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White House Summit Announces Initiatives for Improving Organ Transplants

The White House

During the White House Organ Summit this month, the White House announced a number of initiatives aimed at increasing the number of successful organ transplants performed throughout the United States. 

New programs and technologies

Here’s a rundown on eight exciting new White House sponsored programs and technologies. 

A $160 million investment by the Defense Department

The White House will invest $160 million into the creation of the new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The Institute will focus on research and technology for improved organ transplants. Run by the Defense Department with the goal of developing a unique way to repair and replace human cells and tissues, this project may eventually lead to the replacement of full organs.

A data-sharing agreement with more than 30 transplant centers 

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease are also joining forces with the White House. With the goal of increasing the number of successful transplants by 2,000, this project will utilize a unique data-sharing agreement with over 30 transplant centers that have a core focus on kidney transplants. 

A plan to create a bioengineered alternative to kidney dialysis

The Kidney Health Institute announced plans to create a bioengineered alterative to kidney dialysis. The plan includes research in scientific, technical and regulatory fields in order to gain health and safety clearance. It will be led by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN).

A 10-year outline for development of next-generation cell manufacturing technology to regenerate organs

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Cell Manufacturing Consortium announced a new partnership. Created to produce a 10-year plan for developing new cell-manufacturing technology, this initiative is intended to advance the field of organ regeneration. 

Improving digital infrastructure for increase in successful transplants

The Obama administration announced that they will provide more training with TransNet, an online platform used by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). This program helps label and track organs as they’re shipped throughout the country for transplants. UNOS plans to update its software to simplify the donation process with the intention of improving the timeliness of the process that matches donors to recipients.

A new pilot project for improved donor profiles

UNOS is also launching a new pilot project that will call for stronger donor profiles to be completed. These profiles will contain more detailed information about the donors, allowing recipients to receive closer matches and increase the number of successful transplants.

The launching of the Donor Management Research Institute

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation announced that it has received a three-year, $4.2 million grant to help with the launch of the Donor Management Research Institute. This institute will perform several controlled trials and tests that will help researchers discover ways to increase the quantity and quality of organs.

The launch of “The Big Ask, The Big Give” program

The National Kidney Foundation announced the launch of its “The Big Ask, The Big Give” program. The program aims to educate patients on the best social media practices for raising awareness about the need for kidney donors. Piloted in Atlanta, the program will soon be released nation-wide.

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The Penn Medicine Transplant blog features short postings with news about the transplant program at Penn Medicine, notices about upcoming events and health information. Subscribe to the blog and stay connected with Penn's Transplant Program!

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