September 17, 2007
McKelvey gives $5.4M to transplantation program
By sarah goodwin
Georgia’s only lung transplant program and most comprehensive transplant immunology program will grow even stronger thanks to a major gift from philanthropist Andrew McKelvey, founder of Monster Worldwide.
The $5.4 million gift will fund research, build laboratories, attract new experts in transplantation and expand Emory’s ability to help patients who need transplants.
“We greatly appreciate this latest gift from Andy McKelvey, whose previous generosity has been critical to the recruitment of outstanding faculty and the growth of Emory’s lung transplant program” said E. Clinton Lawrence, director of the Andrew McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center in Emory School of Medicine.
Lawrence holds the Augustus J. McKelvey Chair in Lung Transplantation Medicine, which Andrew McKelvey endowed to honor his late father, a general medicine physician.
Unlike patients with severe kidney disease who can be helped with dialysis while waiting for a transplant, patients whose lungs are failing have nothing to do but wait. Those fortunate enough to receive a donated organ face another tough battle — lung recipients have the lowest five-year survival rate of any other transplant recipients because their bodies often reject the new organ.
The investments that McKelvey has made at Emory are helping researchers develop new medical therapies for lung disorders — in hopes of eliminating the need for transplants — and new strategies to improve outcomes after surgery. In particular, Emory investigators are making major advances in improving “transplant tolerance” by developing drugs to keep the body from rejecting transplanted organs and cells.
“These new funds will support a broadening scope of clinical and laboratory-based activities at Emory, including lung transplantation, pulmonary vascular diseases and transplantation tolerance,” Lawrence said.
To reflect the growth of Emory’s treatment and research efforts in lung disease, the McKelvey Lung Transplantation Center will be renamed the McKelvey Center for Lung Transplantation and Pulmonary Vascular Diseases. Current research includes basic studies of the immune response to transplantation and multi-center clinical trials of new medications for lung transplantation and treatment of pulmonary hypertension.
The McKelvey Center is part of the Emory Transplant Center, which has achieved a remarkable number of transplant firsts, including Georgia’s first kidney transplant in 1966 and most recently, the first islet transplant in Georgia in 2003.