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. Charles Weijer & Dr. Marat Slessarev for being awarded the CDTRP LHSC Research Innovation Grant. We wish them all the best as they embark on their innovative project!

CDTRP LHSC Research Innovation Grant: Dr. Charles Weijer & Dr. Marat Slessarev

Seeding an international collaborative to produce guidelines for the conduct of randomized controlled trials of organ donor interventions 

  • Main affiliations: Western University & London Health Science Centre
  • Theme 2 – Inform Universal Practices for Donation
Lay abstract

There are more people who need a life-saving organ than there are donated organs. To increase the quality and number of organs available for transplant from deceased organ donors, physicians use ‘donor interventions.’ Donor interventions involve things like administering drugs to donors to improve the condition of their organs for the benefit of organ recipients. However, there is limited evidence that these interventions are safe and effective; some may even do more harm than good. To improve donation practices, large international randomized trials of donor interventions are needed, but conducting these trials in deceased donation is challenging: regulatory, ethical, and methodological uncertainties stand in the way. Our long-term goal is to produce guidance on the conduct of randomized trials of donor interventions. As a first step in our program of research, this project addresses important preliminary research questions to ground guideline development. We will (1) map the legislation, case-law, and regulations relevant to randomized trials in donation to understand the regulatory environment; (2) review international ethical guidelines and statements on research with dying and recently deceased patients to identify possible solutions to ethical challenges; (3) partner with deceased donors’ family members to identify key markers of a high-quality donation process, enabling us to later derive outcome measures aimed at improving donation processes for families. As a critical step on the path to transformative research, this project will benefit donors who want to maximize their legacy, families who want to see successful donation, and recipients who will benefit from improved organs.