Recent Posts

Grandmother's Kidney Donation Secures Kidney Voucher for Granddaughter, Starts Chain of Kidney Transplants
Nov 28, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Jamie McNeil is a 56-year-old grandmother of two-year-old twins. As a nurse by trade, she was aware of the benefits of living-kidney donation for needy recipients. But when her twin granddaughters Adele and Aubrey were born two years ago, one was diagnosed with multicystic kidney disease. This was when McNeil began researching how she could play an active role in helping Adele. Online research brought McNeil to the National Kidney Registry’s (NKR) donor voucher program website. The National Kidney Registry’s (NKR) Donor Voucher Program allows donors to donate their kidney many years before their intended recipient may need a kidney transplant. Voucher recipients receive a “virtual voucher” for a living donor kidney to redeem when and if they may need it, and are registered on the NKR’s inactive list, often for many years. This gave McNeil the chance to help her [...]

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Choosing a Transplant Center: Survival Outcomes Data
Oct 30, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Organ transplantation is one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. Just the idea of replacing an organ in the body with another one via transplant is an overwhelming concept. Therefore, it is no surprise that those who are faced with a condition that may require one may feel scared and helpless. If you or a family member are facing an organ transplant in the near future, here are a few suggestions to help you choose the right transplant center for your care. One of the biggest decisions you will make is choosing a center to have your transplant surgery. With more than 250 transplant centers in the U.S., where do you start? Many patients simply choose the facility closest to them, but there are several questions you should ask before making your final decision on a transplant center:

  • What is the transplant center’s experience with performing transplant (transplant

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Teacher Donates Kidney to Student through Emory’s Living Donor Kidney Program
Aug 22, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Kaden Koebcke

Photo source:

Twelve-year old Kaden Koebcke was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of two. He underwent a kidney transplant when he was 5 years old but it was unsuccessful, and the kidney had to be removed within days of the transplant. Kaden continued life on dialysis, undergoing dialysis three times a week, but his condition began to deteriorate. Last year, Kaden’s family started a Facebook page in search of a living donor. Several people volunteered to be tested, including William Wilkerson, Kaden’s 6th grade technology teacher at Grace Christian Academy in Powder Springs. William was tested at Emory Transplant Center, and was found to be a perfect match. Both donor and transplant surgeries took place on August 14th – Kaden’s at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and William’s at Emory University Hospital. Both are reported to be doing well. Read [...]

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Emory Transplant Supports 'Every Community Has Opportunity' Campaign
Jul 17, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Each year during the second and third full weeks of July, Donate Life conducts a two-week outreach campaign where it highlights the importance of organ donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. The campaign, Donate Life ECHO, is a collaborative partnership between the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America. ECHO stands for Every Community Has Opportunity – the opportunity to save and heal lives.

Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation

The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) was created to increase organ and tissue donation among multicultural communities. Multicultural communities are disproportionately in need of lifesaving organ transplants – especially kidneys. Currently, 58 percent of the U.S. transplant waiting list is comprised of multicultural patients. [...]

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A Mother’s Gift: Mom Saves Son with Liver Transplant
May 22, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Elizabeth Melville’s 5-month old son, Wesley, was diagnosed with a rare disease call biliary atresia. After a surgery to treat the disease failed, Wesley would need a liver transplant. That’s when Emory Transplant Center surgeons were able to take a portion of Elizabeth's liver out and then transfer it over to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston to be transplanted in Wesley. Watch this heartfelt story unfold from WXIA 11 Alive. Emory Transplant Center has a well-established liver transplant program, performing more than 150 liver transplants each year.

Emory Liver Transplant Program

The first liver transplant in Georgia was performed in 1987 by transplant surgeons at Emory University Hospital. Today, Emory Transplant Center is known for its Liver Transplant Program nationwide. It performs more than 150 adult liver transplants each year. Our program has a long [...]

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Uncovering Misperceptions about Organ Donation
Apr 26, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

Living Organ DonationDuring the month of April, we like to shine a light on organ donation to support and raise awareness about National Donate Life Month. Organ donation is giving the gift of life. Although it is a great concept, it is a concept that has a lot of misconceptions that affect donation decisions. Did you know that 95% of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but only 54% are registered? We are here to breakdown organ donation misconceptions, list the pros and cons of donation, and answer your questions.

Misperceptions About Organ Donation

A recent survey developed by physicians and researchers at Emory University, and published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, on organ donation and transplantation found that misperceptions about the lifesaving process are the most common deterrents for donating organs. Having concerns over receiving inadequate medical care [...]

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Kidney Failure Treatment Options
Mar 8, 2018 By Emory Healthcare

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure is the end result of a gradual loss of kidney function. The most common causes are high blood pressure and diabetes. Kidney failure occurs when one loses about 90% of kidney function, and when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) falls below 15. Those suffering from end-stage kidney failure have two treatment options: dialysis or a kidney transplant.


Dialysis is a common treatment process that helps the body remove waste from the blood. This process replaces the function of kidneys and keeps the body in balance by not only removing waste but preventing salt and extra water from building up in the body, helping to control blood pressure, and keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood. There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis Hemodialysis replaces the work of kidneys [...]

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Emory Transplant Center Performs First HIV-Positive Liver Transplant
Mar 5, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

The Emory Transplant Center performed its first liver transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor to an HIV-positive recipient. The procedure is not only the first successful HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant in Georgia, but it is also the first in the Southeast. In November 2013, the HOPE Act, a policy allowing organ donation between two HIV positive individuals, was signed by President Obama. This Act became effective in November 2015, authorizing transplantation clinical trials between HIV-positive donors and transplant recipients. Previously, organs from HIV-positive donors were discarded, despite the fact they were often well-functioning and capable of saving lives. Through the HOPE Act, Emory Transplant Center and 21 other centers nationwide are taking part in the HOPE in Action clinical trial -- a prospective study evaluating the safety of HIV-positive [...]

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A Special Valentine's Day Gift: Wife Donates Kidney to Husband
Feb 16, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

In life, some things just fall into place. Seven years ago, Kerrie Poirot gave her husband Michael her heart. Now for this Valentine’s Day, she gave him the ultimate gift of love – donating her kidney and giving him the gift of life. Watch the story unfold from Fox 5 News. Kerrie’s surgeon, Dr. Nicole Turgeon, Director of Emory’s Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program, says she's most humbled by living donors. "They're selfless," Dr. Turgeon says. "They give an organ. They undergo surgery that they wouldn't otherwise have to have." Emory Transplant Center has a well-established program, performing more than 1,300 living donor transplants to date.

Emory Transplant Center

To learn more about kidney transplant and Emory Transplant Center’s Living Donor Program, visit [...]

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Emory Transplant Center Awarded Grant to Improve Post-Transplant Regimens
Jan 18, 2018 By Emory Transplant Center

The National Institute of Health awarded Emory Transplant Center researchers $12.6 million over five years to investigate improved post-transplant drug regimens for organ transplant recipients. The Emory Transplant Center research team is led by Professor of Surgery, Christian Larsen, MD, Dphil, and includes Mandy Ford, PhD and Andrew Adams, MD, PhD. Leslie Kean, MD, PhD from Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington is also part of the investigative team. The research is a continuation of Larsen’s previous work, undertaken with Emory Transplant Center Executive Director and Professor of Surgery, Thomas Pearson, MD, Dphil, on costimulation blockers – drugs to prevent immune rejection of transplanted organs.

Past Emory Transplant Center Research

Together with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Larsen and Pearson developed a costimulation blocker called belatacept. [...]

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