Annette Jackson, PhD, D(ABHI)
HLA Laboratory Director
PhD Immunology - Duke University
Director, Division of Immunogenetics and Transplant Immunology, Johns Hopkins University
I am currently serving as co-chair for the AST Transplant Diagnostics COP and as a board member for the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). I am also honored to be part of multiple HLA working groups investigating immunological risk and donor-specific HLA antibodies. AMR subgroup: NHLBI Mid Atlantic Genomic Organ Transplantation Consortium (GRAFT) AST-ASHI Kidney Subgroup, Sensitization in Transplantation: Assessment of Risk (STAR) Banff Working Group: Highly Sensitized Patients
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
Directly out of college I landed a job with Dr. Nancy Reinsmoen as an HLA technologist at the University of Minnesota. This new job coincided with the first crystalline structure of HLA-A2 and our journey in understanding antigen presentation and how the immune system distinguishes between ‘self’ and ‘non-self’. It was an exciting time to enter the field of immunology and I became intrigued with the complexity of histocompatibility and its role in transplantation.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
Working in the clinical laboratory, we are “behind the scenes” clinicians within the field of transplantation. Yet, we find tremendous satisfaction when our testing contributes to the transplantation of a Status 1A or 100% CPRA waitlist candidate. We know transplantation is life changing for our patients and the HLA laboratory is an important contributor to this mission.
I met my husband during college in northern Minnesota. My favorite date was to walk on the frozen lake next to campus and take in the Aurora Borealis.