Anne Halpin, PhD candidate
Histocompatibility and ABO-histo blood group antibody testing
BSc in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. MSc in Community Health from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and a PhD (in progress) at the University of Alberta.
I am working on my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Lori J. West. I am also a trainee in both the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) as well as GlycoNet. I also work part time in the Alberta Public Laboratories Histocompatibility Laboratory as the Laboratory Scientist.
As part of my PhD work, I am looking at HLA antibody responses in VAD patients, non-HLA antibodies in pediatric heart transplant patients, and ABO antibody testing in solid phase platforms to better support ABO incompatible transplants.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
In my 3rd year of undergraduate studies, I had to write a paper on MHC. I was hooked. I sought out a research project in this field and have been working in it ever since.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
I have recently had more opportunity to meet with transplant patient and donation advocates. As the laboratory is 'behind the scenes' kind of work, I am always inspired when I have the chance to listen to the patient perspective on transplantation. It helps to put perspective on the work and research we do, especially when all we see is the blood samples. I am inspired by the impact that transplantation has on patient and donors' lives and I will never tire of hearing their stories.
How have you served AST?:
I am currently the Early Career member of the Transplant Diagnostics COP Executive Committee. This is my first committee work with the AST and I have learned a lot about how AST functions and connected with new people in my field. It has been a great experience.
Just one? I'll sneak in a few. I am currently on the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) Board. I love trail running in the mountains. I have 2 children and they are my lay abstract readers (whether they like it or not).