Transplantation Immunology

The Transplantation Immunology Division (TID) at University of Cincinnati’s Hoxworth Blood Center is a state-of-the-art histocompatibility and immunogenetics testing laboratory. The TID provides testing and consult services for solid-organ (kidney, liver, pancreas, heart) and hematopoietic stem cell transplant programs throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.  Additionally, we assist area physicians and hospitals with immune monitoring, clinical trials, and disease diagnoses.

The Hoxworth TID is accredited by the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). Additionally, we follow current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) within an FDA-regulated environment.

Laboratory Services

Histocompatibility typing

The TID uses DNA-based molecular diagnostic techniques to identify HLA genes at low/intermediate or high-level allele resolution. Reverse SSO (Sequence-Specific Oligonucleotides) hybridization, PCR-SSP (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Sequence-Specific Primers), and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) based typing are regularly used for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DR, -DQ, and -DP allele typing to meet individual transplant program needs.

In addition, the TID can provide molecular typing for other human histocompatibility antigens such as MICA (MHC class I chain-related gene A) and KIR (Killer Cell Ig-Like Receptors).

Detection and analysis of anti-HLA and non-HLA specific antibodies

Antibody testing for pre- and post-transplant work-up is performed via lymphocytotoxicity, ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay), multiplex bead array (Luminex), and flow cytometry methods. Single and multiplexed antigen bead testing is routinely used for HLA antibody monitoring and specificity. Additional phenotypic tests, crossmatches, and enhancement protocols are available to further characterize antibody levels, titers, and strength.

We also routinely perform antibody monitoring for non-HLA “autoantibodies” ETAR and AT1R, associated with post-transplant dysfunction and allograft injury.

Cytotoxic, flow cytometric, and virtual cross matching with interpretation are available to best predict donor-recipient compatibility.

Immune monitoring for transplantation candidates and patients

In addition to histocompatibility typing and antibody evaluation, the TID also offers in-house chimerism testing for post-transplant engraftment evaluation.

Histocompatibility for other purposes

The TID also can provide HLA typing for disease association studies, typing and antibody testing transfusion support, immune monitoring for drug therapy and clinical trials, and biological specimen storage (ex. DNA and cryopreservation of mononuclear cells).

Education and Training

  • ABHI-Sponsored Continuing Education Program
  • Technologist Training Program
  • Medical Student, Resident, and Fellow Training 

Research Activities

The TID is actively involved in a number of research activities regarding the alloimmune response in solid-organ transplantation; detection, specificity analysis of pre-formed and post-transplant developed anti- HLA alloantibodies; dynamics of post-transplant humoral immune response; outcome association (acute and chronic rejection, allograft dysfunction); markers of antibody-mediated rejection (C4d); influence of various therapeutic protocols on antibody dynamics, etc. We are honored to support these research endeavors to improve transplant outcomes.

Laboratory Hours

6 a.m. Monday - 6 a.m. Saturday

On-Call service is available 24/7 during non-staffed hours (holidays and weekends) to provide laboratory testing services.

For pricing, turnaround times, and other information, please contact us at:

TID Laboratory Office Phone: (513) 558-1500
TID Laboratory Phone: (513) 558-1574
TID On-Call Phone: (513) 526-9057
TID Fax Number: (513) 558-1522

Assistant Director, TID: Paul A. Brailey, PhD
Phone: (513) 558-1505

Director, TID: Dr. Caroline R. Alquist, MD, PhD, D(ABHI)
Phone: (513) 558-1515