the mechanisms underlying the protective impact of the transplanted liver, discovery of new therapeutic approaches to achieve stable, long-term hyporesponsiveness to organ allografts other than the liver will be possible, and will improve the post-transplant care of many patients.