Andrew B. Adams, MD, PhD

+ Co-Investigators

  • Dr. William Kitchens, MD/PhD

+ Trainees

  • Dr. Abraham J. Matar, MD
  • Dr. Brendan P. Lovasik, MD
  • Jakob Habib, PhD Student

+ Research Staff

  • Cindy Breeden
  • Ying Dong
  • Allison Stephenson
  • Abheek Ghosh

+ Alumni

  • Dr. Walter Wakwe, MD
  • Dr. Laura Higginbotham, MD
  • Dr. Steven Kim, MD
  • Hunter Roark
  • Jahan Saeed
  • Cameron Evans
  • Bennett Evans
  • Cristen Garrett
  • Ruthie Morrison
  • Nathan Grigg
  • Joshua Goldstein
  • Caroline Roberts
  • Manal Zafar

We have a fun, productive team with local, national and international collaborators.

Dr. Adams joined the Department after finishing his Emory transplant surgery fellowship. An alumnus of Emory's MD/PhD program, he completed his graduate work in immunology under the direction of Dr. Chris Larsen and Dr. Tom Pearson, moved on to Massachusetts General Hospital to complete his general surgery training, then returned to Emory for the transplant fellowship. During the fellowship he re-integrated into the Emory Transplant Center's research laboratory and focused on basic immunology as well as translational models at Yerkes National Primate Center. His clinical time is divided between the liver and kidney services, while his clinical research efforts focus on resource utilization following solid organ transplantation. Dr. Adams has active research projects in murine, primate and clinical contexts. 



After graduating from Harvard Medical School with honors, Dr. Kitchens continued his general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital. During his research sabbatical from residency, he moved back to his hometown of Atlanta to successfully pursue a PhD in transplant immunology at Emory University under the guidance of Mandy Ford, PhD, and Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil. He finished his surgical training at MGH, then returned to Emory to complete a clinical fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery. Throughout his training years, Dr. Kitchen received a variety of awards recognizing the quality of his research efforts, including three consecutive Young Investigator Awards from the American Transplant Congress and two Young Innovator Awards at Annual Scientific Exchange meetings of the American Society of Transplantation. He was also awarded the highest research awards offered for surgical residents and transplant fellows by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.



Steven Kim, MD

Research Focus
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy
Costimulation Blockade

Dr. Kim is a 4th year resident in Emory's General Surgery program, currently doing translational immunology research focused in primate models of xenotransplantation and allotransplantation. Dr. Kim's projects involve the use of mesenchymal stem cells as a source of adoptive cellular therapy.

Allison Stephenson

Research Focus
Flow Cytometry
Molecular Biology
Murine Immunology
Human Immunology
Transplant Outcomes

Allison Stephenson has broad expertise in murine, non-human primate, and human immunology and molecular biology. Allison's work is focused on novel transgenic mice that allow us to track polyclonal alloreactive T cells - a large number, and type of cells that reject transplanted tissues. Allison also works on human and non-human primate samples, perfoming flow cytometry, and building/managing a growing repository of frozen cells and tissues for future analysis.

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Abraham Matar, MD

Research Focus
Xenotransplantation Cellular Therapies Costimulation Blockade

Dr. Matar is a 2nd year resident in Emory's General Surgery program, currently doing translational immunology research focused in murine and primate models of xenotransplantation and allotransplantation. Dr.Matar’s projects revolve around using cellular therapies and novel therapeutics to prolong allograft survival and induce immunological tolerance.


Dave Mathews, Ph.D

Research Focus
Costimulation Independent Rejection
IL2/IL15 Signaling
Non-invasive Detection of Rejection

Dave Mathews is an MD/PhD candidate at the Emory School of Medicine. His research focuses on early detection and diagnosis of rejection, non-invasive techniques for intravital imaging of rejection, and costimulation independent rejection. 

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Abheek Ghosh

Research Focus
Flow Cytometry
Molecular Biology Murine Immunology Xenotransplantation
In-Vitro Studies

Abheek Ghosh focuses primarily on in-vitro studies and murine studies. Abheek also works to process non-human primate samples, performing flow cytometry and maintaining cell cultures. Abheek also plays a pivotal role in maintaining mouse breeding schemes for experimentation. He also assists with non-human primate transplantations that conducted in the lab. 

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Jakob Habib

Research Focus
Costimulation Independent Rejection Interferon Signaling Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells

Jakob is a PhD student in Emory’s IMP program. Jakob is investigating the role that early inflammatory signals have on graft rejection in the context of costimulation blockade. This involves exploring the how interferon produced by plasmacytoid dendritic cells contributes to graft tolerance in both murine and primate models of transplantation.


Cindy Breeden

Research Expertise
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy
Flow Cytometry
NHP, Human and Murine Biology

Cindy Breeden has extensive experience in human, non-human primate and mouse immunology. She brings her expertise to areas of cell culture, setting up one of the few mesenchymal stem cell culture systems for translational primate research in the world. Additionally Cindy is an expert experimentalist.

Taylor Deane

Research Coordinator

Taylor is responsible for, well, just about everything. Taylor helps our lab stay organized, fun and productive. If you'd like to join us for a lab meeting, or get more information about the lab, or lab personnel, Taylor is the best person to contact.

Ying Dong

Research Expertise
Islet Transplantation
Murine Immunology
Histologic Techniques

Dr. Ying Dong is an expert microsurgeon, with previous training in plastic surgery. She is an expert in murine islet transplantation, microsurgery and mouse models of immunology. Additionally Ying is an expert in histologic techniques.

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Brendan Lovasik, MD

Research Focus

Xenotransplantation Humoral Antibody Mediation
Costimulation Blockade

Dr. Lovasik is a 2nd year resident in Emory's General Surgery program, currently doing translational immunology research focused in primate models of xenotransplantation and allotransplantation. Dr.Lovasik’s projects involve exploring novel molecular targets and developing translational therapies.