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The Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Laboratory in the Center for Transplantation Sciences (CTS) at Massachusetts General Hospital investigates tolerance induction strategies for vascularized composite allografts (VCAs) in preclinical large animal models.

VCAs are an advanced method of tissue reconstruction for complex structures such as the nose, lips, ears and hands. However, risk for infection is very high. Our laboratory researches the use of mixed hematopoietic chimerism to induce transplantation tolerance of VCA. We also explore the immunologic mechanisms involved in tolerance and rejection of the skin component of VCA.

Our lab utilizes the immunogenetically-defined Mass General miniature swine model. This permits transplant studies across reproducible major histocompatibility complex (MHC) barriers in a preclinical large animal model and provides a unique model for investigation of cutaneous immunobiology in the context of transplantation. We have also recently established non-human primate VCA models in which we are investigating translational mixed chimerism protocols for VCA tolerance.

In addition, we have completed a three-year investigation, funded by the United States Department of Defense, of skin grafts from genetically modified (a-1,3-galactosyltransferase knockout) miniature swine for provision of temporary coverage of extensive, full thickness burn wounds. We have established industry collaborations to further this initiative toward clinical implementation.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Curtis L. Cetrulo, Jr., MD, FACS

Senior Investigator/Head, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Laboratory, Center for Transplantation Sciences (CTS)
Attending Plastic Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
Consulting Plastic Surgeon, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery, Harvard Medical School
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Alexandre G. Lellouch, MD, MSc, PhD candidate

Lecturer on Surgery at Harvard Medical School
Attending, Plastic Surgeon at European Georges Pompidou Hospital (AP-HP)
Co-investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children
External collaborator at CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)
University Paris Est Creteil and University Grenoble Alpes
Harvard Medical School
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Lab Manager

Mark A. Randolph, MSc

Scientific Advisor

Gilles Benichou, PhD

Research Fellows

Yanis Berkane, MD

Claire Guinier, MD

Sam Pakyari, MD, PhD

Eloi De Clermont Tonnerre, MD


Korkut Uygun, PhD

Basak Uygun, PhD

Research Technician

Kiavash Garakani, Msc

PhD Student

Hyshem Lancia, PhD candidate