John A. Robinson, M.D.

M.D., University of Illinois

Transplantation Immunologist

Immunopharmacologic manipulation of allograft rejection


Recurrent episodes of graft rejection occur in almost all contemporary clinical transplant settings. Repeated rejection leads to incremental or sudden and complete loss of function in a transplanted organ or bone marrow transplant.  The rheumatology-therapeutic apheresis laboratory has three major goals: (1) to develop new methods to modulate or decrease the severity of rejection episodes (2) to identify new methods to induce permanent tolerance to allografts by the use of psoralen treated, UV light exposed mononuclear cells and (3) develop clinical strategies that will allow patients who have developed alloantibodies during transfusion or pregnancy to be successfully transplanted.

We are already treating a large number of lung transplant patients with photopheresis who have chronic rejection manifest by obliterative bronchiolitis. We also have treated more than 40 heart transplant patients who have high levels of alloantibodies, using antibody depletion with subsequent infusion of normal IgG.

Selected Publications

Robinson, J. A., R. M. Radvany, M .G. Mullen, and E .R. Garrity. (1997). Plasmapheresis followed by intravenous immunoglobulin in presensitized patients awaiting thoracic organ transplantation.  Ther.Apheresis 1:2147-51.

Pizarro, T. T., K. Malinowska, E .J. Kovacs,J. Clancy, J. A. Robinson, and L. A. Pmccimni. (1994). Diminished cytotoxic gene expression in rat cardiac transplant with low-dose cyclosporine/methotrexate combinadon.  Ther. Transplant. 58:223-32.

Costanzo-Nordin, M. R., B. M. McManus, J. E.Wilson, E .J. O'Sullivan, E. A. Hubbell, and J. A. Robinson. (1993). Efficacy of photopheresis in the rescue therapy of acute cellular rejection in human heart allografts: preliminary clinical & immunopathologic report.  Transplant Proc. 25:881-3.


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