CDTRP 2023 Research Innovation Grant Competition Results

CDTRP is thrilled to announce the results of the CDTRP 2023 Research Innovation Grant Competition, made possible through our partnership with various esteemed organizations. We are proud to showcase all of the exciting projects that have been funded in this year’s competition.

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Mypinder Sekhon and his team for being awarded the Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant. We wish them all the best as they embark on their innovative project!

“The Transplant Research Foundation of BC is thrilled to support such a wide depth and breadth of research that will lead to important new discoveries to truly transform organ donation and transplantation in British Columbia and Canada.”

– Elaine Yong, TRFBC Co-Chair

Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant: Dr. Mypinder Sekhon

Characterizing the cerebrovascular physiology of circulatory death during withdrawal of life sustaining therapies in humans 

  • Main affiliation: University of British Columbia
  • Theme 3 – Engineer and Allocate Better Grafts
Lay abstract

Organ donation may proceed only after the brain’s function / blood flow are lost and death is declared. It can occur after withdrawal of life support machines while waiting for the heart to stop delivering blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This process is called donation after circulatory death (DCD). In DCD, death is determined when the pulse pressure (generated by the heart beat) is less than 5mmHg for a period of 5 minutes. However, owing to the disease characteristics of eligible organ donation patients (i.e. increased pressure inside the skull from a swollen brain), the brain is likely to lose its function and blood flow before the loss of heart function results in this very low blood pressure in the body. This delay in declaring death leads to a prolonged period of waiting during which the eligible organs become increasingly dysfunctional. This may lead to missed opportunities to donate organs or to worse outcomes when the organs are transplanted into patients who need them. Therefore, we will conduct a prospective feasibility study to characterize the moment of loss of brain blood flow with microcatheters that have been inserted into the brain during the management of the patient. By doing so, we will identify the moment and pulse pressure at which the brain’s blood flow has ceased. We will also use a brain ultrasound to compare its accuracy in non-invasively determining the moment and pulse pressure at which the brain loses blood flow. By doing so, this study will provide the foundation to conduct a larger multisite study to definitively determine the moment that brain blood flow stops using brain monitoring devices and expedite the process of DCD.