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2022 Schedule at a Glance




May 24, 2022 – Rapid High Resolution HLA Typing – presented by Eric Weimer, PhD, F(ACHI),
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Participants will learn about novel Oxford Nanopore technologies that allow for high resolution HLA sequencing in approximately 6 hrs.  Nanopore sequencing is potentially a robust and reliable protocol for deceased donor typing which could allow real-time epitope analysis for assessing compatibility in a deceased donor transplant setting.


June 21, 2022 – The Immunopeptidome of Secondary DR Molecules – presented by Saghar Kaabinejadian, PharmD, PhD, Pure MHC, LLC, Austin, TX

Participants will hear about studies aimed at characterizing the repertoire of peptides presented by the DR molecules encoded by DRB3, DRB4, and DRB5. They will learn how deconvolution of peptidomics data reveals a significant contribution of DRB3, 4 and 5 to the total DR immunopeptidome and that the peptide repertoires of the primary and secondary DR alleles are complementary rather than overlapping. In addition, participants will hear about findings that suggest peptides presented by secondary DR molecules may play a role in autoimmunity and disease susceptibility.


July 19, 2022 – Histocompatibility Testing for the Novice - presented by Sandra Rosen-Bronson, PhD, F(ACHI), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC

This basic lecture will be of particular interest to technologists new to the field of histocompatibility. Participants will be provided with a current ‘big picture’ look at what the typical HLA laboratory does as well as the history and evolution of key assays and concepts.


July 26, 2022 – Engineering Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) for Cancer Immunotherapy: From Bench to Bedside – presented by Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Adoptive Cellular Therapies are promising immunotherapeutic approaches for treatment of cancer and yet many challenges remain. In this presentation participants will hear about the challenges associated with current approaches and learn how aAPC-based approaches help overcome those challenges and may represent an off-shelf, scalable approach to production of clinical scale and grade T cells for the adoptive immunotherapy of cancer.


August 2, 2022Diversity, Equity, and Access to Transplant – presented by Edgar Milford, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

Participants will learn how many different factors contribute to individual access to organ transplant.  They will learn how global aspects such as patient biology, socioeconomic status, and race or ethnicity can affect access to transplant.


August 9, 2022 –Acute GVHD in Solid Organ Transplant - presented by Caroline Alquist, MD, PhD, F(ACHI), University of Cincinnati Hoxworth Blood Center, Cincinnati, OH

Development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a rare complication after transfusions or solid organ transplantation. Patients typically present with a skin rash, diarrhea, liver failure, and bone marrow aplasia. A diagnosis of transfusion/transplantation associated-GVHD is made based on the clinical and histologic evidence, yet diagnosis and treatment are often delayed due to the nonspecific symptoms attributed to the patient's underlying illness. Through case studies, participants will learn how donor chimerism testing may be informative in assessing patients at risk for developing GVHD after a solid organ transplant.


August 23, 2022 – Improved Immunological Risk Stratification of Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients by Combining PIRCHE-II with HLAMatchmaker or HLA-EMMA – presented by Massimo Mangiola, PhD, F(ACHI), Transplant Institute, NYU Langone, New York, NY

The degree of molecular mismatch has been shown to be a powerful biomarker for allograft rejection. Algorithms such as HLAMatchmaker and HLA-EMMA predict B-cell response, whereas PIRCHE II predicts the T-cell help required to achieve a B-cell response. Participants will learn about a study that investigated whether by combining algorithms it is possible to improve predictions of the risk of rejection.


August 30, 2022 HLA Matching for Hematopoietic Cell Transplant: An Evolving Paradigm presented by Stephen Spellman, MBS, CIBMTR Immunobiology and Observational Research, NMDP/Be The Match Campus, Minneapolis, MN

As the HCT field is expanding to include more extensively HLA mismatched donors, there is a paradigm shift evolving concerning optimal donor selection.  Participants will hear about current study findings that may guide the selection of the best mismatched unrelated donor.


September 13, 2022 – Continuous Distribution Kidney Allocation– presented by Cathi Murphy Half, PhD, HCLD/CC(ABB), Southwest Immunodiagnostics, Inc, San Antonio, TX, and Peter Lalli, PhD, F(ACHI), Carolinas Health System, Huntersville, NC, and John Lunz, PhD, F(ACHI), LifeLink Transplant Immunology Laboratory, Tampa, FL

Participants will learn about a new kidney allocation system referred to as continuous distribution.  The framework of this new allocation system dissolves the hard allocation boundaries that exist in the current classification-based system and will change how patients are prioritized through consideration of all patient factors together to determine the order of an organ offer.  The patient factors that will be included as well as the impact of the new system on HLA laboratory practices will be discussed.


September 20, 2022 –Virtual Serology: A Strategy for Converting HLA Alleles to Serotypes – presented by Marcelo Fernandez-Vina, PhD, F(ACHI), Stanford University School of Medicine,
Palo Alto, CA

Advances in molecular HLA typing have led to an exponential increase in HLA alleles.   However, the serotype of many new alleles has not been defined based on antibody reactivity.  Participants will learn about studies focused on identifying criteria for assigning serologic equivalencies based on amino acid substitutions.

September 27, 2022 –Transfusion Medicine and Histocompatibility Laboratory Cooperation: The Case of the Surprise Post-Transplant ABO Titer - presented by Anne Halpin, MSc, CHS, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, AB

Participants will learn about a novel Luminex-based assay that has the potential to be adopted by clinical HLA laboratories for rapid, specific, and sensitive assessment of IgM/IgG ABO subtype-specific antibodies in ABO incompatible (ABOi) transplants. Cases examples will be discussed that demonstrate how this bead-based assay has the potential to serve as a powerful tool for precise assessment of risk and for managing the care of ABOi transplant patients.


October 11, 2022 HLA-Haploidentical Transplantation: The Luxury of Selecting for HLA-Mismatch– presented by Shannon McCurdy, MD, Abramson Cancer Center and the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Hematopoietic cell transplantation from HLA-haploidentical related donors is increasingly
used to treat hematologic cancers; however, characteristics of the optimal haploidentical
donor have not been established. Participants will learn about studies aimed at understanding the role of donor HLA mismatching in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), disease recurrence, and survival after haploidentical donor transplantation with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy).  Online tools now available for predicting disease free survival and guiding optimal haploidentical donor selection will be discussed.


October 18, 2022 – Characterization of Permissible HLA Allele Mismatches from Unrelated Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Cohorts – presented by Marcelo Fernandez-Vina, PhD, F(ACHI), Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA

Patient/Donor HLA mismatch is a critical variable affecting the outcomes of hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) with most HLA mismatches resulting in adverse clinical outcomes. However, it is known that mismatch between certain the alleles is well tolerated. Participants will learn about studies aimed at characterizing nonimmunogenic HLA mismatches utilizing a research cohort of HCT recipients with matched unrelated donor.  They will hear about novel software developed to identify putative permissible HLA mismatches.


November 1, 2022 – Correlation of T- and B-Cell Epitope Mismatches with De Novo Donor-Specific Antibody Formation in Renal Transplant Recipients – presented by Elaine Chou-Wu, PhD, F(ACHI), Immunogenetics/HLA, Bloodworks NW, Seattle, WA

The formation of de novo donor-specific antibodies (dnDSA) is a known risk factor for renal allograft rejection and dysfunction. Recent development of HLA molecular mismatch assessment tools has provided more precise measures to define the allo immunogenicity of donor HLA antigens. Participants will learn about a study aimed at evaluating the correlation of T- and B-cell epitope mismatches with the occurrence of dnDSA after kidney transplantation.


November 8, 2022 – Epitope Matching and Eplet Analysis: A New Addition to the HLA Toolbox – presented by Ahmed Mostafa, MD, PhD, F(ACHI), Saskatchewan Health Authority - St. Paul's Hospital, Saskatoon, SK

Participants will hear about HLA epitopes from a historical perspective and will learn about the identification and mapping of HLA epitopes.  Case examples will be used to teach participants how to take advantage of built-in HLAMatchmaker tools in the Fusion software to better understand antibody specificities.
November 22, 2022 – Engraftment/Chimerism Monitoring: Fantasy to Reality– presented by Ahmed Mostafa, MD, PhD, F(ACHI), Saskatchewan Health Authority - St. Paul's Hospital, Saskatoon, SK

Participants will hear about myths and legends pertaining to chimerism along with available methods for engraftment monitoring.  They will learn how next generation sequencing (NGS) can be used for chimerism testing and how it can be validated for clinical testing. The utility of chimerism testing in hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplant will be discussed.


November 29, 2022 –Evaluation of Interference from Therapeutic Antibodies on the Flow Cytometry Crossmatch Test– presented by Eszter Lazar-Molnar, PhD, F(ACHI), University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT  
Since 1985, approximately one hundred monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been designated as drugs and new approvals continue to accrue. Therapeutic mAbs are directed against many different cell surface antigens and are commonly used for the treatment of immunologic diseases and cancer therapy. Participants will hear about a systematic study aimed at understanding which therapeutic mAbs may interfere with flowcytometric crossmatch results.


December 6, 2022 – The Consequences of HLA-DQ Mismatches in Kidney Transplantation– presented by Anat Tambur, DMD, PhD, F(ACHI), Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Participants will hear about a large retrospective study that investigated which HLA antibody specificities are most prevalent in patients being listed for a second kidney transplant.  They will learn about findings that suggest HLA-DQ mismatches lead to more overall sensitization along with increased unacceptable antigens.  In addition, participants will learn how DQ mismatches disproportionately disadvantage racial and ethnic minority recipients.


December 13, 2022 – A Unified ABO-Adjusted CPRA Metric May Improve Equity in Kidney Allocation – presented by James Lan, MD, FRCP(C), F(ACHI), Vancouver General Hospital, Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Center, Vancouver, BC

In addition to the level of preformed HLA antibody and unacceptable antigens, the likelihood of a patient receiving a deceased donor organ offer varies significantly based on the recipient’s ABO blood group.  Participants will learn about a proposed alternative ABO-adjusted CPRA calculation aimed at correcting transplant access disparity among blood groups.


December 20, 2022 – Revised CPRA Metrics - presented by Loren Gragert, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

Calculated Panel Reactive Antibody (CPRA) is a formula used to determine what proportion of deceased donors a potential candidate may be immunologically incompatible with and unable to accept organs from. Participants will learn about recent changes to the UNOS/OPTN CPRA formula that utilize antigen frequencies based on a larger data set and include DQA, DPA, and DPB along with allele specific antibodies in the calculation.









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