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, donor tissue, and cell lines. HLA typing is performed at high resolution using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). The laboratory performs pre-transplant histocompatibility testing using Luminex-based HLA antibody identification (single antigen beads IgG and C1Q) and flow cytometric cross-matching of T cells and B cells. Post-transplant immune monitoring is performed using donor-specific HLA antibody detection (DSA using single antigen beads IgG and C1Q). Immune cell engraftment monitoring is performed in 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, next-generation sequencers, flow cytometers, and a flow cytometric cell sorter.

The laboratory supports active and growing transplant programs. In 2021, the HMH JC Walter Jr Transplant Center performed 580 solid organ transplant procedures, including 241 kidney, 15 kidney-pancreas, 66 heart, 71 lung, 31 heart-lung, 182 liver, and 2 pancreas transplants. In addition, our hematopoietic transplant centers performed over 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,  HLA laboratory members 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:
Ashley Eshiet
Manager of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.5027

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

Nicholas DiPaola, PhD
Co-Director of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.0424

Michael Greenwood, MD
Assistant Director of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory
Office: 713.441.4359