John L. Schmitz
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UNC School of Medicine and Director, Histocompatibility and Flow Cytometry Laboratories, UNC Hospitals
We are investigating the use of eplet analysis for management of our renal transplant cohort. I am particularly interested in using the information to provide evidence-based guidance on post-transplant HLA antibody testing practices. In addition, we are investigating methods to block interference from therapeutic monoclonal antibodies on flow cytometric crossmatch testing.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
I have always been interested in clinical immunology. In 1994 I had the opportunity to join the new HLA Laboratory at UNC Hospitals as Director-in-Training. During that time I gained an appreciation for the critical role that histocompatibility testing plays in transplantation. This role has grown in complexity as methods have evolved requiring an expanded role for laboratory input into the transplant process.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
The interaction with the wide variety of individuals involved in making a transplant happen and succeed is very rewarding. HLA laboratories are a bit unique in the complexity and level of interaction with clinical staff. It is very rewarding to contribute to this activity.
I love to ski and we (my wife and daughters) spent time “out West” to enjoy this activity this past winter. It was one of the few chances we have had to spend uninterrupted time with our daughters who are both in College and we look forward to this coming winter for another chance.