Research Happenings

So far in 2021, WRTC has recovered 154 non-transplantable organs and tissues from benevolent donors for important medical research. These gifts are helping to saving lives because our research partners use the organs and tissue to learn more about disease and develop new and innovative therapies for patients.

Coming soon, WRTC will participate in the pediatric Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (dGTEx) project with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI). WRTC is one of seven organ procurement organizations (OPOs) who will recover neonatal/pediatric organ and tissue samples to help researchers understand gene expression and function through different stages of development in the pediatric population. This project is important as there is typically a shortage of healthy or “normal” tissue to compare tissues from children with pediatric diseases. The knowledge gained from studying samples could potentially provide hope for children with some of those diseases. In recent years, WRTC supported a similar research project for adult donors.

Another exciting development is WRTC is actively recovering vertebral bodies for lifesaving bone marrow transplants. Working with Ossium Health, WRTC first began recovering bone marrow for research purposes in August 2018. Now the bone marrow we recover can be transplanted to people in need. According to Ossium Health, an estimated 20,000 people need a bone marrow transplant each year, however, only 30% have a relative who can be a living donor.