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Gerald Brandacher, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Gerald Brandacher, M.D.

Scientific Director, Composite Tissue Allotransplantation (Reconstructive Transplant) Program

Associate Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Research Interests: Donor-specific immune tolerance and immunomonitoring strategies

Background

Dr. Gerald Brandacher is an associate professor of surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as the scientific director of the Reconstructive Transplantation Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

His team is engaged in research on donor-specific immune tolerance and immunomonitoring strategies for the Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Program at Johns Hopkins.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Brandacher was a key member of the hand transplant program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He was instrumental in designing a novel cell-based immunomodulatory treatment protocol for composite tissue allotransplantation and was also part of the team performing the first bilateral hand transplant and first forearm transplant in the United States.

Dr. Brandacher is the recipient of many national and international awards related to his work in reconstructive transplantation and the author of numerous papers, book chapters and abstracts. He is past-president of the Austrian Society of Surgical Research, board member of the Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Working Group of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT), and founding and scientific advisory board member of the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation (ASRT).

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Titles

  • Scientific Director, Composite Tissue Allotransplantation (Reconstructive Transplant) Program
  • Director, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Research Laboratory
  • Director, Small Animal Special Surgery subcore of Diabetes Research Center
  • Associate Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Associate Professor of Surgery

Education

Degrees

  • M.D., Leopold Franzen U Medicine Fac - Innsbruck - (154-02 Prior 3-13-38 Since 6-45) (Germany) (1998)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Brandacher leads the vascularized composite allotransplantation research laboratory at Johns Hopkins, the only lab in the world whose main focus is reconstructive transplantation. His research is related to immunology, with a particular focus on how to avoid the need for heavy immunosuppression after face or hand transplantation. Other research is related to increasing the body’s ability to accept donor tissue and enhancing the rate at which nerves with regenerate after surgery.

Particular research projects in the lab include:

  • Exploring a new immunomodulatory treatment strategy that eliminates the need for long-term medication after hand and face transplantation
  • Testing novel stem cell-based techniques to speed nerve regeneration, including after lower-extremity transplantation
  • Developing new, noninvasive methods to detect graft rejection at its earliest, treatable stages
  • Studying cortical reintegration and how nerve pathways within the brain “rewire” after limb transplantation
  • Establishing the first-ever large animal model to study functional, immunological and aesthetic outcomes of maxillofacial transplants

Clinical Trials

Human Upper Extremity Allotransplantation (Recruiting)

Human Craniomaxillofacial Allotransplantation (Recruiting)

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Huang Y, Furtmüller GJ, Tong D, Zhu S, Lee WP, Brandacher G, Kang JU. "MEMS-Based Handheld Fourier Domain Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography for Intraoperative Microvascular Anastomosis Imaging." PLoS One. 2014 Dec 4;9(12):e114215.

Khalifian S, Sarhane KA, Tammia M, Ibrahim Z, Mao HQ, Cooney DS, Shores JT, Lee WP, Brandacher G. "Stem Cell-Based Approaches to Improve Nerve Regeneration: Potential Implications for Reconstructive Transplantation?" Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2014 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Shores JT, Brandacher G, Lee WA. "Hand and Upper Extremity Transplantation: An Update of Outcomes in the Worldwide Experience." Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014 Nov 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Cardini B, Watschinger K, Hermann M, Obrist P, Oberhuber R, Brandacher G, Chuaiphichai S, Channon KM, Pratschke J, Maglione M, Werner ER. "Crucial Role for Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase in Early Microcirculatory Derangement and Recipient Survival following Murine Pancreas Transplantation." PLoS One. 2014 Nov 12;9(11):e112570.

Al-Rakan M, Shores JT, Bonawitz S, Santiago G, Christensen JM, Grant G, Murphy RJ, Basafa E, Armand M, Otovic P, Eller S, Brandacher G, Gordon CR. "Ancillary procedures necessary for translational research in experimental craniomaxillofacial surgery." J Craniofac Surg. 2014 Nov;25(6):2043-50. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000000935.

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Biotest Austrotransplant Award
  • Young Investigator Award, American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • Excellence in Research Award, American College of Surgeons (ACS)

Memberships

  • American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation (ASRT)
    Founding and scientific advisory board member
  • Austrian Society of Surgical Research
    Past-president
  • Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Working Group of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT)
    Board member

Videos & Media

Upper Extremity Transplants Without Severe Immunosuppression, Part I

Upper Extremity Transplants Without Severe Immunosuppression, Part II

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

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