Dr. Megan Sykes featured on 12/2 Episode of Science Friday

Dr. Sykes discusses advancements in pig-to-human organ transplant research

December 2, 2022

Earlier this year a pig heart was successfully transplanted into a human for the very first time. Unfortunately, the patient lived for just under 2 months. But it still marks a big milestone in the field of xenotransplantation, or transplanting organs from one species to another. 

Scientists are optimistic that advances in pig-to-human organ transplantation could save the lives of some of the over 100,000 people in the waiting for organ donations in the United States. 

Ira talks with Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, professor of surgery and director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, about what he’s learned in the 10 months since the historic heart transplant, and about the barriers to widespread acceptance of interspecies organ transplantation. 

Later, Ira talks with Dr. Megan Sykes, professor and director of the Center for Translational Immunology at Columbia University about how scientists decided that pigs were suitable organ donors in the first place, and the latest advancements in pig-to-human organ transplantation research.