J Harold Helderman
Last active: 4/21/2014


My specialty is that of Kidney Transplantation for over 30 years.  I maintain out-patient transplant clinics and a pre-transplant evaluation clinic at Vanderbilt and I am the Medical Director of the Transplant Ward at Vanderbilt Hospital. I regularly care for patients with complex renal transplant problems.

My clinical research interests involve the development of new immunosuppressive strategies, the pathogenesis and treatment of chronic rejection, the pathogenesis and management of medical complications of transplantation including infection, neoplasia, metabolic disorders including diabetes and bone disease and cardiac disease. Other research interests include the basic investigation into the regulation and description of lymphocyte activation pathways with particular reference to growth factor and cytokine receptors on T-lymphocytes. Using the model of the non-constitutive activation marker, the insulin receptor, I have developed an understanding of antigen-driven activation signals for the synthesis of new immunomodulatory molecules. Our laboratory has discovered a monokine which regulates early lymphocyte activation cytokine and growth factor genes called Monocyte Receptor Regulatory Factor (MRRF) and has purified this substance to homogeneity and sequenced it. More recently I have been involved in the clinical research arena studying several new immunosuppressive drugs including Deoxyspergualin, Neoral Cyclosporine, Sirolimus (Rapamycin),  polyclonal rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin, and the adhesion blockade afforded by belatacept. I was recently involved in a NIH trial of steroid withdrawal in Mycophenolate treated renal transplant patients. Chronic rejection its pathogenesis and management is a major part of my research interest. A 5-year NIH funded multicenter trial on this topic has begun this year testing conversion from calcineurin inhibition to belatacept.

I was one of the first presidents of the Kidney Transplant Society (currently the American Society of Transplantation), served on the national board of the United Network of Organ Sharing, represented transplantation on the Council of the American Kidney Societies and I am currently the President of the North American Society for Dialysis and Transplantation.  I am also the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Kidney Disease and on the Editorial Board of multiple kidney and transplantation journals. I will receive the Life-Time Achievement Award at the World Transplant Congress in July, 2014.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors in organ transplantation: an unkept promise. Langone AJ, Helderman JH (2012) Chest 142(3): 734-737
    › Citation · 22948577 (PubMed)
  2. Allograft nephrectomy after transplant failure: should it be performed in all patients returning to dialysis? Schaefer HM, Helderman JH (2010) J Am Soc Nephrol 21(2): 207-8
    › Citation · 20075065 (PubMed)
  3. Healthcare costs in renal transplant recipients using branded versus generic ciclosporin. Helderman JH, Kang N, Legorreta AP, Chen JY (2010) Appl Health Econ Health Policy 8(1): 61-8
    › Citation · 20038194 (PubMed)
  4. Contemporary dialysis: as good as transplantation? Schaefer HM, Helderman JH (2010) Nat Rev Nephrol 6(1): 8-9
    › Citation · 20023681 (PubMed)
  5. Recurrent pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis in a kidney transplant patient. Schaefer HM, Langone A, Helderman JH, Fogo AB (2010) Am J Kidney Dis 55(3): 604-8
    › Citation · 19782451 (PubMed)
  6. Do calcium channel blockers prevent delayed graft function after renal transplantation? Giullian JA, Helderman JH (2008) Nat Clin Pract Nephrol 4(4): 192-3
    › Citation · 18227820 (PubMed)
  7. Linking the US transplant registry to administrative claims data: expanding the potential of transplant research. Gilmore AS, Helderman JH, Ricci JF, Ryskina KL, Feng S, Kang N, Legorreta AP (2007) Med Care 45(6): 529-36
    › Citation · 17515780 (PubMed)
  8. Short-term results under three different immunosuppressive regimens at one center. Schaefer HM, Kizilisik AT, Feurer I, Nylander WA, Langone AJ, Helderman JH, Shaffer D (2006) Transplant Proc 38(10): 3466-7
    › Citation · 17175305 (PubMed)
  9. Calcineurin inhibitor avoidance versus steroid avoidance following kidney transplantation: Postoperative complications. Shaffer D, Kizilisik AT, Feurer I, Nylander WA, Helderman JH, Langone AJ, Schaefer HM (2006) Transplant Proc 38(10): 3464-5
    › Citation · 17175304 (PubMed)
  10. Slow decline in allograft function in a renal transplant patient. Schaefer HM, Helderman JH, Fogo AB (2006) Am J Kidney Dis 48(2): 335-8
    › Citation · 16860203 (PubMed)
  11. Mortality after kidney transplantation: what lessons can we learn from regional and country variation? Schaefer HM, Kaplan B, Helderman JH (2006) Am J Transplant 6(1): 3-4
    › Citation · 16433747 (PubMed)
  12. Polyclonal antibody-induced serum sickness in renal transplant recipients: treatment with therapeutic plasma exchange. Tanriover B, Chuang P, Fishbach B, Helderman JH, Kizilisik T, Nylander W, Shaffer D, Langone AJ (2005) Transplantation 80(2): 279-81
    › Citation · 16041276 (PubMed)
  13. Screening asymptomatic diabetic patients for coronary artery disease prior to renal transplantation. Ramanathan V, Goral S, Tanriover B, Feurer ID, Kazancioglu R, Shaffer D, Helderman JH (2005) Transplantation 79(10): 1453-8
    › Citation · 15912119 (PubMed)
  14. Kidney transplantation in a veterans administration medical center: 40 years' experience. Kizilisik AT, Ray JB, Nylander WA, Langone AJ, Helderman JH, Shaffer D (2004) Exp Clin Transplant 2(2): 238-41
    › Citation · 15859934 (PubMed)
  15. Living donor kidney transplantation in a Veterans Administration medical center. Kizilisik AT, Ray JM, Nylander WA, Langone AJ, Helderman JH, Shaffer D (2004) Am J Surg 188(5): 611-3
    › Citation · 15546581 (PubMed)
  16. Assessing long-term nephron loss: is it time to kick the CAN grading system? Halloran PF, Langone AJ, Helderman JH, Kaplan B (2004) Am J Transplant 4(11): 1729-30
    › Primary publication · 15476465 (PubMed)
  17. Potential clinical implications of substitution of generic cyclosporine formulations for cyclosporine microemulsion (Neoral) in transplant recipients. Johnston A, Belitsky P, Frei U, Horvath J, Hoyer P, Helderman JH, Oellerich M, Pollard S, Riad H, Rigotti P, Keown P, Nashan B (2004) Eur J Clin Pharmacol 60(6): 389-95
    › Citation · 15205865 (PubMed)
  18. Experience with cyclosporine. Langone AJ, Helderman JH (2004) Transplant Proc 36(2 Suppl): 59S-63S
    › Citation · 15041308 (PubMed)
  19. Effects of diabetes and cadaveric organs on functional performance and health-related quality of life after kidney transplantation. Kizilisik AT, Feurer ID, VanBuren DH, Wise P, Van Buren D, Hopkins J, Ray J, Nylander W, Shaffer D, Helderman JH, Langone AJ, Speroff T, Pinson CW (2003) Am J Surg 186(5): 535-9
    › Citation · 14599621 (PubMed)
  20. Role of insulin in the intermediary metabolism of the activated thymic-derived lymphocyte. Helderman JH (1981) J Clin Invest 67(6): 1636-42
    › Citation · 6787080 (PubMed) · PMC370738 (PubMed Central)
  21. Rapid mixed lymphocyte culture testing by analysis of the insulin receptor on alloactivated T lymphocytes: implications for human tissue typing. Helderman JH, Strom TB, Garovoy MR (1981) J Clin Invest 67(2): 509-13
    › Citation · 6450778 (PubMed) · PMC370593 (PubMed Central)
  22. Dialysis and transplantation in end-stage lupus nephritis. Ziff M, Helderman JH (1983) N Engl J Med 308(4): 218-9
    › Citation · 6336826 (PubMed)
  23. Monocyte-T lymphocyte interaction for regulation of insulin receptors of the activated T lymphocyte. Helderman JH, Ayuso R, Rosenstock J, Raskin P (1987) J Clin Invest 79(2): 566-71
    › Citation · 3543055 (PubMed) · PMC424128 (PubMed Central)
  24. Role of protein and RNA synthesis in the development of insulin binding sites on activated thymus-derived lymphocytes. Helderman JH, Strom TB (1979) J Biol Chem 254(15): 7203-7
    › Citation · 313395 (PubMed)
  25. Emergence of insulin receptors upon alloimmune T cells in the rat. Helderman JH, Strom TB (1977) J Clin Invest 59(2): 338-44
    › Citation · 299859 (PubMed) · PMC333365 (PubMed Central)

Featured Affiliation

No featured affiliations

    View all affiliations

    Contact Information

    1161 21st Avenue South
    S-3223 MCN
    S-3305 MCN, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Medical Center North
    Nashville, TN 37232-2372
    615-322-6976 (p)
    615-343-2605 (f)

    Keywords & MeSH Terms

    MeSH terms are retrieved from PubMed records. Learn more.

    Key: MeSH Term Keyword

    Aged Calcineurin Inhibitors Canada Child, Preschool Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic Databases, Factual Diabetes Complications Emulsions Enzyme Inhibitors Glomerulonephritis Hemodialysis, Home Histocompatibility Testing Hyperlipidemias Infant Infant, Newborn In Vitro Techniques Kidney Transplantation Lactates Lectins Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed Male Microscopy, Fluorescence Pedigree Recurrence Sirolimus T-Lymphocytes Tacrolimus Tissue and Organ Procurement Transplantation, Homologous Transplantation Immunology