Lori WestLori West, MD/PhD

Office:     6-002, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation
Mail:       University of Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2E1
Phone:   780-492-3200
Fax:       780-492-8239
Email:    ljwest@ualberta.ca







Current Position


University of Alberta

-Professor, Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology
-Director of Heart Transplantation Research
-Director of Research, Alberta Transplant Institute (ATI)


-Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Senior Scholar
-Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Transplantation
-Past President, International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)
-Co-Lead, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Transplant Working Group
-Member: Public Policy Committee, Joint Adult Pediatric Transition Workgroup, Images in ---------Transplantation Workgroup, American Society of Transplantation (AST)
-Member: Governance Committee, Canadian Society of Transplantation (CST)


Research Area


Immune tolerance and transplant immunology


Current Research Activities


The overarching goal of the Transplant Immunology Research Program directed by Dr. West at the University of Alberta is the development of a comprehensive research focus encompassing specific projects related to transplantation.


These projects range from molecular level ‘gene therapy’ and cell biology investigations in murine transplant models through to clinical projects that include patient and population outcomes, quality-of-life studies and clinical drug trials. Bi-directional translational research is a crucial component in this regard, bridging the basic laboratory with the clinic.




Dr. West received her medical degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She studied transplant immunology in the laboratories of Prof. Peter Morris and Prof. Kathryn Wood at the University of Oxford, U.K., and was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree for her work in neonatal immune tolerance. She obtained further training in pediatric thoracic transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Loma Linda University. Beginning in 1994, Dr. West served as Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  She re-located to Edmonton in 2005, where she is a Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology, Director of Cardiac Transplantation Research and Director of Research for Alberta Transplant Institute at the University of Alberta. Dr. West is also a Senior Scholar for Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions and she holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Transplantation.


Dr. West’s academic and clinical activities center on pediatric cardiac transplantation and transplant immunobiology, including translation of basic science research concepts to clinical application in infants and children undergoing heart transplantation. Her clinical work resulted in a pioneering strategy for increasing donor availability for infants by crossing the ABO barrier, with the prediction that, in contrast to adults, ABO-incompatible heart transplantation would be safe in immunologically immature recipients. This protocol has had a global impact on the practice of pediatric heart transplantation. Moreover, her investigations of immune development of infants after ABO-incompatible transplantation led to the first demonstration of neonatal tolerance in humans with the finding of donor-specific B cell tolerance. She is now leading an international collaboration in subsequent study of this unique patient population.


The overall umbrella of Dr. West’s cardiac transplant research program includes drug therapy strategies in pediatric transplant populations and outcomes analyses, including quality-of-life outcomes of pediatric organ transplantation. Dr. West is also a leader in basic science research in transplantation. The work of her team using murine models of neonatal tolerance demonstrated that neonatally-induced acceptance of cardiac allografts is related to induction of regulatory T cells by the cardiac graft, a finding with potentially important clinical applications for antenatally diagnosed patients with congenital heart disease requiring neonatal heart transplantation. Her research team has also developed a murine model of ABO-incompatible transplantation using a novel lentiviral gene transfer strategy, which is providing a new platform for investigation of research questions in antibody-mediated rejection and B cell tolerance.



Select Publications


PA = Principal Author

SRI = Senior Responsible Investigator

CPA = Co-Principal Author

C = Collaborator

KJ Wood, AR Bushell, CR Darby, TC Pearson, LJ West, PJ Morris: Mechanism of induction of transplantation tolerance using donor antigen and anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody.  Transplantation Proceedings, 1991: 23(1 Pt 1): 133-134. C


TC Pearson, AR Bushell, CR Darby, LJ West, PJ Morris, KJ Wood:  Lymphocyte changes associated with prolongation of cardiac allograft survival in adult mice using anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody.  Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 1993: 92(2): 211-217. C


TC Pearson, CR Darby, A Bushell, LJ West, PJ Morris, KJ Wood:  The assessment of transplantation tolerance induced by anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody in the murine model.  Transplantation, 1993: 55(2): 361-367. C


LJ West, PJ Morris, KJ Wood:  Fetal liver haematopoietic cells and tolerance to organ allografts.  The Lancet, 1994: 343(8890): 148-149. PA


LJ West, PJ Morris, KJ Wood:  Neonatally induced transplantation tolerance to primarily vascularised cardiac allografts is not donor-specific.  Transplantation Proceedings, 1995: 27(1): 184-185. PA


L Dror, M Greenberg, G Taylor, R Superina, D Hebert, LJ West, B Connolly, L Sena, U Allen, S Weitzman:  Lymphoproliferative disorders after organ transplantation in children. Transplantation, 1999: 67(7): 990-998. C


SH Borenstein, K Tao, LJ West, JW Chamberlain:  Extrathymic deletion of CD8+ alloreactive T cells in a transgenic T cell receptor model of neonatal tolerance.  Transplantation, 2001: 72(11): 1807-1816. C


LJ West, SM Pollock-BarZiv, AI Dipchand, KJ Lee, CJ Cardella, IM Rebeyka, LN Benson, JG Coles.  ABO-incompatible heart transplantation in infants:  The New England Journal of Medicine, 2001: 344(11): 793-800. PA [article accompanied by editorial]


G Dellgren, B Koirala, A Sakopoulus, A Botta, J Joseph, L Benson, B McCrindle, A Dipchand, C Cardella, KJ Lee, LJ West, N Poirer, GS VanArsdell, WG Williams, JG Coles: Pediatric heart transplantation:  improving results in high-risk patients.   Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2001: 121(4): 782-791. C


LJ West: Defining critical windows in the development of the human immune system.  Human and Experimental Toxicology, 2002: 21(9-10):  499-505. Review PA


LJ West: Developmental aspects of immunomodulation:  exploiting the immature immune system for organ transplantation.  Transplant Immunology, 2002: 9: 149-153. PA


LJ West, K Tao: Acceptance of third-party cardiac, but not skin allografts induced by neonatal exposure to semi-allogeneic lymphohematopoietic cells.  American Journal of Transplantation, 2002:  2(8): 733-744. PA


MP Holsapple, LJ West, KS Landreth: Species comparison of anatomical and functional immune system development.  Birth Defects Research (Part B), 2003: 68: 321-334. C


BM Ogle, M Cascalho, C Joao, W Taylor, LJ West, JL Platt: Direct measurement of lymphocyte receptor diversity.  Nucleic Acids Research, 2003: 31(22): e139. C


SH Borenstein, KS Tao, N Hu, LJ West, JW Chamberlain: Induction of xenogeneic neonatal tolerance to transgenic human leukocyte antigen class I grafts. Transplantation, 2004: 78(6): 844-852. C


B Hofmann, K Tao, L Mai L, LJ West:  Acceptance of related and unrelated cardiac allografts in neonatally-tolerized mice is cardio-specific and transferable by regulatory CD4+ T cells.  Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2004: 23: 1069-76. SRI


X Fan, A Ang, SM Pollock-BarZiv, AI Dipchand, P Ruiz, G Wilson, JL Platt, LJ West:  Donor-specific B cell tolerance after ABO-incompatible infant heart transplantation.  Nature Medicine, 2004: 10(11): 1227-1233.  SRI (article accompanied by a ‘News and Views’ commentary)


M Yoshimitsu, T Sato, K Tao, J Walia, VI Rasaiah, GT Sleep, GJ Murray, AG Poeppl, J Underwood, LJ West, RO Brady, JA Medin:  Bioluminescent imaging of a marking transgene and correction of Fabry mice by neonatal injection of recombinant lentiviral vectors.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2004: 101(48): 16909-14. C


X Fan, K Tyerman, A Ang, K Koo, K Parameswaran, K Tao, L Mai, H Lang, LJ West LJ.  A novel tool for B cell tolerance research: characterization of mouse alloantibody development using a simple and reliable cellular ELISA technique. Transplantation Proceedings, 2005: 37: 29-31. SRI


LJ West.  Targeting an antibody-mediated rejection in the setting of ABO-incompatible infant heart transplantation: graft accommodation vs. B cell toleranceCurrent Drug Targets - Cardiovascular and Hematological Disorders, 2005: 23(3): 223-232.  PA


X Fan, A Ang, LJ West.  Successful ‘transplantation’ of human ABO blood group system to mouse by gene therapy using lentiviral vector harboring human ABH related transferase genes: a novel animal model for ABO incompatible heart transplantation research.  Transplantation Proceedings, 2005. SRI


LJ West.  ABO-incompatible heart transplantation: an alternative to improve the donor shortage in infants.  Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, 2005: 10(4): 364-368. PA


X Fan, A Ang, K Tao, LJ West.  Induction of human histo-blood group A antigen expression in mouse cells by gene therapy using lentiviral vectors harbouring human ABH-related glycosyltransferase genes.  Transplantation Proceedings, 2005: 37: 265-267. SRI


BM Ogle, LJ West, DJ Driscoll, SE Strome, RR Razonable, CV Paya, M Cascalho, JL Platt.  Effacing of the T cell compartment by cardiac transplantation in infancy.  Journal of Immunology, 2006: 176: 1962-1967. C


LJ West.  B cell tolerance following ABO-incompatible infant heart transplantation.   Transplantation, 2006: 81(3): 301-307.  PA


G Stussi, LJ West, DKC Cooper, JD Seebach. ABO-incompatible allotransplantation as a basis for clinical xenotransplantation.  Xenotransplanation, 2006: 13(5): 390-9. C


Pollock Bar-Ziv SM, MCCrindle BW, West LJ, Edgell D, Coles JG, VanArsdell GS, Bohn D, Perez R, Campbell A, Dipchand AI: Outcomes of pediatric patients bridged to heart transplantation from Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support. American Society of Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), 2007: 53(1): 97-102. C


Zhou YQ, Bishay R, Feintuch A, Tao K, Golding F, Zhu W, West LJ, Henkelman RM:  Morphological and functional evaluation of murine heterotopic cardiac grafts using ultrasound biomicroscopy. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 2007: 33 (6): 870-9. C


Pollock-BarZiv SM, McCrindle BW, West LJ, Manlhiot C, VanderVliet M, Dipchand AI: Competing outcomes after neonatal and infant wait-listing for heart transplantation.  Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2007: 26(10): 980-5. C


Pollock-BarZiv SM, den Hollander N, Ngan BY, Kantor P, McCrindle B, Dipchand AI, West LJ:  Pediatric heart transplantation in human leukocyte antigen sensitized patients: evolving management and assessment of intermediate-term outcomes in a high-risk population.  Circulation, 2007: 116 (11 Suppl.): I172-8.  C


Pollock-BarZiv S, McCrindle B, West LJ, Dipchand AI: Waiting before birth: Outcomes after fetal heart listing for heart transplantation.  American Journal of Transplantation, 2008: 8(2): 412-18. C


Platt JL, Cascalho M, West LJ: Lessons from cardiac transplantation and infancy. Pediatric Transplantation, 2009: 13(7): 814-9. C


West LJ: Lost in regulation: Why do U.S. policies for ABO-incompatible transplantation for infants lag behind? (Invited Commentary). Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2009: 28: 1246-8. PA


Dipchand AI, Pollock BarZiv SM, Manlhiot C, West LJ, VanderVliet M, MCCrindle BW: Equivalent outcomes for pediatric heart transplantation recipients: ABO-blood group incompatible versus ABO-compatible.  American Journal of Transplantation, 2010: 10(2): 389-97. C


Laing B, Ross DB, Meyer SR, Campbell PC, Halpin AM, West LJ, Rebeyka IM: Glutaraldehyde treatment of allograft tissue decreases allosensitization following the Norwood procedure. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2010: 139(6): 1402-8. C


Urschel S, Campbell PM, Meyer SR, Larsen IM, Neubel J, Birnbaum J, Netz H, Tinckam K, Kauke T, Derkatz K, Coe JY, Platt JL, West LJ: Absence of donor-specific HLA antibodies after ABO-incompatible heart transplantation in infancy-Altered immunity or age? American Journal of Transplantation, 2010: 10(1): 149-56. C


Fan X, Lang H, Zhou X. Zhang L, Yin R, Maciejko J, Giannitsos V, Motyka B, Medin JA, Platt JL, West LJ: Induction of human blood group A-antigen expression on mouse cells, using lentiviral gene transduction.  Human Gene Therapy, 2010: 21(7): 877-90. C


Ross H, Tinckam K, Rao V, West LJ: In PRAise of VAD’s-Bridge to virtual cross match for the sensitized patient: Now’s the time?  Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2010: 29(7) 728-30. C


West LJ, Platt JL: And justice for all: Consideration of ABO compatibility in allocation of hearts for infant transplantation. (Invited Commentary) Circulation, 2010: 121 (17): 1884-6. PA


Urschel S, Altamirano-Diaz LA, West LJ: Immunosuppression armamentarium in 2010: Mechanistic and clinical considerations. Pediatric Clinics in North America, 2010: 57(2): 433-57. SRI


Slaney AM, Wright VA, Meloncelli PJ, Harris KD, West LJ, Lowary TL, Buriak JM: Biocompatible carbohydrate functionalized stainless steel surfaces: A new method for passivating biomedical implants.  ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2011:3:1601-12. C


Altamirano-Diaz  L, West LJ, Humar A, Ely L, Urschel S, Gubbay J, Crowcroft N, Kumar D: Early post-transplant vaccination with pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccine in pediatric heart transplant recipients.  Pediatric Transplantation, 2011: 15(2): 172-5. C


Gajarski RJ, Blume ED, Urschel S, Schechtman K, Zheng J, West LJ, Altamirano L, Miyamoto S, Naftel DC, Kirklin JK, Zamberlan MC, Canter CE, Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Investigators: Infection and malignancy after pediatric heart transplantation: The role of induction therapy. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2011: 30(3): 299-308. C


Urschel S, Rieck BD, Birnbaum J, Dalla Pozza R, Rieber N, Januszewska K, Fuchs A, West LJ, Netz H, Belohradsky BH: Impaired cellular immune response to diphtheria and tetanus vaccines in children after thoracic transplantation. Pediatric Transplantation, 2011: 15(3): 272-80. C


Meloncelli PJ, West LJ, Lowary TL: Synthesis and NMR studies on the ABO Histo-blood group antigens: Synthesis of type III and IV structures and NMR characterization of type-I-VI antigens. Carbohydrate Research, 2011: 346(12): 1406-26. C


Montgomery RA, Cozzi E, West LJ, Warren DS: Humoral immunity and antibody-mediated rejection in solid organ transplantation. Seminars in Immunology, 2011: 23(4): 224-34. C


West LJ: Antibodies and ABO-incompatibility in pediatric transplantation. Pediatric Transplantation, 2011: 15(8): 778-83. PA


West LJ: ABO-incompatible hearts for infant transplantation. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, 2011: 16: 548-54. PA


West LJ: Towards donor allocation equitability for high immunological risk patients awaiting transplantation: “4S 4 HI-cPRA”. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 2011: 27(6): 677-8. PA


Rose M, West LJ: Accommodation-does it apply to Human Leukocyte antigens? Transplantation, 2012: 93(3): 244-6. C


Jeyakanthan M, West LJ: Donor-specific isohemagglutinins: Measuring the unknown. American Journal of Transplantation, Invited Editorial, 2012: 12(4): 803-5. SRI


Dons EM, Montoya C, Long CE, Hara H, Echeverri GJ, Ekser B, Ezzelarab C, Medellin DR, van der Windt DJ, Murase N, Rigatti LH, Wagner R, Wolf RF, Ezzelarab M, West LJ, Ijzermans JN, Cooper DK: T cell-based immunosuppressive therapy inhibits the development of natural antibodies in infant baboons. Transplantation, 2012: 93(8): 769-76. C


Ali A, Chow AK, Kandasamy AD, Fan X, West LJ, Crawford BD, Simmen T, Schulz R: Mechanisms of cytosolic targeting of matrix metalloprotiense-2. Journal of Cellular Physiology: 2012: 227(10): 3397-404. C


Lavee J, West LJ: A call for a policy change regarding publications based on transplantation of organs from executed prisoners. Editorial, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2012: 31(6): 555-6. SRI


Yu X, Larsen B, Urschel S, Cheung PY, Ross DB, Rebeyka I, West L, Li J: The profile of inflammatory and metabolic response in children undergoing heart transplantation. Clinical Transplantation, 2012: 26(2): E137-42. C


Yu X, Larsen B, Rutledge J, West LJ, Ross DB, Rebeyka IM, Bucholz H, Li J: The profile of the systemic inflammatory response in children undergoing ventricular assist device support.  Interactions of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, 2012: 5(3): 426-31. C




-Kimberly Derkatz (Graduate Student)
-Mylvaganam Jeyakanthan (Graduate Student)
-Esme Dijke (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
-Michael Kaestner (Clinical Fellow)
-Stefanie Seitz (Clinical Fellow)

Website Links of Interest

West Research Group