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Join ASHI in Cleveland for the Regional Workshop 2 June 28-30, 2018. Register by Thursday, June 7 to take advantage of our early bird registration rates. Need funding to attend this meeting? ASHI members can apply for a travel stipend. Click here to complete the application.
Check out the top 5 things to do in Cleveland!
1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Discount tickets will be available at the registration desk!
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
3. A Christmas Story House and Museum
4. Great Lakes Science Center
5. Museum of Contemporary Art
Case Study Submission
Back by popular demand, the ASHI Regional Education Workshop faculty is requesting case studies from attendees for the ASHI 2018 Regional Education Workshops. Submit your case study today for Regional Education Workshop 2 before the deadline on Thursday, May 31, 2018.
Preliminary Schedule at a Glance Available Online!
Start planning your agenda! The schedule at a glance is now available. Check back often to see the latest updates to the program. Click here to view the Preliminary Schedule.
There is plenty to see and do in the Baltimore Inner Harbor area. Click here to see why Baltimore is known as "Charm City" and plan activities for your stay.
The inaugural WMDA-NetCord & FACT Cord Blood Day event will be held in Miami, Florida on September 14, 2018, in conjunction with the Cord Blood Connect Meeting. The WMDA-NetCord & FACT Cord Blood Day will highlight issues that affect cord blood banks’ abilities to optimize processes within a challenging environment.
To enable teams to attend, FACT and WMDA are offering an early bird registration fee of only $295 until May 15, 2018.
This is an excellent opportunity to network with the cord blood community and learn from experts in cord blood banking. Click here and register by May 15 to take advantage of the early registration fee. Registration fees are waived for FACT active and trainee inspectors.
VxMatch now features full LIMS integration, MFI cut-offs and custom visualizations. VxMatch is a dedicated application that displays DSA trends, dilution and reactivity history and has been validated at leading HLA labs. Click here to schedule a full demo or view our recent ASHI poster on VxMatch to learn more.
On April 17, Commissioner Gottlieb mentioned in his statement the importance of ensuring that marketed medical devices have a positive benefit-risk profile, FDA having the right tools to quickly identify and address potential safety concerns, and fostering innovation of new products that are safer, more effective, and address unmet medical needs. Providing patients with access to safe medical devices that meet their health care needs remains a top FDA priority.
The Medical Device Safety Action Plan: Protecting Patients, Promoting Public Health outlines how the agency will encourage innovation to improve safety, detect safety risks earlier, and keep doctors and patients better informed. Click here to download a PDF of the action plan.
Ideas and suggestions may be submitted through the public docket (FDA-2018-N-1315) at www.regulations.gov.
If you have any questions about the Medical Devices Safety Action Plan, please contact Cara Tenenbaum, Senior Policy Advisor, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of the Center Director.
ASHI is excited to be exhibiting at this year’s ATC meeting, June 2 – 6 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle! This must attend event in the field of transplantation is a great opportunity to connect with friends and meet new professionals in the industry. Will you be there? Click here to register now and be sure to visit ASHI at booth number 204.
Name & Credentials: Walter Herczyk, BS, MT(ASCP), CHS(ABHI)
Job Title: Laboratory Administrative Director
Place of employment: Gift of Life Michigan
Graduated from: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
How long have you been an ASHI member? 27 years
When did you attend your first ASHI Meeting? My first meeting was the one held in LA, back in 1990. The memory that stands out was that it was where I took the CHT exam. I was nervous about the meeting because it was my first meeting and I just did not know what to expect. To be honest, the meeting was overwhelming because of all the information presented during the week. I thought there is no way I was going to retain any information, let alone, try to present it once I got back to the laboratory. The other memory from that meeting was that the movie premier for “Dances with Wolves” was held the same week across from the hotel. I went over to see what movie stars I could recognize. When I was coming back to the hotel, Bob Saget was in the lower lobby. I got a photo with him to show my niece, who was a huge “Full House” fan at the time. I scored big uncle points with that photo.
Click here to read more.
To be our next ASHI Member Spotlight, click here now! You can also nominate a co-worker or fellow colleague by contacting Mandi Cruz at Mcruz@ashi-hla.org.
HLA pioneer and former ASHI president, Dr. Paul Terasaki is being inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) on May 3, 2018 for his invention of Tissue Typing for Organ Transplants.
In the 1960s, Dr. Terasaki invented a tissue-typing test that became an international standard for matching potential organ donors with recipients. The procedure, used for kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, lung, and bone marrow donors and recipients, remained for decades the most common method of HLA antibody screening. He also founded the first kidney transplant registry, and his contributions to developing a cold storage solution for kidney preservation during shipping helped define the field of transplantation science.
Click here to learn more about the NIHF's 2018 Class of Inductees.
Results for the AC survey shipped on Tuesday, April 10th are due on Friday, May 18th. It is recommended to login to the new Lab Center and enter the results several days prior to the deadline so there is adequate time to deal with any issues or questions that may arise when navigating the new system.
Educational Virtual Crossmatch Challenge
Participants of the optional Educational Virtual Crossmatch challenge were sent the necessary Google Survey links to participate. These links correspond to sample numbers which are different than the samples each participating lab received with their AC shipment. This approach will make it possible for laboratories to compare the cell-based crossmatch data collected during the survey to the virtual crossmatch results in a blind fashion.
The 2018 EMO-1 survey is scheduled to be shipped on Tuesday, May 8th.
The PT Committee is in the process of grading the results for the HT survey.
Summary and Performance Reports
As in prior years, there are several stages that must be completed before the finished Summary and Performance reports are made available to participating laboratories after each submission deadline. Please be aware that an extensive grading, review, and compilation process precedes the posting of the finalized reports in the new Lab Center by the PT Committee. As in prior years, email announcements will be sent to laboratories once the reports are complete.
Committee Name: Proficiency Testing Committee
Committee Chair: Kelley M.K. Hitchman, MS, PhD, D(ABHI)
Committee Goals: To partner with histocompatibility and immunogenetics laboratories around the world to achieve the highest standards and continuous quality improvement in clinical testing and patient care.
1. What is the biggest contribution this committee has made to ASHI and its members?
The ASHI Proficiency Testing Committee provides data to the subscriber community, in real-time, that displays laboratory consensus and analytic evolution across the most commonly utilized technologies in our field.
2. Name a project this committee is most focused on right now.
Provision of simulated virtual crossmatch challenges to the subscriber community utilizing AC-survey data for assessment of individual laboratory virtual crossmatching practices.
3. Why should members join your committee?
We are a very tight-knit committee with opportunities for innovation, advancement and leadership experience. The daily operations of the ASHI PT Program lead to meaningful discussions for our individual practices and allow committee members to participate in in-depth discussions with leaders in the HLA community.
Click here to read more about the Proficiency Testing Committee.
The Directors’ Training Review and Credentialing Committee (DTRC), in addition to its role in evaluating future HLA Laboratory Directors, provides general follow-up and guidance to candidates at different stages of their training. One important aspect of any HLA Laboratory Director Training Program is the preparation of a portfolio of clinical cases to be submitted to the DTRC for assessment of the candidate’s competency as a future HLA Laboratory Director.
In an effort to help directors-in-training in preparing their portfolios, the DTRC has asked newly-approved candidates who submitted outstanding portfolio cases to share them. Some of these cases are presented in a new ASHI-U module, entitled "Volume 6." They are intended to provide directors-in-training with examples of case build-ups that meet or exceed portfolio reviewer expectations.
Click here to read more.
The Travel Fund Award was created to help new ASHI members attend regional and annual meetings. The ASHI Board of Directors has approved two grants for Technologist members for each Regional meeting in 2018. For the Annual meeting, two grants have been reserved for Technologist members and two for Doctoral level members.
2018 Travel Award Recipient, Sally Schumacher, BS, MT(ASCP), CHS(ABHI) of Nebraska Medicine says:
The ASHI travel award made it possible for me to attend a meeting that I otherwise would not have been able to attend. I enjoyed all the presentations, and appreciated the relevance they had to the day-to-day working life of a bench technologist. The smaller scale of the regional meeting also made it possible to spend more time with vendors and get more information about their products. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.
ASHI is able to continue its mission because of your support and generosity. By contributing to the travel fund award, you'll help us give more opportunities to members like Sally Schumacher.
Online donations are quick and easy using our secure credit card transactions. We welcome donations of all sizes and payment plans – whether it's a one-time gift, a monthly contribution or part of a matching gifts program. Donate today by clicking here!
The ASHI Directors' Mentor / Mentee Program is dedicated to helping new Directors advance in their careers. The program pairs new Directors with more experienced Directors on an informal basis for the purpose of providing one-on-one guidance and advice to the newer Directors (mentees).
To learn more about the ASHI Directors' Mentor / Mentee Program, click here. Complete the mentor questionnaire and sign up today!
Development of tolerance protocols requires assays or biomarkers that distinguish tolerant recipients from non-tolerant ones to be established. In addition, a thorough understanding of the plausible mechanisms associated with clinical transplant tolerance is necessary to take the field forward.
Immunosuppression after solid organ transplantation is a delicate balance of the immune response and is a complex phenomenon with many factors involved. Despite advances in the care of patients receiving organ transplants the adverse effects associated with immunosuppressive agents and the risks of long-term immunosuppression present a series of challenges and the need to weigh the risks and benefits of either over or under-immunosuppression.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical mediators of immune homeostasis and hold significant promise in the quest for transplantation tolerance. Progress has now reached a critical threshold as techniques for production of clinical therapies are optimised and Phase I/II clinical trials are in full swing. Initial safety and efficacy data are being reported, with trials assessing a number of different strategies for the introduction of Treg therapy.
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