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ASHI President elect is selected for UNOS Board of Directors
We are very excited to announce that ASHI's President elect, Dr. Anat Tambur, has been chosen to serve as the histocompatibility representative to the UNOS Board of Directors! This board also functions as the OPTN Board of Directors. During this time, Dr. Tambur will be asked to address numerous issues and make important decisions in order to serve and benefit UNOS' member organizations, of which ASHI is one, and the over 100,000 patients awaiting organ transplant in the United States.
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Kidney Allocation System (KAS) 'Out-of-the-Gate' monitoring report
The OPTN Feb. 19, 2015 report of early data regarding the performance of the new kidney allocation system has been released. Based on two months of data, the recently implemented kidney allocation system (KAS) appears to be meeting expectations on a number of key outcomes. The early findings are detailed in an updated report released by UNOS. As you can see in this report, the system is finding many more matches for highly sensitized candidates than before.
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Now available — 6th edition Hematopoietic Cell Therapy Standards

The sixth edition of the FACT-JACIE International Standards for Hematopoietic Cellular Therapy Product Collection, Processing, and Administration has been published and will become effective on June 1, 2015. All FACT-accredited cellular therapy organizations must comply with these Standards at this time. These Hematopoietic Cell Therapy Standards apply to hematopoietic progenitor cells, defined as self-renewing and/or multi-potent stem cells capable of maturation into any of the hematopoietic lineages, lineage-restricted pluripotent progenitor cells, and committed progenitor cells from hematopoietic sources (bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, peripheral blood, or other tissue source). These Standards also include mononuclear cells, defined as nucleated cells from any hematopoietic tissue source (marrow, peripheral blood, umbilical cord, and placental blood) collected for therapeutic use other than as hematopoietic progenitor cells. The Standards and accompanying Accreditation Manual, crosswalks, and summary of changes are all available on the FACT website for reference. Printed copies of the Standards and Accreditation Manual may be purchased from the FACT store.


Accreditation Manual

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FACT publishes 1st edition of Common Standards for Cellular Therapies
The first edition of the FACT Common Standards for Cellular Therapies is FACT's first step toward offering its voluntary standards and accreditation program to non-hematopoietic cellular therapies. The major objective of the Common Standards is to promote quality medical and laboratory practice in a broad range of cellular therapies. They represent the basic fundamentals of cellular therapy that can be applied to any cell source or therapeutic application, and are intended to be used throughout product development and clinical trials. These Standards are derived from current editions of FACT-JACIE Standards for hematopoietic cellular therapy and NetCord-FACT Standards for cord blood banking. Applications for accreditation under the Common Standards will be accepted later this year. Stay tuned to FACT email announcements for details on the application process. In the meantime, we encourage use of these Standards to improve cellular therapy programs utilizing non-hematopoietic cells or treating non-hematological diseases. The Standards are available for free download, and printed copies may also be purchased, from the FACT store.
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2015 call for ASHI board nominations
The ASHI Nominations Committee encourages all ASHI members to nominate candidates for the available officer and board positions. If there are candidates you feel would be an asset to the ASHI Board of Directors, please complete and submit this nomination form to ASHI. All nominations must be accompanied by the signatures of at least 10 full or honorary members in good standing. Email endorsements are acceptable.

By March 23, the Nominations Committee will forward its preliminary slate of candidates to the ASHI membership. This will allow members time to submit additional nominations by the May 4 deadline.

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The ASHI 2015 Regional Workshop registration is now open!

The ASHI 2015 Regional Workshop registration is now open!

WORKSHOP 1: San Antonio, Texas
Click here to register now!

WORKSHOP 2: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Click here to register now!

Download your personal copy of the registration brochure now.

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AABB/ASHI Joint Program announced
The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) has accepted a program proposal titled, "ABO and Transplantation" as the AABB/ASHI Joint Program for the 2015 AABB Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA. This session is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Free replay of CDC, Joint Commission webinar: Your lab and ebola
Best practices for lab testing and the management of specimens are covered. The webinar provides information on the safe handling of Ebola specimens and recommended lab procedures, as well as The Joint Commission standards pertinent to a laboratory's response to patients with potential or confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Click here to replay the audio and view the presentation.

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News from EFI
29th European Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility Conference
Date: 26-29 April 2015
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Extended Early bird registration
The deadline for Early Bird registration has been extended to Monday, 16 March 2015. To register, please click here.

Hotel Reservation
We have been working hard to find you the best offers in Geneva for your stay! Looking for cheap accommodation while in Geneva? - Book your hotel here.

Profit from the preferential rates at the IBIS Nations Hotel, just 10 minutes walking distance from the congress center: room rate CHF 169 per night or the Astoria Hotel, in front of the railway station, 10 minutes by bus from the congress center: room rate CHF 180.00 per night

Looking for 5 stars at a low rate? Why not book The Intercontinental, 5 minutes walking distance from the congress center: room rate: CHF 290 per night?

To benefit from these offers, please click here.

Have you already visited our webpage: GENEVA ON A BUDGET? Have a look to discover more about the city and what it has to offer.

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Contribution of genes for killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) to the susceptibility to chronic hepatitis C virus infection and to viremia
Human Immunology
Natural killer (NK) cells are an important element of innate immunity against viruses, although their numbers decrease in the liver during chronic HCV infection. NK cells express a large panel of inhibitory and activating receptors. The most polymorphic of these are killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) which are encoded by multiple genes that may be present or absent in given individuals depending on their genotype. This variability results in differential susceptibility to viral infections and diseases, including HCV infection and its consequences.
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HLA epitopes as viewed by antibodies: What is it all about?
American Journal of Transplantation via PubMed
The need for new approaches to define HLA antibodies, in the context of organ transplantation, is intensely debated among HLA professionals. In this review, we sought to provide background and perspective to current understanding of the immunogenicity of HLA mismatches with respect to the humoral alloimmune response and the definition of B cell epitopes.
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Higher mortality, rate of SpA observed in HLA-B27+ veterans
Veterans who carried the HLA-B27 gene had higher risk for early mortality and a higher risk for ankylosing spondylitis and other diseases, according to recently published research. However, certain diseases were less common in HLA-B27-positive veterans. Researchers identified 32,630 anonymized veterans from the Veterans Health Administration Corporate Data Warehouse and Vital Status File who had been tested for the presence of the HLA-B27 gene between Oct. 1, 1999, and Dec. 31, 2011. Participants were excluded if test results were unclear or if birth and death dates were not available. Other exclusion criteria included prior diagnosis of systemic inflammatory diseases and diseases that mimic spondyloarthritis (SpA).
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Liberals and conservatives think about genomics in unexpected ways
The Washington Post
Many people think that political beliefs predict how people respond to science and technology issues. Conservatives, many believe, tend to be more skeptical or distrustful of science and technology, while liberals tend to be more accepting and encouraging. But this accepted wisdom doesn’t always hold. For example, on the current flare-up regarding the vaccination of children against measles and other illnesses, we are increasingly seeing the strongest anti-vaccination sentiment in what are traditionally very liberal parts of the country.
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ASHI Insights
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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