ALABAMA, United States (AP) — The University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham is joining a select group of schools that are researching the possibility of using genetically modified pig tissue for human kidney transplants.

UAB is receiving a US$19.5-million grant from United Therapeutics Corp to begin a xenotransplantation programme. School officials announced the five-year grant on Friday.

UAB is a leading kidney transplant centre, and the programme aims to transplant genetically modified kidneys created from pig tissue within five years.

The work could save lives since thousands of people die each year awaiting transplants.
Researcher Joseph Tector has been recruited from Indiana University to lead the new programme at UAB.
Five other centres are researching xeno-transplants in the United States. Those include Columbia, Duke, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and the National Institutes of Health in Maryland., pub-0506098242811370, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0