Diana M. Metes, MD

  • Professor, Department of Surgery
  • Professor, Department of Immunology
  • Co-Director Human Immunology Program, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute
  • Director, Human Immunology Core Lab, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute
  • Director, Abdominal Organ Transplant Biorepository, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute

Education & Training

  • Residency, Institute of Hematology (Romania)
  • MD, Faculty of General Medicine, Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy

Research Interests

Solid organ transplantation is the treatment choice for patients with end-stage organ failure diseases. While life-long immunosuppressive drugs are given to these patients to prevent allograft rejection and promote immune tolerance, these drugs trigger unwanted side effects, such as opportunistic infections and cancers, including EBV-driven PTLD. My lab’s research interests focus on studying T lymphocytes and DC in solid organ transplant patients, in the effort to identify specific immune markers that may predict immune quiescence, or immune pathways that may interfere with rejection or the risk for EBV complications:

  • Immune responses to EBV: analyze cellular and molecular aspects of T cell exhaustion that may occur in memory EBV-specific CD8+ T cells after organ transplantation, leading to EBV complications in some Tx patients.
  • Immune responses to alloantigens: assess the role of Tregs and of memory T cells in triggering allo-immune quiescence vs allograft rejection. The impact of novel depleting vs non-depleting induction therapies in shaping T cell alloreactivity and T cell memory in solid organ Tx recipients.
  • DC immunobiology: study the role of pharmacologic agents in promoting DC tolerogenicity with implications for the regulation of recall- and allo-Ag specific T cell responses.