Research

Transplantation


Our research examines racial and socioeconomic disparities in transplantation and explores key factors contributing to lower rates of organ donation and living donor kidney transplantation among racial and ethnic minorities. These studies have demonstrated the importance of contextual factors, such as social networks, social support, social capital, distrust in the healthcare system, and socioeconomic status. Findings from these studies demonstrate that shared network-level risk compounds the effects of individual-level factors. Our current research expands upon these findings by further delineating the role of social support and social capital in explaining disparities in access to transplantation and patterns of organ donation.

In transplantation, our research considers policy tradeoffs, such as balancing ethical principles of equity, efficiency and justice, in attempt to optimize fairness in organ allocation. Given that transplantation is a rare example of public rationing of life-saving treatment in United States, it provides an ideal case for studying procedural fairness and distributive justice in the context of the our health care system. Our research addresses prioritization of organs by age, race and ethnicity, and considers the ethical obligations of medical professionals in rationing care.

Current funded projects: "The Social Support Criterion in Transplantation: Considerations for Distributive and Procedural Justice" (The Greenwall Foundation)