HLA and Transplant Immunology

The Houston Methodist Hospital’s (HMH) histocompatibility and immunogenetics laboratory is a full service laboratory that performs diagnostic testing for solid organ transplantation, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and disease association testing. The laboratory is accredited by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

The laboratory provides molecular HLA typing of patient samples and cell lines. HLA typing is performed at low resolution (real time PCR, SSO) and high resolution (SBT, SSO, SSP). The laboratory performs pre-transplant histocompatibility testing using Luminex-based HLA antibody identification (single antigen beads IgG and C1Q) and flow cytometric crossmatching of T cells and B cells. Post-transplant immune monitoring is performed by donor-specific HLA antibody detection (DSA, using single antigen beads IgG and C1Q). Immune cell engraftment monitoring is performed from peripheral blood or bone marrow specimens using short tandem repeat sequences and flow cytometric sorting of immune cell subsets.

Major laboratory equipment available includes: automated DNA isolation equipment, thermocyclers, digital image documentation systems, Luminex multichannel cytometers, Sanger sequencers, flow cytometers, and a flow cytometric cell sorter.

The laboratory supports active and growing transplant programs. In 2016, the HMH JC Walter Jr Transplant Center performed 446 solid organ transplants including: 39 heart, 211 kidney, 112 liver, 61 lung, 5 pancreas, and 18 combined organ transplants. In addition, our hematopoietic transplant centers performed in excess of 200 transplants. Laboratory leadership works closely with our clients to provide detailed test results, interpretation, and consultation services.

In addition to the mission of clinical service to HMH and the community, members of the HLA laboratory have academic pursuits and are involved in clinical and translational research projects and provide education to physicians, nurses, residents and medical students. Also, the laboratory has a permanent ASHI-accredited HLA Director Training Program in partnership with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and has the only ACGME-accredited HLA fellowship program for training MD HLA lab directors.

For questions or more information, please contact:
Jana Osbey
Manager of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.5027

Our Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics faculty:
Nicholas DiPaola, PhD
Medical Director of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.0424

Todd Eagar, PhD
Associate Medical Director of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.4669