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Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation (GRAfT): a model for enabling intramural-extramural collaboration

Friday, September 18, 2015 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • S Agbor-Enoh
  • J Doveikis
  • U Fideli
  • A Davis
  • H Valantine


Solid organ transplantation is an ideal model for intramural (IRP)-extramural collaborations to study acute and chronic rejection (AR), the leading causes of post-transplantation morbidity and mortality. We have developed a non-invasive, sensitive and specific AR diagnostic blood test, donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cf-DNA), and plan to first validate, and then assess its clinical utility in multiple centers. To achieve these goals, we created the Genomic Research Alliance for Transplantation (GRAfT), an NHLBI-sponsored consortium of seven thoracic transplant programs (TTP) and NHLBI’s Laboratory of Organ Transplant Genomics (LoTG). The seven programs have 1345 active transplant recipients, comprising 32.4% racial/ethnic minority groups, and 37.8% women. This diversity allows for innovative research to address observed differences in outcomes between groups. The local sites will recruit patients and collect bio-specimens and clinical data into an NHLBI database for validation of dd-cf-DNA. GRAfT allows for additional prospective mechanistic studies and creation of a bio-bank accessible to intramural and extramural researchers. A steering committee consisting of representatives from each TTP and the LoTG will guide the research agenda and resource allocation. Patient recruitment is active and site initiation of all centers is expected by August 30, 2015. Within two years, GRAfT will expand to include two additional TTP programs, liver and kidney transplant programs and other omic assays (microbiome, T-cell and B-cell receptor repertoires, proteomics). GRAfT patients will be referred to the Clinical Center for advanced imaging studies. In accordance with the IRP long-range plan, GRAfT provides a framework for enabling intramural-extramural collaborations.

Category: Genetics and Genomics