Stuart Johnston Knechtle, MD

Professor of Surgery
William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine
Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute
Email address

During my career as an academic surgeon, I have had the privilege of leading and/or participating in a diverse portfolio of hypothesis-driven research projects.  These projects have centered on the immunology of surgery and transplantation, including both cellular and antibody-mediated immune responses.  During my training I studied the response of hyper-sensitized recipients to allogeneic liver transplantation, and am currently studying means of reducing immunologic memory that might allow more successful transplantation in sensitized recipients.  This immune response involves pathways of coagulation, antibody-mediated rejection, and cellular rejection and current work in my lab involves these three pathways.  The other major focuses of my work have been co-stimulation blockade and immune cell depletion as approaches to immunologic unresponsiveness or tolerance.  My research group has been involved in translational and clinical research to develop these mechanistic tools for the benefit of human organ transplant recipients.

Recent Publications

Knechtle SJ, Shaw JM, Hering BJ, Kraemer K, Madsen JC. Translational impact of NIH-funded nonhuman primate research in transplantation. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 10;11(500). pii: eaau0143. Reprint | Full Text

Education and Training

  • Transplant Fellow, Surgery, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1989 - 1991
  • Residency, Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, 1982 - 1989
  • M.D., Cornell University, Weill Medical College, 1982


Berger, Miles, Deborah Oyeyemi, Mobolaji O. Olurinde, Heather E. Whitson, Kent J. Weinhold, Marty G. Woldorff, Lewis A. Lipsitz, et al. “The INTUIT Study: Investigating Neuroinflammation Underlying Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction.” J Am Geriatr Soc 67, no. 4 (April 2019): 794–98.

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Schroder, P. M., R. Schmitz, Z. Fitch, B. Ezekian, J. Yoon, A. Choi, A. Barbas, et al. “Dual Targeting Desensitization with Carfilzomib Plus Lulizumab Significantly Prolongs Kidney Transplant Survival in Allosensitized Nonhuman Primates.” In American Journal of Transplantation, 19:429–429. WILEY, 2019.


Schmitz, R., M. S. Mulvihill, P. M. Schroder, Z. Fitch, F. Leopardi, D. Magnani, J. Kwun, S. J. Knechtle, and A. D. Kirk. “Depletional Induction Therapy in Non-Human Primates - Preclinical Modeling of Polyclonal Depletion with Rhesus-Specific ATG.” In American Journal of Transplantation, 19:597–597. WILEY, 2019.


Schroder, P., J. S. Yi, K. J. Weinhold, C. Chan, M. Joshi, C. Walters, J. Kwun, and S. J. Knechtle. “Pre-Transplant Multidimensional Flow Cytometric Analysis of Kidney Transplant Recipients Reveals Novel Immune Signature of Allograft Rejection.” In American Journal of Transplantation, 19:765–66. WILEY, 2019.


Schroder, P., J. Yoon, R. Schmitz, Z. Fitch, J. Kwun, and S. J. Knechtle. “Novel In Vitro Germinal Center Culture System Demonstrates More Aggressive B Cell to Plasma Blast Differentiation in Allosensitized Nonhuman Primates.” In American Journal of Transplantation, 19:1090–1090. WILEY, 2019.


Burghuber, Christopher K., Miriam Manook, Brian Ezekian, Adriana C. Gibby, Frank V. Leopardi, Minqing Song, Jennifer Jenks, et al. “Dual targeting: Combining costimulation blockade and bortezomib to permit kidney transplantation in sensitized recipients.” Am J Transplant 19, no. 3 (March 2019): 724–36.

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