Highlights from the “What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines & transplant vaccine trial” panel

Erica Ho COVID-19, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research and Education Associate With the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out, kidney and transplant patients have had many important questions about how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may affect their health and treatment regimens. To help get these questions answered, the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation and its Deputy Director, Dr. Amy Waterman, hosted an informational panel called, “What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines & …

Research Continues in the Remote Environment: interning at TREC & TIBI

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates

By Alice Yang, Intern When I applied to become an undergraduate research assistant at TREC/TIBI, I had the opportunity to tour the lab and meet with everyone in person. Walking through the glass doors and into the high ceiling of the main lobby for the first time, I couldn’t believe that soon I would get to be part of the research team working under Dr. Waterman to help educate others about the benefits of living …

The global burden of chronic kidney disease

Erica Ho Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate Did you know that approximately 13% of the world’s population has chronic kidney disease (CKD), and over 10% have end-stage kidney failure1? In the 1990’s, CKD was the 17th most common cause of death in the world, but has risen to 12th by 20172. This may be because previous efforts to reduce CKD and CKD-related mortality either have not been successful, or do not exist. This is an even more …

2020 Year in Review: championing patient-centered work

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Brian Ha, Intern With 2020 winding down, let’s take a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished this year for the transplant and living donation community. Together with our partners, we launched the COVID-19 Kidney / Transplant Listening and Resource Center, designed new education for living donors and transplant recipients in partnership with the community, presented our work on digital storytelling and innovative education tools at talks and conferences hosted by the …

Listening to the transformational experience of kidney patients and living donors

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories, Staff Updates

By Ally Zweigle, Intern Throughout my time at TREC, I progressed from knowing very little about what kidney disease is like for those who have it, let alone its astounding effects on both the diagnosed individual as well as those around them, to being convinced that I should someday donate my own kidney to someone in need. Perhaps this was a consequence of one of my internship assignments, which was to code video submissions for …

The power of digital storytelling featuring recipients and donors from the Living Donation Storytelling Project

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories

By Jessica Nunez, Intern On November 20, 2020, Dr. Waterman gave a talk titled “The Power of Digital Storytelling to Educate, Empower, and Engage Patients and Prospective Donors” as part of a virtual series hosted by the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. You can view the full talk here. The talk highlighted the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC)’s Living Donation Storytelling Project, which aims to share the real-life testimonies of living kidney donors and …

COVID-19 vaccine vials

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs and Recommendations for Transplant Patients

Karen Handelman COVID-19, From the Founder, Transplant News

At the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC), we believe that rapid communication of information about COVID-19 vaccination to transplant patients and ongoing monitoring of patient outcomes are two important ways to keep our patients safe as we move forward into 2021. In the recent weeks, one of the many SARS-COV-2 vaccines being developed in the United States has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization. This vaccine …

The importance of tailored health education for patients: an interview with Jill Scherrey

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Kimberly Sanchez, Intern In health care, knowledge is power. A knowledgeable patient is able to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. As the Consumer Education Specialist for the UCLA Health, CENTER for Nursing Excellence, Jill Scherrey, MSN, RN, NPD-BC works to provide patients and healthcare consumers the information they want and need for optimal health. A current PhD candidate at the UCLA, School of Nursing, Jill is a pioneer in patient education …

Dr. Waterman shares about the power and science of storytelling

UCLA Former Users New Research from TREC, Staff Updates, Transplant News

Dr. Amy Waterman, Director of the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) and Deputy Director at Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, has been giving a series of talks about storytelling as an innovative educational tool for kidney and transplant patients at conferences geared to the medical and research community, as well as to patients and donor advocates. As the year draws to a close, Dr. Waterman will have presented to more than 1,000 providers in …

Meet our interns!

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates

At TIBI and TREC, our interns assist with everything from creating content for our social media pages, transcribing and coding interviews, and developing patient-centered health education. Most choose to receive academic credit for their time in the lab. Our interns come from diverse backgrounds with many different academic concentrations, bringing their unique perspectives and talents to the lab to serve kidney and cancer patients, and living donors. Jessica Nunez is a senior at UCLA double-majoring …

Television and Medicine: patients, donors, and medical professionals respond to new CBS sitcom about living donation

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research & Education Associate On November 5th, five million people watched the premiere of a new CBS show about living donation! “B Positive” is a new comedy sitcom following one man’s living donation journey. Drew, a therapist, and single dad, is shocked to find out his kidneys are failing and he’s in urgent need of a transplant. With a rare blood type and lacking friends or family to ask to be his …

The Pivotal Role of Health Communications in Organ Transplant and Living Donation with Dr. LaShara Davis

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates

By: Alice Yang, Intern & Grace Kim, Research Associate The field of health communication is one that is often overlooked by other researchers but not by Dr. LaShara Davis. Her introduction to the health communication field happened serendipitously after a couple of changes in career paths and prospects. She began her journey as a psychology major, hoping to go into some sort of therapy in the future. However, when she stumbled across the field of …

Important Takeaways from the American Association of Kidney Patients Annual Patient Meeting

Rachyl Pines Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research and Education Associate On September 11, I attended Day 1 of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) National Patient Meeting. AAKP is the oldest and largest kidney patient organization in the United States and its mission is to improve the lives of kidney patients through education, advocacy, and community engagement. The National Patient Meeting is an annual event where members of the kidney community can access the latest news and …

Meet a TREC Fellow: An Interview with Dr. Ashley Feinsinger

Rachyl Pines Staff Updates

By Erica Ho, Research and Education Associate At TREC, we have assembled a new group of researchers working in transplantation called the TREC Fellows. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to each one by summarizing an interview with them conducted by different staff members in the lab. Last time, we learned about Terri Menser and her experience with kidney transplantation research. This week we had the chance to talk to Ashley Feinsinger, …

Policy Change to Overcome Disparities in Kidney Transplantation

Rachyl Pines Transplant News

By Alice Yang, Intern Implementing policy changes to improve access to kidney transplants and overcome disparities is an important first step in reaching these goals, but it is not enough. Three major policy changes have aimed at improving end-stage kidney disease outcomes and increasing access to transplants. These include the kidney allocation system (KAS) in 2014, the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative in 2019, and finally, new changes implemented by the Centers for Medicare and …

Meet a TREC Fellow: An Interview with Dr. Terri Menser

Rachyl Pines Staff Updates, Transplant News

At TREC, we have assembled a new group of researchers working in transplantation called the TREC Fellows. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to each one by summarizing an interview with them conducted by different staff members in the lab. This week, we will learn about Terri Menser and her experience with kidney transplantation research. Interviewer and author: Katia Dahmani, Intern At Houston Methodist, Menser is conducting transplantation research focused on further …

Dr. Amy Waterman’s Participation in a OneLegacy Virtual Town Hall

Rachyl Pines From the Founder, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate On Wednesday, August 4, Dr. Amy Waterman was invited to speak at OneLegacy’s monthly Connecting the Dots Virtual Town Hall. OneLegacy is an organization dedicated to helping people navigate organ, eye, and tissue donations by offering coordination and support services. The topic for this discussion, in accordance with National Minority Donor Awareness Month, was improving diversity and inclusion in healthcare to spread awareness about organ donation among minority groups. Dr. …

The Importance of Tailored Education to Address Transplant Disparities

Rachyl Pines Transplant News

By Annika Pearson, Guest TREC Communication Writer A recent study titled, “Ethnic background is associated with no live kidney donor identified at the time of first transplant assessment—an opportunity missed? A single-center retrospective cohort study”, suggests that people from different minority ethnicity groups are not given the same amount or quality of information about their options for managing chronic kidney disease or for renal replacement therapies like transplantation, as others. Research has shown that patients …

A Recent TREC Publication on the Power of a Digital Library of Living Donor Stories

Rachyl Pines New Publications, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate There are over 740,000 people in the United States living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD)1,2, but only around 6500 transplants are performed every year due to a severe shortage in available kidneys2. Problems like limited kidney transplant education and medical mistrust make it difficult for enough donors and recipients to be matched3,4. Storytelling has been proven to be an effective strategy in increasing education and awareness for other health issues …

What it is like to be an intern at TREC

Rachyl Pines Staff Updates

By Jessica Nunez, Intern Hello, my name is Jessica Nunez and I am from Santa Clarita, California. I am entering my fourth year at UCLA, majoring in Cognitive Science and Spanish, Community and Culture. I have been interning at Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) since March 2019. As a freshman, I was overwhelmed with the school dynamic and completed multiple searches in efforts to find a job that encompassed my passions and brought a …