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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Abdominal Transplantation

BCM Immune Evaluation Laboratory

HLA lab
credit: Scott Holmes

The BCM Immune Evaluation Laboratory is a reference lab for solid organ transplants (kidney, heart, pancreas, liver and lung) performed in the Texas Medical Center. In addition, we have previously been responsible for all donor histocompatibility testing under contract with LifeGift Organ Procurement Organization.

The lab is responsible for all pre-transplant histocompatibility testing of new end-stage patients to identify their HLA antigens and determine the degree of their pre-transplant immune reactivity towards possible donor antigens.

We perform a series of sensitive crossmatch assays to pair appropriate donors and recipients for transplantation. Post-transplant, patients are evaluated for cellular or antibody-mediated rejection and we take part in consulting with transplant clinicians regarding therapies for these rejections.

We get referrals from outside the Texas Medical Center for transplant consults as well, in fact we often get referrals and consults from around the world. Ronald H. Kerman, Ph.D., is professor of surgery and laboratory director. Dr. Kerman ensures excellence and accuracy in test performance within the lab and provides clinical consultation to the transplant clinicians. To carry out this work, the lab has ten lab technologists, a lab supervisor, Eva McKissick, and director in training, Jerome Saltarrelli, Ph.D.

Research interests are focused on determining the strength of transplant patient cellular and antibody immune responsiveness as it relates to immunologic rejection and graft loss. Studies are underway to determine the identity of clinically relevant HLA and non-HLA antibodies and their role in graft rejection. In addition, studies are being conducted to determine the immune response of patients receiving allogeneic stem cell infusions as part of regenerative therapy for heart failure patients. The laboratory has a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments license, is certified by the College of American Pathologists and the United Network for Organ Sharing.