New Opportunities Await!

Erica Ho From the Founder, Staff Updates, Transplant News

I want to thank everyone associated with the Terasaki Institute of Biomedical Innovation for the incredible opportunity to serve as the Deputy Director of Personalized Transplant Education and Communication. The CEO, Dr. Ali Khademhosseini, the President, Mr. Stewart Han, and the Terasaki Family Foundation have fully supported my advocacy work with transplant patients and helped me honor Dr. Paul Terasaki’s legacy. It’s been a productive four years! During this time, my research team published over …

Addressing insurance-related disparities in kidney transplant access

Erica Ho Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Mindy Kim, Intern The large costs of kidney transplants are no secret; however, the impacts of insurance type on kidney transplant are often overlooked. Most patients in the United States have some form of public insurance (Medicare or Medicaid), private insurance, or are uninsured. In 2018, 32.3% of patients with prevalent end-stage renal disease only had Medicare coverage, 20.8% had non-Medicare insurance, and the remainder of patients had some form of dual or add-on …

TREC partners with Transplant Recipients International Organization to launch the Post-Transplant Cancer Project

Erica Ho Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Senior Research and Education Associate Post-transplant cancer (PTC) is one of the leading causes of death among organ and tissue transplant recipients. This is because the immunosuppressive medicines recipients need to take to prevent graft rejection weakens their immune system, increasing their risk of developing cancer by 2-3 times compared to the general population.1 However, many cancers, if detected early enough, can be treated and transplant recipients can continue living long and …

Remote Communities: Interning at TREC

Erica Ho Staff Updates

By Mindy Kim, Intern I first came across the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) Intern position by chance, but I knew as soon as I started reading more about TREC that its mission was one I wanted to contribute to. Although I knew little about kidney transplants and the specific inequalities that exist in the kidney transplant waiting system, health inequities and access to healthcare were two interests I had been growing through other …

TREC’s Participation at American Transplant Congress 2021

Erica Ho Talks and Presentations

The American Transplant Congress is the annual meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) and the American Society of Transplantation (AST). This year, Dr. Amy Waterman and the Transplant Research and Education Center team have participated in submitting 13 abstracts to the event—all of which have been accepted and will be available for public viewing at the virtual event from June 4 – 9. Eight of the 13 abstracts list Dr. Waterman and …

A recap of Dr. Waterman’s participation at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual public webinar

Erica Ho Talks and Presentations, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Senior Research & Education Associate On Friday April 16, Dr. Amy Waterman spoke at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual public webinar, “A Fairer and More Equitable, Cost-Effective, and Transparent System of Donor Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Distribution”. This webinar was held to educate the public on two important aspects of the current state of deceased donor organ transplantation in the country. The morning session comprised of medical leaders …

Meet a TREC Fellow: An interview with Dr. Cristina Farkas-Skiles

Erica Ho Staff Updates

By Yaquelin Arevalo Iraheta, Junior Research Associate At TREC, we have assembled a new group of researchers working in transplantation called the TREC Fellows. This week, we’re learning more about Dr. Cristina Farkas-Skiles, who began having an interest in kidney transplantation when she was in medical school. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Farkas-Skiles decided to specialize in pediatrics. During her residency at UCLA, she explored different specialties and ultimately landed in nephrology. When asked …

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

UCLA Former Users 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 …