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Safely Transplanting Bone Marrow

Simultaneous stem cell and kidney transplant for drug-free transplant tolerance

University of Louisville
Louisville, KY Dr. Suzanne Ildstad

In Kentucky, the National Stem Cell Foundation partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to help support the work of Dr. Suzanne Ildstad at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics (ICT) at the University of Louisville.

Her research identified a novel cell in bone marrow that makes it possible to safely transplant bone marrow stem cells from one person to another without life-threatening rejection, even when donor and recipient are not a genetic match.

This “mini” bone marrow transplant builds a platform to permanently treat or cure autoimmune diseases and genetic disorders affecting many millions of people worldwide – and eliminates the need for anti-rejection drugs following organ transplantation.


Dr. Ildstad received her medical degree from the Mayo Medical School followed by a residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. She completed a medical staff fellowship in transplantation immunology at the National Institutes of Health, where she, together with Dr. David Sachs, established the model for mixed hematopoietic chimerism.