Marco Andreani is the Director of the Immunogenetics and Transplant Biology Laboratory of the IME Foundation at the Policlinic of Tor Vergata in Rome, since 2004. Marco completed his Ph.D. at the University of Camerino after obtaining a degree in Biological Science at the University of Urbino, in Italy. Fields of interest are HLA low and high resolution molecular typing for HSCT and other immunogenetics activities, including genetics of populations. Marco has collaborated actively with researchers to mechanisms responsible for maintaining a status of persistent mixed chimerism and immunological tolerance after HSCT in haemoglobinophaties. He is currently an EFI Inspector since 2006, member of EFI Educational Committee since 2010, co-Chair of the European Board of Transplant Immunology and member of the EFI population genetics working core group.
Toni Cathomen is Professor and Director of the Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg, Germany. The institute provides the Medical Center with blood and cell products as well as all transfusion and transplantation related diagnostic services. Toni Cathomen received his PhD from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Before his appointment in Freiburg, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute in San Diego, USA, Assistant Professor of Molecular Virology at Charité Medical School in Berlin, and Associate Professor of Experimental Hematology at Hannover Medical School. Toni Cathomen’s main research interests are (i) to improve genome editing tools (TALENs, CRISPR-Cas9) for safe application in human stem cells, (ii) to develop disease models and cell therapies based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and (iii) to translate gene editing for the treatment of HIV and primary immunodeficiencies into the clinic.
“Dr. Nezih Cereb, along with his longtime associate and collaborator Dr. Soo Young Yang, played a key role in elucidating the HLA-Class 1 intron sequences that made HLA class 1 DNA typing feasible. He is an expert in introducing, integrating and implementing diverse technologies for HLA typing that made high volume, high throughput and high resolution HLA-SBT a reality. His proven abilities stem from a diverse background in clinical medicine, particularly bone marrow transplantation and basic and applied immunogenetics research.
In recent years, under the leadership of Dr. Yang and Dr. Cereb, Histogenetics transitioned High volume HLA-SBT typing form Sanger sequencing to NGS, mainly on Illumina and PacBio platforms. The same expertise is applied to High volume KIR typing on Illumina platform. Dr. Cereb is also working on targeted and whole genome sequencing approaches on PacBio, Illumina and BioNanogenomics platforms for MHC and KIR regions to get more in depth information about structural variations and polymorphism of these regions. Dr. Cereb believes that we are at the beginning of the technological innovations that will help us to understand further the genetic basis of complexity of immune response that will revolutionize the field of Immunogenetics.”
Frans Claas, Ph.D, is director of the Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory and professor “Immunogenetics of transplantation” at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. The main topics of his current research are the differential immunogenicity of HLA mismatches in clinical transplantation and the immunology of pregnancy as a model for transplantation tolerance. The studies of his research group have generated more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He was the initiator of a special program within Eurotransplant to enhance transplantation of highly sensitized renal transplant patients on basis of acceptable HLA mismatches. He is an active member of different professional societies as reflected amongst others by his past-presidency of the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI) and past-membership of the Board of the American Society for Histocompatibilty and Immunogenetics (ASHI). He is an editor-in chief of Transplant Immunology.
Hans-Peter Eberhard works for the German National Bone Marrow Donor Registry in Ulm, Germany (ZKRD) since 1996. Based on his background in computer science, Hans-Peter gained experience in many aspects of the unrelated hematopoietic stem cell donor search.
He received a PhD from the University Ulm for his work about estimating HLA haplotype frequencies of the German donor population in 2011. Since 2014 he is focusing on bioinformatics topics again, currently working on population specific matching probabilities for the new Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW) search and match service.
Sukru H. Emre, MD, FACS
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics
Section of Transplantation and Immunology
Department of Surgery
Yale University School of Medicine
Dr. Emre received his MD degree, surgery training and hepatobiliary fellowship at the University of Istanbul. He completed his transplant fellowship at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. His special interests are split-liver and living donor liver transplants in both adults and pediatrics. He is also an expert in hepatobiliary surgery including resection for liver cancer, portal hypertension surgery. His research interests include hepatocyte transplantation, acute liver failure, liver cancer, biliary atresia and rare cholestatic diseases in children.
He has more than 250 papers published in peer reviewed journals and 10 book chapters.
Dr. Emre has been awarded by many organizations including TRIO, NKF, and DonateLife CT, for his dedication to field of transplantation. He has been selected as one of the Top Doctors of America by New York Magazine and Castle Colony for 12 consecutive years.
Dr. Emre is a member of many academic societies including ACS, ASTS, ATS, AASLD, TTS, IPTA, TTCCA, TSS, UNOS and served on multiple UNOS and ASTS committees. He currently serves on the editorial board of Pediatric Transplantation, Liver Transplantation, Transplantation Proceeding, and the Turkish Journal of Surgery.
Katharina Fleischhauer received her MD from the University of Bonn, Germany in 1988 and spent 4 years thereafter as Research Associate at the Laboratory of Immunogenetics at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, under supervision by Soo Young Yang and Bo Dupont. Between 1992 and 2013 she worked at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, first as a research fellow in Tumor Immunology under supervision of Claudio Bordignon, later as Director of the Histocompatibility Laboratory and the Research Unit of Molecular and Functional Immunogenetics. In 2013, she accepted a position as Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Experimental Cellular Therapy at the University of Essen, Germany.
Prof. Fleischhauer’s research is focused on the mechanisms underlying T-cell alloreactivity after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, with particular regards to permissible HLA mismatches as well as HLA as leukemia immune evasion targets.
She is currently one of the elected chairs of the Immunobiology Working Committee des Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and coordinator of the Immunogenetics project within the Cell Therapy and Immunobiology Working Party (CTIWP) of the EBMT. Since 2013, she has been Chair of the EFI Scientific Committee and Section Editor for “HLA and function” to HLA, the official journal of EFI. In 2016, Prof. Fleischhauer was received the Mechtild-Harf-Science-Award of the DKMS.
Ph.D. Kathryn Haskins
Please click here to see the vita of Ph.D. Kathryn Haskins.
Falko M. Heinemann started his work in molecular biology at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, before joining the field of transplantation immunology in 1998 at the Institute of Immunology headed by Professor Hans Grosse-Wilde at the University Hospital Essen, Germany. His research focused on the analysis of factors affecting transplantation outcome in addition to the established human leukocyte antigens. After being appointed as head of the HLA laboratory in 2001 his duties expanded to local clinical H&I diagnostics and quality control issues in national and international organizations.
Dr. Katharine Hsu is a Professor of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, United States. She is a hematologist and medical oncologist specializing in natural killer (NK) cell biology, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and adoptive cell immunotherapy. The major focus of her research is to determine how to use cutting-edge information about NK cells, their genetics and biology, to improve outcomes in the treatment of hematologic malignancies, particularly those treated with stem cell transplantation. Specifically, her laboratory focuses on the molecular interactions between KIR and their HLA ligands that contribute to NK education and inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. Identification of the relative strengths of these interactions and how they affect innate immune clearance of leukemia and viruses will lead to more sophisticated genetic algorithms in donor selection for stem cell transplantation. More broadly applied, a deeper understanding of KIR-HLA control of NK function will inform interventions that can release higher NK activity against viral infection and malignancy. Dr. Hsu is a recipient of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, the Amy Strelzer Manasevits Scholar Award, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Innovation Award. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators.
Martin Maiers is the Director of Bioinformatics Research at the National Marrow Donor Program where he has worked for 20 years. He heads a “dry lab” research program focused on HLA and KIR data standards, matching and algorithm development. With his team he has developed a number of tools and methods for searching large donor registries with missing or partial information to identify suitable hematopoietic stem cell donors. In particular he has lead a series of population HLA haplotype frequency studies that drive the operation of the Be The Match Registry algorithm: HapLogicSM. He holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and earned a Masters Degree in “Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology” from the University of Minnesota. He is a Councillor to the International Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Workshop and is also a member of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System.
Professor Steven GE Marsh BSc, PhD, ARCS
Director of Bioinformatics, Deputy Director of Research & Co-Director of Histocompatibility Laboratories, Anthony Nolan Research Institute
& Professor of Immunogenetics, UCL Cancer Institute, London
Professor Marsh is Director of Bioinformatics and Deputy Director of Research at the Anthony Nolan Research Institute and Co-Director of Anthony Nolan’s Histocompatibility Laboratory. He is also Professor of Immunogenetics at University College London and Chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System, and the WHO/IUIS Nomenclature Committee for Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR). He is currently a President of the International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop, President of the British Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (BSHI) and formerly President of the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI). In 2016 he became Editor-in-Chief of the journal HLA (formerly Tissue Antigens).
The aim of his research group is to improve the outcome of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation by understanding genetic differences, particularly the matching of HLA and KIR genes, between patients and donors. This work is undertaken by both bioinformatics and laboratory-based projects. He initiated the IPD-IMGT/HLA and IPD-KIR Databases, which are the worldwide resource for HLA and KIR sequences.
Claudia Mauri is Professor of Immunology and Vice-Dean International Faculty medical Science at University College in London. She received her Doctor of Biology with magna cum laude in 1989 and PhD equivalent in 1996 from the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. She performed postdoctoral work in London at The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College, UK. She moved to University College London in 2002 where she established her group. Her main research interest lies in understanding the mechanisms driving autoimmunity with a particular interest in understanding the function of regulatory B cells in experimental models of rheumatic disease and in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Her group was amongst the first to identify a novel subset of B cells with a powerful immuno-suppressive capacity. Her work was seminal in the identification of CD40 activation for the regulatory B cell activation and how the adoptive transfer of this B cell subset can efficiently prevent disease development and ameliorates established arthritis (Nature Medicine 2000, JEM, 2003). More recently, she has shown that inflammation, driven by gut-microflora composition, is a primary requisite for Breg development (Nature Medicine 2014).
Her group has translated the results obtained from experimental models to humans, and showed that in healthy Bregs directly suppress pro-inflammatory cytokine production by T cells, whilst supporting the differentiation of regulatory T-cells. However, in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, Bregs have lost their capacity to suppress pro-inflammatory T cell responses (Immunity 2000, 2010, 2016).
Carlheinz Mueller holds an MSc in mathematics and physics from the University of Munich and an MD and a PhD in molecular bioinformatics from the University of Ulm. He is specialist in Transfusion Medicine and certified expert in Immunogenetics.
In the 1980s he has been mainly working as a developer for medical software with a focus on tissue typing and immunohematology and also co-founded an IT company. He later joined the University and Red Cross Blood Bank in Ulm as a resident in transfusion medicine. Since its foundation in 1992, he has been Medical Director of ZKRD Zentrales Knochenmarkspender-Register Deutschland (German National Bone Marrow Donor Registry) and since 1997 he has been also its CEO. His main research interests are in bioinformatics and population genetics applied to the field of HLA and stem cell transplantation.
Carlheinz Müller is active in many national and international committees and organizations. In particular, he is the current President Elect of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), a member of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System and a councilor for the International Histocompatibility Workshops.
Dr. Joannis Mytilineos was born in Athens/Greece. He graduated from Heidelberg Medical School in 1986, and received his PhD and Adjunct Professor’s degree in Immunology (1986-2004). After 15 years as head of the HLA Laboratory at the University of Heidelberg he took the lead of the Department of Transplantation Immunology in the IKT/Ulm University where he is still employed. Dr Mytilineos was appointed as a councillor of the IHWG in 2004 and has been serving as an EFI board member (2x) as well as a member of the ASHI board of directors. Dr Mytilineos was an EFI commissioner for 9 years, served in the EFI Standards committee for 6 years and was the chair of the EFI Education committee from October 2000-2016 as well as the UEMS-EBTI from 2002-2017. Dr Mytilineos has been co-chairing two EFI conferences, 2009 in Ulm and EFI 2016 in Kos. After 15 years of being focussed in the field of solid organ transplantation where he was one of the main co-workers of Gerhard Opelz and the CTS-Study, Dr Mytilineos clinical work in Ulm is concentrating in the area of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation, currently supporting more than 20 allogeneic HSC transplant programs with HLA and Donor Search services. His department also includes a medium size unrelated stem cell donor centre with currently 75.000 voluntary donors being registered. Dr Mytilineos is the current President of the German Society for Immunogenetics (DGI) and president elect of EFI.
Prof. Petra Reinke is Nephrologist and Clinical Scientist within the following scientific topics: transplantation medicine, development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in transplantation (non-invasive immune Biomarkers, detection and targeting of memory T cells and adoptive Teff/Treg T cell therapy).
Prof. Reinke has wide experience in managing and coordination of international consortia. She is Project coordinator for the EU founded FP7 consortium “BIO-DrIM” collaborative project (2012-2017) and was Steering committee member and work-package leader of the EU founded FP7 consortium “ONE- Study” (2010-2015), Steering committee member and work-package leader of the EU founded FP6 consortium “RISET”, 2005-2010; Co-PI for a project founded by the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) (2000-2003) and Co-Investigator ROTF grant (1997-2000).
She is Medical Director Nephrology and Transplantation and Head of the “Kidney Transplant Outpatient Clinic” at the Dept. Nephrology CVK; Head of research area “immune system”, Head of the GMP-Facility developing new Tcell based therapeutic strategies for SOT patients in phase I/IIa and Steering Committee Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT), of the DFG-sponsored Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies (BSRT) and of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) Stem Cell Center.
She has published more than 300 articles in different transplant research areas.
Annalisa Ruggeri, MD, PhD
Service d’Hematologie et Therapie cellulaire, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France
Dr. Annalisa Ruggeri received her Medical degree from University of Messina Medical School, Italy, in 2004. She completed her Hematology residency at the San Raffaele Vita-Salute University, Milano, Italy in 2008. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD in Hematologic Research by the University of Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy. In addition, Annalisa also completed university training (D.U) in Clinical Research Statistics and Methodology at the Pierre and Marie Currie University and Clinical Research Project Coordination at University Paris Diderot, both in Paris, France.
From 2006 through 2007 Annalisa worked as a junior physician in the San Raffaele Hospital in Milano, Italy. In 2007 she was awarded the EBMT-AMGEN fellowship and completed one year training at the Hospital Saint Louis, Paris, France (Pediatric Bone marrow Transplant Unit and Eurocord).
Since 2007, Annalisa has being working at Eurocord as a Research Physician where she coordinates the research staff and actively participates in the clinical studies performed at Eurocord. Recently, Annalisa has also joined the Bone Marrow Transplant team at the Saint Antoine Hospital in Paris, France where she works as a staff physician, while continuing her research activities in stem cell transplanatation.
Annalisa has participated as a speaker of many international conferences and she is an active member of the European hematology Association, the Societe Francaise de Greffe de Moelle et Therapie Cellulaire and of the European Bone marrow Transplantation group, from which she is the Chair of the Cord Blood Committee since 2014.
Stefan Schaub is an associate professor of nephrology and director of the HLA-laboratory at the University Hospital Basel. He serves as the current president of the Swiss Transplantation Society. His research interests are immunological risk assessment and post-transplant monitoring of renal allograft recipients.
Dr. Sykes is the Michael J. Friedlander Professor of Medicine and Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Surgical Sciences (in Surgery), Columbia University. She is Director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She also serves as Director of Research for the Transplant Initiative and as Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation Research at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Sykes joined Columbia University in April, 2010 after spending 19 years at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she was the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery and Professor of Medicine (Immunology) and Associate Director of the Transplantation Biology Research Center.
Dr. Sykes’ research career, during which she has published >420 papers and book chapters, has focused on hematopoietic cell transplantation, organ allograft tolerance induction, xenotransplantation tolerance and Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Sykes has developed novel strategies for achieving graft-versus-tumor effects without graft-versus-host disease following hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). She developed an approach that has been evaluated in clinical trials of non-myeloablative haploidentical HCT whose safety and efficacy allowed trials of HCT for the induction of organ allograft tolerance, allowing intentional achievement of tolerance in humans for the first time. Dr. Sykes has dissected the tolerance mechanisms and pioneered minimal conditioning approaches for using HCT to achieve allograft and xenograft tolerance. She has recently pioneered an approach to identifying and tracking the alloreactive T cell receptor in human transplant recipients. Her work on xenogeneic thymic transplantation for tolerance induction has led, for the first time, to long-term kidney xenograft survival in non-human primates. She has extended the HCT approach to the problem of reversing autoimmunity while replacing destroyed islets of Langerhans in Type 1 diabetes. She has developed novel “humanized mouse” models that allow personalized analysis of human immune disorders and therapies.
Dr. Sykes is Past President of the International Xenotransplantation Association, served as Vice President of TTS, has repeatedly served on TTS Council and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Centre for Immune Regulation and the KG Jebsen Centre for Coeliac Disease Research Centre, Department of Immunology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet, 0372 Oslo, Norway.
Ludvig M. Sollid is the Director of the Centre for Immune Regulation (a Research Council of Norway and Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies center of excellence) and the KG Jebsen Centre for Coeliac Disease Research Centre, both located in Oslo, Norway. He is also a Professor at the University of Oslo and a Senior Consultant at the Oslo University Hospital – Rikshospitalet. Sollid has a research interest in the genetic basis of autoimmune diseases. His group has made important contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis of celiac disease, in particular the association between the HLA-DQ genes and celiac disease, the existence of gluten reactive (HLA-DQ restricted) T cells in the celiac intestinal lesion, and the functional involvement of the primary autoantigen, transglutaminase 2, in this disorder. His group is currently working on the characterization of the antigen receptors of T cells and B cells that recognize the disease relevant antigens gluten and transglutaminase 2. Sollid has been recognized for his scientific contributions by several awards, notably the Research Council of Norway’s Møbius Prize for Outstanding Research (Oslo, 2006), the Warren Prize for Excellence in Celiac Disease Research (San Diego, 2007), the Rank Prize in Nutrition (London, 2010) and the United European Gastroenterology Research Prize (Amsterdam, 2012). He currently serves on the editorial boards of Mucosal Immunology, Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, HLA, Genes and Immunity and Gastroenterology.
Since 2012 Head of the Clinical Cooperation Group „Immunotherapy“ Helmholtz Zentrum Munich
Since 2009 Head of Flow cytometry Laboratory of Leukemia Diagnostics, Klinikum – University of Munich, Medical Department III, Hematology / Oncology, Prof.Dr. W. Hiddemann
Please click here to see the vita of Marion Subklewe, MD.
Christian Unterrainer studied Mathematics at the University of Heidelberg and is currently working as a scientist in the Collaborative Transplant Study (CTS). Pre-transplant cancer in organ transplant recipients represents the main focus of his current research. He published four important articles in transplantation journals during the last two years. In the Meet the Expert Session “Pitfalls in graft survival analysis” on Wednesday, 31th of May, he will present statistical mistakes in graft survival analysis at different examples from high-ranked journals. Do not miss this session if you want to avoid such pitfalls in your publications.
Luca Vago (born in Milano, Italy, in 1980) started his professional career in the Hematlogy and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute as a Medical Student in 2003, and has been active in the clinical unit ever since, where he is currently an Attending Physician. He is concomitantly extremely active in laboratory research: his research activity in the fields of immunogenetics and immunobiology of allogeneic transplantation lead to several relevant contributions, including, in 2009, the description of the genomic loss of mismatched HLA as a frequent and clinically relevant mechanism of leukemia relapse after HSCT (Vago, NEJM, 2009; Toffalori, Blood, 2012; Crucitti, Leukemia, 2015). This important discovery was praised as a milestone in transplantation research with wide international echo, and lead to an immediate change in the algorithms of diagnosis and treatment of post-transplantation relapse. It also paved the way for the research activity that Dr. Vago is currently conducting as Research Group Leader at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, mainly focused on the characterization of new mechanisms of leukemia immune escape after transplantation and on targeted diagnostic and therapeutic strategies against mutant variants of leukemia.