Dr. West was recently appointed the Director at the Alberta Transplant Institute (ATI) at the University of Alberta. The ATI—home to the world’s largest clinical islet transplant program as well as the busiest liver, heart, lung, kidney transplant and the only pediatric heart transplant programs in western Canada—works to enhance organ donation awareness, increase the number and type of transplants, improve strategies to treat organ failure, implement novel transplantation technologies, support basic and translational research and improve the quality of life and long-term outcomes for patients.
Dr. West is also a Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology at the University of Alberta and is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiac Transplantation. As a world leader in pediatric cardiac transplantation and transplant immunobiology, including crucial translation of basic concepts and findings from murine models to clinical application in pediatric heart transplantation, her work has resulted in a pioneering strategy for increasing donor availability for infants by crossing the ABO barrier. This has had a major global impact on infant heart transplantation. Her investigations of the immune development of infants after ABO-incompatible transplantation led to the first demonstration of neonatal transplantation tolerance in humans. Dr. West is the Director of the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP), a newly created coalition of more than 100 investigators at 23 sites across Canada funded by CIHR and various partners. The CNTRP links basic and clinical researchers in solid organ transplantation, hematopoietic cell transplantation and donation with the overall goal of increasing access to transplantation and improving long-term outcomes.