Our Immunobiology Research Program facilitates CIBMTR Immunobiology Working Committee (IBWC) studies that use samples from the Research Sample Repository (cell and serum samples collected by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match from related and unrelated transplant donors, cord blood units and recipients). The IBWC seeks proposals for studies that are highly translational and hypothesis-driven. Such studies usually seek to define the clinical importance of the immune system using HCT as the model system.
This program facilitates collaborative studies that focus on:
- Improving outcomes after hematopoeitic cell transplantation (HCT), through a better understanding of the immune response pathways
- Increasing the availability of unrelated donor HCT through a better understanding of donor and recipient genetic determinants
- Understanding the role of HLA-matched or mismatched related and unrelated donor HCT compared to other available graft sources
Specific research supported includes:
- Genes and gene products of the major histocompatibility complex
- Natural killer cell repertoire
- Cytokine/pro-inflammatory cytokine and immune response determinants
- Minor histocompatibility loci
- Other immune regulatory genes and products (such as anti-HLA antibodies)
- Comparative studies that involve HLA-mismatched related donors or any unrelated donors
Key activities include:
Immunobiology-focused research is conducted through the IBWC utilizing samples from the NMDP Research Sample Repository.
Immunobiology research grants
NMDP/Be The Match offers grants to support immunobiology research studies approved by the CIBMTR Immunobiology Working Committee. Grants are reviewed by the committee leadership and awarded based on proposal alignment with the committee research objectives and availability of funds.
NMDP research activities
The Donor/Recipient Pair Project is a retrospective typing project to characterize class I (HLA-A, B and C) and class II (HLA-DRB, DQB1 and DPB1) alleles and KIR genotypes of stored donor/recipient paired samples from the NMDP Repository. To date, more than 16,000 paired samples have been fully characterized for HLA and over 1,000 for KIR. The resultant data are stored in an NMDP/Be The Match-developed database and available to any researcher with a CIBMTR-approved study that wishes to analyze the impact of HLA matching or KIR genotype as either the focus of, or as a variable in a research study. The allele-level data are also used to assess genetic diversity within the NMDP/Be The Match transplant population and have focused on the evaluation of HLA haplotypes within the donor and recipient data set.