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April 24, 2018 – A2 to B Kidney Transplantation: Questions and Answers and More Questions – presented by Alexander Gilbert, MD, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, Washington, DC


Participants will hear how changes in kidney allocation implemented in 2014 have allowed more blood group B patients to receive deceased donor offers from blood group A2 donors.   They will learn about the blood group biology that makes this possible as well as the overall outcome statistics of A2 to B transplants.



May 1, 2018 – Next-Generation HLA Antibody Reagents – presented by Paul Warner, PhD, D(ABHI) Bloodworks Northwest, Seattle, WA


Participants will learn about new subtype specific monoclonal antibodies directed against a monomorphic HLA class I epitope that are useful for validating and characterizing multiple HLA antibody assays.  These antibodies are also useful as controls in complement dependent assays and when titrated appropriately can give consistent low, medium, or strong-positive reactivity in single antigen bead and flow cytometric crossmatch assays.



May15, 2018 – What Does the Immune Response to an Allograft Look Like: Start to Finish – presented by Robert Fairchild, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH


Participants will hear an overview of a recipient’s immune response to an allograft.  They will learn about components of the immune system that dictate transplant outcome as well as the recipient’s response. 



May 22, 2018 – Ethical Implications of Organ Donation Entering the Social Media “Space” – presented by Macey Henderson, JD, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


Participants will learn about ethical conflicts presented by social media solicitations for organ donation.  They will hear about possible disparities in access to online appeals for organ donation as well as biases among potential donors responding to organ solicitations via social media.



June 12, 2018 – Next-Generation HLA Antibody Analysis Using HLA Matchmaker – presented by Paul Sikorski, MS, CHS, and Kevin Harrell, CHS, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Canoga Park, CA


Participants will hear an in-depth overview of the implementation of HLA Matchmaker in the new version of HLA Fusion software.  Through case examples they will learn step-by-step how to use HLA Matchmaker in Fusion for routine epitope match analysis.



June 19, 2018 – HLA: From Genetics to Epitopes– presented by Frans Claas, PhD, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands


Participants will hear a historical perspective of how HLA antigens were discovered and characterized.  They will also learn about the complexity of HLA immunogenicity as well as the epitopes recognized by HLA antibodies.



June 26, 2018 – Organ Allocation in 2018: How Did We Get Here – presented by Alison Wilhelm, MPP, and James Alcorn, JD, United Network for Organ Sharing, Richmond, VA


Participants will hear the history of how organ allocation progressed in the U.S. and will learn about today’s Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) along with its relationship to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).  They will also learn how policies are determined and allocation algorithms are developed. 



July10, 2018 – HaploStats: A Tool That’s Not Just for Donor Search – presented by Tami Maus, MT, CHTC, and Kelly Lazration, MPP, CHT, National Marrow Donor Program, Minneapolis, MN


Participants will learn how to effectively use and understand results from HaploStats, an online tool developed by the National Marrow Donor Program for accessing haplotype frequency information and haplotype pairs relative to specific HLA types found in the U.S. population.  Case examples will be used to demonstrate how this tool can be useful in a variety of ways including predicting B/C or DR/DQ associations or HLA alleles when only partial or low resolution typing is available.



July 24, 2018  Antibody Mediated Rejection in Heart Transplantation – presented by Jon Kobashigawa, MD, Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Participants will learn about antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in cardiac transplant.  They will hear about current approaches for the diagnosis and management of AMR which currently remains a central problem for the clinical management of heart transplant recipients.



July 31, 2018 – UNOS Histocompatibility Committee Update – presented by Robert Bray, PhD, D(ABHI), Emory University, Atlanta, GA and Cathi Murphey Half, PhD, HCLD, Southwest Immunodiagnostics, Inc., San Antonio, TX


Participants will learn about recent changes to HLA equivalency tables along with how to best use them.  They will also hear about upcoming changes to CPRA calculations that will include DQA, DPA, and DPB, as well as progress towards using higher resolution typing results for organ allocation.



August 7, 2018 – Dissecting the Contribution of Complex Genetic Variation to Human Traits – presented by Melissa Gymrek, PhD, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA


Participants will hear about studies using large genomic data sets that focused on repetitive variation across the population.  They will learn about the role variation in short tandem repeats (STR) may play in gene regulation, disease susceptibility and traits.



August 14, 2018 – The Diverse World of Bugs Within: How the Microbiome Affects Transplantation – presented by Tessa Andermann, MD, MPH, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


Participants will learn what the microbiome is, how it functions, and how researchers study it. They will also hear how undergoing a hematopoietic cell transplant can change an individual’s microbiome and how it may be manipulated to affect HCT outcomes.



August 28, 2018 – Time to Transition from Empiric to Precision Medicine  presented by Peter Nickerson, MD, FRCPC, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Participants will learn about the basic cell biology behind B cell allorecognition and antibody production.  They will also hear how understanding factors that affect a patient’s de novo DSA risk can aid in the development of individualized immunosuppression regimens.



September 18, 2018 – Advances in Combating Transplant Tourism and Organ Trafficking – presented by John Gill, MD, MS, St Paul’s Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Participants will learn about the Declaration of Istanbul a document signed by more than 150 representatives of scientific and medical bodies from 78 countries around the world, including government officials, social scientists and ethicists with a common goal to combat organ trafficking, transplant tourism and transplant commercialism as well as to encourage the adoption of effective and ethical transplantation practices around the world.  Participants will also hear about ongoing initiatives to promote, implement and uphold the Declaration of Istanbul.



September 25, 2018 – Effect of Genetic Ancestry on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Outcome – presented by Abeer Madbouly, PhD, National Marrow Donor Program, Minneapolis, MN


Participants will learn about key findings that address the contribution of the genetic admixture of donors and recipients to hematopoietic stem cell transplant outcome. They will also gain understanding of how some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can be used as ancestry informative markers (AIMs) to distinguish continental and/or sub-continental groups.



October 16, 2018 – The Role of Innate Alloreactivity in Transplant Rejection – presented by Martin Oberbarnscheidt, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Participants will learn about innate recognition along with the central role monocytes and macrophages play in activation of innate and adaptive immunity. They will hear about recent studies that suggest monocytes and macrophages can also recognize allogeneic entities and mediate graft rejection via direct cytotoxicity and priming of alloreactive T cells.



October 30, 2018 – Keeping it simple: HLA Testing for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation - presented by Robert Liwski, MD, PhD, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS, CA


Participants will learn about a streamlined approach Dr. Liwski’s laboratory uses to expedite HLA testing for stem cell transplant patients including a fast and cost-effective strategy for high resolution HLA typing using conventional methods. Interesting stem cell transplant cases will also be presented.



November 6, 2018 – HLA Antibody Specificity Interpretation for the Novice – presented by

Olga Timofeeva, PhD, D(ABHI), Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and Sandra Rosen-Bronson, PhD, D(ABHI), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC


Beginners in the field of histocompatibility testing will learn basic guidelines for understanding and interpreting HLA antibody specificities.  Through case examples participants will learn how to recognize antibody reactivity against CREGs, epitopes, unique alleles, and more.



November 20, 2018 – Crossmatch Interpretation for the Novice – presented by

Dong Li, MD, D(ABHI) and Sandra Rosen-Bronson, PhD, D(ABHI), MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC


Beginners in the field of histocompatibility testing will learn how to correctly interpret and understand crossmatch results.  Though case examples, basic concepts will be covered including guidance for recognizing false positive results as well as borderline results that may require further investigation.



December 4, 2018 –Flow Cytometric Crossmatch QC Challenges – presented by David Cantu, PhD and Matthew Najor, PhD, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC


Participants will learn how to validate and perform quality control testing on key components of the flow crossmatch assay.  The discussion will include guidance for NHS, PPS, and fluorochrome selection as well as FITC titration and pronase validation.         










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