• Johnny Bou Saba, MD

    2022 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
    Johnny Bou Saba, MD

    Johnny Bou Saba, MD

    2022 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award

    Institution: University of Pittsburgh

    Project Title: Harnessing the Role of Reparative Tregs in Limiting Early Inflammation after Transplantation

    How would you sum up your research in one sentence?

    My project aims to harness reparative regulatory T cells therapy to promote early tissue repair and limit inflammation after transplantation.

    Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.

    Our group is interested in a special population of Tregs that possess reparative as well as suppressive functions. We will generate a scalable protocol to expand and characterize mouse reparative Tregs. We will then use a mouse MHC-II mismatch transplant model to test the effect of reparative Treg cell therapy in promoting early allograft repair and prolonged survival. 

    What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?

    Despite the advances in the transplantation field, transplant patients are still at risk of immunosuppressive-resistant chronic rejection. We hope this Reparative Treg cell therapy will be able to limit early tissue injury caused by ischemia-reperfusion injury and alloimmune responses and promote allograft repair and prolonged survival. 

    What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?

    I hope this grant will allow me to develop and expand my critical thinking skills to be able to conduct and troubleshoot my experiments. Long-term, I aspire to be a transplant physician-scientist at a leading academic institution, and to be able to serve and benefit transplant recipients.

    >What inspired you to focus your research in this area?

    I have been always fascinated by transplantation biology. Progress has been made in this field, but transplant recipients are still suffering. I had the opportunity to conduct research at the Starzl Transplantation Institute, and this experience expanded my interest in transplantation research.

    Something you may not know about me is…

    I am from Lebanon and I am fluent in Arabic, French and English.

    In my free time I like to…

    Do some outdoor activities: volleyball, tennis, hiking, camping; travel with my friends across the states.

    Follow on Twitter: @Johnny_bs96