FSU announces initiative with UF to advance pediatric transplant health

Dr. Michael Killian (left) and Dr. Dipankar Gupta (right) co-lead the Initiative for the...
Dr. Michael Killian (left) and Dr. Dipankar Gupta (right) co-lead the Initiative for the Advancement of Pediatric Transplant Health Research, a partnership between FSU and UF.(Florida State University)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A new partnership between Florida State University (FSU) and the University of Florida (UF) seeks to better the outcomes for child transplant patients, according to a press released on Monday by FSU.

The Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children at Florida State University and UF Health at the University of Florida are launching the Initiative for the Advancement of Pediatric Transplant Health Research, which the release says “maximizes the interdisciplinary nature of research in pediatric transplant health through a collaboration of a statewide network of health researchers and clinicians.”

Despite rising rates of pediatric patient survival, the release says that there are still concerns about “rates of hospitalization, organ rejection and poor post-transplant health outcomes for these children and adolescent patients.”

The Initiative for the Advancement of Pediatric Transplant Health Research will focus on “advanced biostatistical modeling around patient adherence to immunosuppressive medications; machine learning/health informatics in the prediction of post-transplant health outcomes; and mobile health/technology-based intervention research promoting medication adherence and improved health outcomes in adolescent heart transplant recipients.”

Co-leading the initiative are Dr. Michael Killian, associate professor at the FSU College of Social Work, and Dr. Dipankar Gupta, associate professor at the UF Health Congenital Heart Center.

“Despite medical and surgical advances, we have room for improvement in post-transplant outcomes,” Dr. Gupta said. “The impact of psychosocial aspects and family dynamics on outcomes after transplant is complex and should not be underestimated. Therefore, it is prudent that we continue to further our understanding of non-medical factors like social determinants of health.”

“We know the importance of supporting these patients and their families, and we hope these research efforts can help us identify at-risk patients and families and inform our efforts to improve their quality of life and post-transplant outcomes,” Dr. Killian said. “Pediatric transplant health research benefits not only the health and lives of patients and families but has far-reaching implications for improving quality of care in multiple pediatric health settings.”

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