Dr. Bumgardner’s laboratory’s major efforts are in the field of liver immunobiology, cell transplantation and mechanisms regulating humoral and cellular alloimmunity. All of the projects have a direct translational component such as: (1) hepatocyte transplantation for patients with fulminate hepatic failure, isolated metabolic defects, and as temporary support for patients with chronic liver disease, and (2) pancreatic islet cell transplantation to cure patients with Type I Diabetes and (3) prevention of immunologic rejection of transplanted cells and organs through enhanced understanding of liver immunobiology, cellular and humoral alloimmunity. These basic studies are working towards a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the immune system recognizes and damages liver and islet cells after transplantation and on devising strategies to circumvent rejection of liver cell, islet cell and solid organ transplants. Dr. Bumgardner is the PI of the “Advanced Research Training in Immunology for Surgical Trainees”, an NIH T32 which provides stipend funding for residents pursuing immunology related research projects.
Dr. Bumgardner’s laboratory would provide an exceptional experience for undergraduates, graduates, medical students, and surgical residents interested in immunobiology, diabetes, liver failure/regeneration, transplantation or developing a foundation in translational research. Members of the lab receive training in: 1) scientific approach, experimental design, and grant preparation, 2) data analysis and presentation, 3) techniques in immunology, cell biology, molecular biology, and microsurgery, 4) basic concepts in immunology, and 5) pathophysiology of liver disease and diabetes mellitus. The basic research experience is designed to provide the lab member with the tools to pursue applied research in the future in a variety of different disciplines. A number of clinical transplant research projects are also available. The clinical research experience will entail training in: 1) research and design of a clinical study, 2) IRB requirements, 3) topics related to design of a clinical trial, 4) clinical data gathering and analysis, and 5) data presentation/publication. Current IRB approved clinical research projects include: 1) Investigation of Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms, T Cell Profiles and Alloantibody Levels and Isotypes from Peripheral Blood in Primary Kidney Transplant Patients and 2) Demographic and Clinical Factors and Transplant Outcomes Associated with Hospital Readmissions within the First Year after Kidney Transplantation in Adult Recipients.