The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has long been a leader in the world of genomic medicine. CHOP Research investigators regularly publish groundbreaking studies that span the gamut of childhood disease, from those focused on autism to studies of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, to investigations of common conditions like obesity and more rare diseases.
During fiscal 2013, Children’s Hospital immunogenetics experts developed a unique laboratory test to characterize the genes that encode human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules, which are complex proteins on cell surfaces that are essential to immune function. By using faster, more comprehensive gene sequencing technology to type HLAs, the new test may improve transplantation outcomes through a more refined assessment of donor compatibility.
“This faster, more thorough technology allows us to better account for subtle genetic differences between individuals,” said Dimitri Monos, PhD, director of the Immunogenetics Laboratory in the Division of Genomic Diagnostics, and professor of Pathology and Laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We expect this knowledge to yield clinical benefits, by facilitating more precise matches between transplant donors and recipients, and assessing the significance of mismatches in genomic regions of the HLAs that were previously uncharacterized,” Dr. Monos added.
For more information about this groundbreaking program, see the Research Annual Report.