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2019 Schedule at a Glance




May 14, 2019 – Potential Clinical Relevance of Anti-HLA-DP Antibodies – 

presented by Jeffrey Kiernan, PhD, University Health Network, Toronto, ON


Participants will hear about current data on the clinical significance of donor specific antibody reactive with HLA-DP in solid organ transplant.  The speaker will discuss how HLA Matchmaker analysis can be used to identify target epitopes.



May 21, 2019 – Virtual Crossmatch Using Molecular HLA Typing Data 

presented by Loren Gragert, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA


Participants will learn about a web-application designed to automate translation of HLA data between antigen-based and molecular nomenclature systems to streamline assessments of virtual crossmatch in the short time available to accept organ offers. This tool may also enable a standardized interpretation

of molecular HLA typing data in organ allocation match runs.



June 18, 2019 – Risk Epitope Mismatches Associated with de novo Donor Specific Antibody – presented by Jennifer McCaughan, MBChB, PhD, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK


Participants will hear about studies aimed at identifying specific HLA factors associated with de novo 

DSA development.  Listeners will also learn about potential primary prevention strategies that could reduce the incidence of de novo DSA without prohibitively limiting access to transplant.



June 25, 2019 – Fundamental Concepts for Understanding Antibody Recognition of Protein Antigens – presented by Neil Greenspan, MD, PhD, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH


This lecture will define structural and chemical concepts critical to understanding how antibodies bind

and discriminate among antigens, especially protein antigens. Key terms that will be discussed include: affinity, avidity, specificity, epitope, paratope, equilibrium constant, kinetic constant.



July 9, 2019 – Targeting Notch Signaling to Prevent Graft-Versus-Host Disease 

presented by Ivan Maillard, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Participants will learn about the growing body of preclinical evidence showing that Notch signaling plays

a central role in GVHD pathogenesis and how transient inhibition of Notch ligands in the peri-transplant period can provide long-term disease protection.  Listeners will also learn about new therapeutic targets and interventions that have the potential to change clinical practice.



July 16, 2019 – HLA Allele and Haplotype Frequencies Characterized Using NGS

presented by Marcelo Fernandez-Vina, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA


Participants will hear about findings from the 17th IHIW unrelated population HLA diversity project.  

They will learn how next generation sequencing (NGS) generated HLA genotype data was statistically analyzed to estimate allele and haplotype frequencies. In addition, they will learn how new information about HLA genetic diversity at the intronic level will be a useful resource for anthropologic and disease association studies.



July 30, 2019 – Applying HLA Population Genetics to Solid Organ Transplantation:

Re-thinking the Calculated Panel Reactive Antibody

presented by Loren Gragert, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA and

Evan Kransdorf MD, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars–Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


The CPRA is an indispensable measure of access to transplantation for sensitized candidates and is

used as the official measure of sensitization for organ allocation in the U.S. In this lecture, HLA population genetics will be reviewed and the mathematical basis of the CPRA will be detailed. The speakers will also discuss limitations of the current CPRA calculation and present their efforts to

validate a more comprehensive high-resolution HLA reference panel for CPRA based on NMDP registry haplotype frequency data. 



August 13, 2019 – Donor-Derived Cell-Free DNA: A Marker of Transplant Rejection –

presented by Sean Agbor–Enoh, MD, Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics, National Heart Lung

Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD


Allograft failure is common in lung transplant recipients and leads to poor outcomes including early death. Moreover, currently no reliable clinical tools exist to identify patients at high risk for allograft failure. Participants will learn about studies that suggest how donor-derived cell-free DNA may serve

as a sensitive biomarker for early graft injury and may predict impending allograft failure.



September 10, 2019  The African Diaspora and Its Implications for Transplant 

presented by Martin Maiers, MS, Bioinformatics Research, National Marrow Donor Program,

Minneapolis, MN


Participants will learn how the genetic heterogeneity of U.S. “persons of African descent” contributes to difficulties in identifying a matched unrelated donor.  Listeners will hear about studies aimed at understanding and eliminating disparities to improve access to transplant for underserved patients.



October 1, 2019 – Donor and Cord Blood Selection Guidelines 2019 

presented by Jason Dehn, MPH, Collection and Laboratory Services, National Marrow Donor Program, Minneapolis MN and Joseph A. Pidala, MD, PhD, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL


Participants will learn about HLA typing considerations for patients and donors along with strategies to guide the search and expedite transplant.  They will also hear about additional factors that are important in the selection of unrelated donors and patient characteristics that may influence donor selection.



October 8, 2019 – IdeS (Imlifidase): New Hope for Highly Sensitized Transplant Patients -presented by Bonnie Lonze, MD, PhD, NYU Langone Transplant Institute, New York, NY


Participants will learn about an endopeptidase derived from Streptococcus pyogenes called IdeS or imlifidase that, when infused intravenously, results in rapid cleavage of IgG.  The audience will learn about study results that suggest IdeS treatment in highly sensitized kidney transplant patients may represent a groundbreaking new method of desensitization for patients who otherwise might have no hope for receiving a lifesaving transplant.



October 15, 2019 – Understanding Your Laboratory’s Quality Plan 

presented by Jenifer Williams, BS, CHS, MB(ASCP), and Parivash Abbasalizadeh, BS, MT, BB(ASCP), Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX


Participants will learn about basic concepts of laboratory quality systems.  They will learn how quality assessment can be used to ensure continuous improvement of the laboratory's performance through ongoing monitoring that identifies, evaluates and resolves problems.



October 22, 2019 – Characterization of HLA Antibody Specificities in the NGS Era  

presented by Marcelo Fernandez-Vina, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA


Participants will hear how the incorporation of allele level donor and recipient HLA typing performed by next generation sequencing (NGS) may facilitate our ability to characterize antibody specificities.  They will also learn about solutions for dealing with the conundrum of new alleles not represented in commercially available solid phase antibody kits.



October 29, 2019 – HLA Typing for the Novice: How Did We Get Here?  –

presented by Donna Phelan, CHS, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO,

Brian Duffy, MA, CHS, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO, and

Harriet Noreen, CHS, Fairview University Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN


Beginners in the field of HLA will learn how to make sense of serologic versus molecular names for HLA molecules.  They will learn about the relationship between HLA serologic equivalents and HLA alleles through hearing about how HLA antigens were originally defined as well as how and why typing methods have evolved.  



November 5, 2019 – Differential Reactivity of Monoclonal Antibodies for the Detection of HLA Class II Surface Expression – presented by Esme Dijke, PhD, University of Alberta Hospital Histocompatibility Laboratory, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Participants will hear about a study aimed at evaluating the utility of two different monoclonal antibodies for assessing HLA class II density on donor cells used in a flow cytometric crossmatch. 



November 12, 2019 – Histocompatibility Assay Validation: Unique Challenges –

presented by Sam Ho, PhD, Gift of Life Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Participants will hear about strategies for validating flow crossmatches. They will learn how to access metrics such as sensitivity, specificity, and precision for histocompatibility assays in which a truly positive or negative is hard to define.



November 19, 2019 – Quality Challenges in the Next Generation Sequencing Era - 

presented by Deborah Ferriola, BS, CHT, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Next generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful technology that utilizes clonally-amplified templates sequenced in a massively parallel fashion requiring complex informatics processes. Participants will learn about the unique quality assurance challenges and ASHI standards specific to utilizing NGS for patient testing in a clinical laboratory. 



December 3, 2019 – Antibody Epitope Analysis for the Novice 

presented by Robert Liwski, MD, PhD, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS, CA


Participants will learn how to use available tools to understand complex HLA antibody specificities. The speaker will provide step-by-step guidance and include case studies to teach basic concepts of epitope analysis.



December 10, 2019 – The Progress and Biology of De Novo Alloantibody 

presented by Mark Haas, MD, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Participants will hear a review of the temporal relationships between key morphologic lesions of active and chronic antibody mediated rejection (ABMR) in biopsies of human grafts.  Listeners will also learn about likely intermediate forms of ABMR and potential therapeutic approaches that may be useful throughout the time course of ABMR progression.



December 17, 2019 – Computational Approaches to Facilitate Epitope-Based HLA Matching

in Solid Organ Transplant – presented by Eric Spierings, PhD, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands


Although HLA genotyping methodologies have improved, rapid availability of reliable high-resolution typing data remains challenging. Participants will learn about a computational method to perform epitope-based matching using serologic split-level HLA typing to predict high-resolution genotypes based on HLA haplotype frequency tables.  This computational approach may be a powerful tool to estimate either PIRCHE-II (predicted indirectly recognizable HLA epitopes) or HLA Matchmaker eplet values when high-resolution data is not available.











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