Immunogenetics (UIC)

Immunogenetic Samples
Immunogenetic Samples in Machine

About Us

The UCLA Immunogenetics Center (UIC) provides state-of-the-art Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics testing for solid organ and stem cell transplantation, pre- and post-transplant immune assessment and testing for diagnosis of diseases with associations to the Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA). As one of the first established laboratories in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, we continue to advance the field through research, clinical innovation, proficiency testing and educational training. UIC provides customized testing and support services for clinical trials and clinical research to monitor response to experimental therapy.

The UIC is a nationally recognized reference laboratory for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics testing and is licensed by the States of California, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and is CMS certified and accredited by the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI).
 

Goals and Mission

  • Leading Through Quality: Provide the highest standard of Immunogenetics, Histocompatibility and Transplantation Immunology testing and interpretation to the patients we serve.
  • Leading Through Research: Advance the understanding of Immunogenetics and Transplantation Immunology through innovative basic and clinical research.
  • Leading Through Development: Be the forefront of development of new technologies and reference materials to improve the quality of patient care.
  • Leading Through Training: Training the next generation of leaders in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics to navigate the complexities of testing and research in Transplantation Immunology.

 

Current Events

  • Now Recruiting For UCLA Histocompatibility Director Training Program. Applications are being accepted for the Director In Training Position to start July of every academic year.
  • UIC welcomes Amy Ramirez, UIC Client Services Supervisor, and Krystal Kendall, UIC Laboratory Manager, to our team

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Related Research Being Conducted in the UCLA Immunogenetics Center (UIC).

Dr. Elaine F. Reed

  • Proposal under review by CEAL leaders Keith Norris and Arlene Brown entitled “Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: The COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA) Phase 3”
    • Subtitle: LA-SPARTA Synergy Operation COVID-19 (LASSO COVID-19)
    • Purpose:  To advance mutual goals and synergistic opportunities for CEAL / STOP COVID-19 and LA-SPARTA with a focus on at-risk and underserved south LA populations disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.  A translational purpose of this initiative is to enhance personal and public health education to promote improved outcomes in underserved persons at highest risks of exposure and greatest vaccine hesitancy. 
  • Identified differences in male vs female outcomes in our experimental outcomes of MRSA bacteremia.  Our submitted U19 application focuses in part on defining host sex contexts that drive immune protection against exploitation by MRSA.
  • Other funded research in ischemia reperfusion injury, immune signatures of CMV and Covid-19 infection that also include age, race, sex as predictors of outcome.
  • Elaine F. Reed, in collaboration with the Women of FOCIS, has a manuscript with Frontiers Immunology under review.
    • Elaine F. Reed, Anita Chong, Megan K. Levings, Caley Mutrie, Terri Laufer, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Megan Sykes. The Women of FOCIS: promoting equality and inclusiveness in a professional federation of clinical immunology societies. Frontiers in Immunology, under review.

Dr. Michelle Hickey

  • The 2022 Quality Improvement Day and Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Keynote Lecture was held on February 11, 2022. The theme this year was stated as a question- “How can pathologists contribute to solving heath disparities and promote health equity?” We welcomed Dr. James Crawford Professor and Chair, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell as well as three UCLA Faculty, Dr. Naveen Raja, Dr. Eric Cheng, and Dr. Susanne B Nicholas to present on topics of Value Based Care, Health Equity and Informatics. We also welcomed three trainees to discuss their quality improvement projects- Dr. Jitin Makker, Dr. Ali Samiei and Dr. Khalda Ibrahim.

Dr. Nicole Valenzuela

  • As part of the Sensitization in Transplantation: Assessment of Risk (STAR) Consensus Workgroup on histocompatibility testing, we are highlighting the gap in representation of non-White HLA alleles on available commercial panels. We therefore are making recommendations to 1) expand the allele analytes to be more representation of diverse donor populations and 2) ensure rigor and accuracy in interpretation of non-White recipient testing for clinical diagnostics, investigative trials and research.

UIC + Anatomic Pathology

  • Hickey is working with anatomic pathologist Dr. Jonathan Zuckerman, informatics fellow Dr. Jitin Makker, and transplant nephrologist Dr. Eric Lum, to develop a data utility and visual analytics tool for transplant patient data. The utility will include clinical-diagnostic and health equity/disparity data to inform quality improvement and quality assurance.
  • Rebecca Sosa, Bita Naini and Elaine Reed collaborated on a study to uncover underlying immune mechanisms of the well-known disparity experienced by Hispanic patients undergoing liver transplantation for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). They investigated evolving patient immune status in comparison to clinical assays performed as part of standard of care. Hispanic liver transplant recipients with NASH were disproportionately female and disproportionately suffered poor outcomes in the first year post transplant, including rejection and death. Clinically, they saw increased AST/INR early post-transplant, increased histopathological features associated with NASH and IRI in post-reperfusion biopsies, and higher incidence of pre-sensitization to mismatched HLA antigens expressed by the donor allograft. Experimental investigation revealed an increase in leukocyte-attracting chemokines, innate-to-adaptive switching cytokines and growth factors, HMGB1 release and TLR4 activation. The study provides critical evidence that a more personalized approach towards reduction of risk factors is urgently needed for this immunological endotype in Hispanics with NASH requiring a liver transplant, particularly females.

Recent Publications

  • Butler CL, Hickey MJ, Jiang N, Zheng Y, Gjertson D, Zhang Q, Rao P, Fishbein GA, Cadeiras M, Deng MC, Banchs HL, Torre G, DeNofrio D, Eisen HJ, Kobashigawa J, Starling RC, Kfoury A, Van Bakel A, Ewald G, Balazs I, Baas AS, Cruz D, Ardehali R, Biniwale R, Kwon M, Ardehali A, Nsair A, Ray B, Reed EF. Discovery of non-HLA antibodies associated with cardiac allograft rejection and development and validation of a non-HLA antigen multiplex panel: From bench to bedside. Am J Transplant, 2020
  • Sosa RA, Rossetti M, Naini BV, Groysberg VM, Kaldas FM, Busuttil RW, Chang YL, Gjertson DW, Kupiec-Weglinski JW, Reed EF. Pattern Recognition Receptor-reactivity Screening of Liver Transplant Patients: Potential for Personalized and Precise Organ Matching to Reduce Risks of Ischemia-reperfusion Injury. Ann Surg. 2020
  • Geer LI, Kagele S, Townshend S, Watson B, Reed EF, Hickey MJ. Design of a state of the art reporting system and process improvement for reporting of high complexity single antigen bead data for transplant patients electronic medical record. BMJ Open Qual. 2020
  • Greenshields AL, Jollet I, Liwski RS, Taupin JL, Valenzuela NM. Abolishing serum interference in detection of HLA antibodies: Who, How, When and Why? Hum Immunol. 2019
  • Yin Y, Reed EF, Zhang Q. Integrate CRISPR/Cas9 for protein expression of HLA-B*38:68Q via precise gene editing. Sci Rep. 2019