e-HAIL Event

Specific Aims Sprint – Optimization of candidate selection for deceased donor kidney transplantation

Christopher J. Sonnenday, M.D., M.H.S.Transplant Center DirectorUniversity of Michigan HealthSurgical Director of Living Donor Liver Transplantation Surgical Director, Multidisciplinary Liver Tumor Program, Executive Vice-ChairDepartment of Surgery

Zoom information will be sent to e-HAIIL members (please note the longer event time).

The first e-HAIL session of the new year, Friday, January 13, 2:00pm-3:30 pm (on Zoom, note extended time) will be a Specific Aims Sprint session. We’ll be collaborating and brainstorming in breakout groups about the challenge presented by Christopher Sonnenday, M.D., MHS, Director of UMH’s Transplant Center:

Can we create an artificial intelligence system to optimize time-sensitive candidate selection for deceased donor kidney transplantation? This model will be utilized by transplant surgeons and coordinators to improve organ utilization and transplant outcomes.

This is an exciting opportunity to weigh in on a critical healthcare issue with the prospect of having real world impact. The Transplant Center is actively working on ways to improve matching of donor organs to the most appropriate and needy recipients. The current system ranks patients according to their kidney allocation score, a composite score that includes points for time on the waiting list, age, degree of HLA matching to the donor, and distance from the donor hospital. However, it does not take into account other relevant medical, surgical, and immunologic criteria that may affect the appropriateness of a given donor organ for an individual transplant candidate. The challenge is to include other relevant factors in real-time, as kidney allocation decisions are made within severe time constraints (30 minutes from time of offer), placing a burden on the provider/program and introducing significant variation in decision making. 

The Transplant Center’s new team of organ procurement coordinators could operate an AI tool that aids the transplant surgeons in timely identification of candidates who may be optimal for a given donor organ if such a tool were developed. This would make the candidate selection process more efficient, potentially increase organ utilization, and improve transplant outcomes. We hope you can join us for this important conversation and challenge!

The session is organized as follows:

  • 2 – 2:15: presentation of the problem by Chris Sonnenday (10 mins), followed by 5 min for clarifying questions 
  • 2:15 – 3: breakout groups to formulate one or more Specific Aims to address the issue
  • 3 – 3:30: report-backs from break-out groups & response from presenter 

Each group will be facilitated by one MM and one CoE e-HAIL convener/member, assisted by a designated note taker from the e-HAIL team for each breakout session, whose role will be to assist with in-the-moment drafting of the Specific Aim based on the discussion. The only thing needed from you is your good ideas!


J. Henrike Florusbosch