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meet our Faculty

Faculty

David Briscoe, MD

David Briscoe, MD

Director, Transplant Research Program

David Briscoe, MD

Director, Transplant Research Program

David Briscoe is Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, the Casey Lee Ball Chair in Transplantation, and Director of the Transplant Research Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons Medical School in Ireland and completed his initial residency training in General Medicine and Pediatrics in Dublin, Ireland. He subsequently trained at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado, and at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Briscoe has held several leadership positions, both national and international. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation, Councilor for the International Pediatric Transplant Association, the Executive Committee Chair for the American Transplant Congress and Chair of the Public Policy Committee for the American Society of Transplantation. He currently serves on the NIAID Steering Committee to support the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation initiative and he serves on NIH study sections to provide transplant expertise. In these positions, Dr. Briscoe has been a strong advocate for discovery-based research and translational studies in the field to impact long-term care.

In 2013, he was appointed Director of the Transplant Research Program, and in 2015, he became the first incumbent Casey Lee Ball Chair in Transplantation. He is an elected member of the National Physician-Scientist Honors Society, the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Johannes Wedel, MD, PhD

Johannes Wedel, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Johannes Wedel, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Johannes received his MD in 2012 from Heidelberg University, Germany. During his training, he was a member of an International Research Training Group that fosters interactions between the Medical Faculty of Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany and the University of Groningen, Netherlands where he received his PhD in Transplant Immunology.

In 2014, Dr. Wedel moved to the USA and he established his laboratory within the Transplant Research Program in 2021. Dr. Wedel’s research is focused on how intracellular signaling networks direct T cell activation, promote immunoregulation, and resolve inflammation. His broader interest is to identify mechanisms that can prevent transplant rejection and induce operational tolerance following organ transplantation.

ASSOCIATED FACULTY

Alvin Kho, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Alvin Kho completed BS in electrical engineering, and PhD in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is currently a faculty member in the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), affiliate faculty at the Transplant Research Program, and affiliate faculty at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Channing Division of Network Medicine.

Dr. Kho’s research is focused on mathematical models of biological systems to better understand the mechanistic associations between their constituent parts, with the goal of translating this knowledge into actionable basic hypotheses and clinical endpoints. These constituent parts are multi-scalar and range from molecular/omic big data to clinical/populational parameters and phenodata. He is currently working on advanced biomarkers of acute rejection and tolerance following solid organ transplantation.

alvin_kho@hms.harvard.edu

 

Sek Won Kong, MD

Director, Translational Omics Medicine Lab; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sek Won Kong completed his MD and residency in neuropsychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. Currently, he is a faculty member of the Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and affiliated faculty at the Transplant Research Program. His work stands at the forefront of integrating translational medicine, computational biology, and genetics. His primary focus is on biomarker discovery in various human diseases using multi-omics approaches, including genetics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics.

Dr. Kong has expanded his research to include diverse immune-related disorders, investigating cell states in tissue macrophages and adaptive immune responses through single-cell profiling and metabolomics. Committed to advancing the field of medicine, Dr. Kong combines computational methods and genetic analysis to significantly contribute to the understanding of complex human disorders, fostering the development of personalized treatment strategies and precision medicine.

sekwon.kong@childrens.harvard.edu

 

David Zurakowski, PhD

Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School

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name@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Markus Frank, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Dermatology, Harvard Medical School; Associate Physician of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Frank received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College and an M.D. degree from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine, Germany. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and a fellowship in Nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by research training in transplant immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Dr. Frank’s laboratory research focuses on the physiological and pathological roles of the human P-glycoprotein family of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. His laboratory has cloned and characterized a novel human P-glycoprotein family member, ABCB5, which regulates maintenance and differentiation of normal tissue-specific stem cells with therapeutic capacity as a transplantable cell source for immunomodulation (Schatton et al. Cell Reports 2015) and tissue regeneration, as shown, for example, in a first report of constructing a fully functional human tissue (cornea) from molecularly defined adult stem cells (Ksander et al. Nature 2014). As a result of these discoveries, advanced FDA- and/or EMA-approved human clinical trials are currently underway to translate ABCB5+ dermal mesenchymal stem cell (DMSC)-based strategies to novel therapies for multiple disorders of aberrant immune activation and tissue regeneration, with initial successful clinical results in cutaneous wound healing and RDEB now already available (Kerstan et al. JID Innovations 2021; Kiritsi et al. JCI Insight 2021). Additionally, Germany’s Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines (Paul-Ehrlich-Institute) recently granted national approval for allogeneic ABCB5+ DMSC (AMESANAR®) transplantation as an Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) for treatment of chronic wounds in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.

markus.frank@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Soumitro Pal, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Pal received his Ph.D. in Physiology from University of Calcutta. He did his post-doctoral research in the field of angiogenesis at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. His laboratory is focused on studying the mechanism of renal injury, renal inflammation and renal cancer, with particular importance paid to the signal transduction pathways regulating gene expression. One of the main focuses of Dr. Pal’s research is to identify molecular mechanisms of cancer growth in patients receiving organ transplants.

soumitro.pal@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Reza Abdi, MD

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director, Transplantation Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Abdi oversees a diverse team of researchers at the Transplantation Research Center at the Brigham and Women’s hospital, recognized as a premier institution in transplant research. Members of the Center range from research fellows in training and those supported by career development awards to faculty with fully funded multi-R01 grants. His work is committed to expanding knowledge through various immune studies and techniques, with a focus on developing new therapies. The focus of research within the Abdi laboratory concentrates on transplant immunology, tumor immunity, and nanotherapeutics.

rabdi@bwh.harvard.edu

 

Kevin P. Daly, MD

Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program; Attending Physician, Department of Cardiology; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

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name@childrens.harvard.edu

 

Dmitry Samsonov, MD

Chief, Division of Nephrology, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, Boston Children’s Health Physicians; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, New York Medical College

Dr. Samsonov has a longstanding interest in transplantation and transplant immunology. He is currently building a research effort at Westchester Medical Center.

dmitry_samsonov@bchphysicians.org