The ATI brings together a talented group of clinicians, researchers, educators, and policy-makers entirely dedicated to advancing transplantation and donation in Alberta and Canada. The ATI brings together researchers and clinicians who are working towards common goals of promoting the development and growth of all aspects of transplantation sciences. The ATI is an exciting amalgamation that allows effective impact at all levels of the health-care system toward supporting clinical transplant care and moving cutting-edge research into improved patient outcomes.
Across Canada, there is a critical shortage of donor organs. When organs of sub-optimal quality are transplanted, patients face greater potential of organ rejection, side-effects from immuno-suppressant drugs, and the cost of prolonged hospital stays. Revolutionary technological changes allow clinicians to assess, treat, and repair donated organs outside the body, prior to transplantation. This increases the numbers of donated organs that can be used, and improves the condition of donated organs when they are transplanted, which results in better patient outcomes.
Alberta has recently implemented an online donor registry, and has made great strides in the number of people who have expressed their intention to be an organ donor. However, a great deal more work needs to be done in organ donation awareness in Alberta, where our donation rate is one of the lowest in Canada.
Dr. Lori West is the Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Transplantation (Tier 1). She is the Director of the Alberta Transplant Institute and Canadian National Transplant Research Program. She is also a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Surgery, and Medical Microbiology/Immunology and Lab Medicine/Pathology.