Professor of Transplant Inflammation and Repair
Anthony Dorling qualified in Medicine from the University of London in 1987 and gained membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1990. He did his PhD at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, before embarking on specialist training in Nephrology in 1995. After an appointment as Senior Lecturer (later Reader) in Immunology at Imperial College London (Hammersmith Hospital), he took up his current position as Professor of Transplant Inflammation and Repair at King’s College London in 2009. He is honorary consultant Nephrologist ay Guy’s Hospital, Head of the Innate Immunity Department within the Division of Transplant Immunology and Mucosal Biology at KCL, and Deputy Director of the MRC Centre for Transplantation.
In the last 5 years, his focus has been on the humoral, cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in vascular rejection of transplanted organs. Clinically, his work is in two main areas. The first is antibody-incompatible transplants, attempting to understand ‘accommodation’. The second is in chronic antibody-mediated rejection, and he is chief investigator on two UK multicentre RCTs, RituxiCAN-C4 and OuTSMART. His pure laboratory work is focused mainly on the role that coagulation proteases play in inflammatory vascular disease, and includes models of intimal hyperplasia and transplant arteriosclerosis.
Clinical Research Fellow in Fertility Preservation and Restoration
Mr Benjamin Jones qualified from the University of Leeds, School of Medicine in 2009. He completed basic training in Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust before being appointed to the North-West Thames Deanery Obstetrics and Gynaecology programme in 2012. He has since worked at West Middlesex University Hospital, Queen Charlottes & Chelsea Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital. He obtained membership to the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists in 2015.
In April 2015, he was appointed as a clinical research fellow at Imperial College (Division of Surgery and Cancer, Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology), where he is currently undertaking an MD under the guidance of Mr Richard Smith. His research is based on fertility preservation and restoration, including the first clinical trial on uterine transplantation in the UK. In January 2016, he became a founding member of the International Society of Uterine Transplantation (ISUTx).
Ben has a number of peer reviewed publications and has presented internationally on subjects including uterine transplantation and various aspects of fertility preservation. His ongoing research interests include ovarian tissue preserving laparoscopic surgery, endometrial transplantation and uterine normothermic perfusion and cryopreservation.
Senior Post-Doctoral Research Scientist
Dr Neema Mayor is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Anthony Nolan Research Institute and an Honorary Lecturer at the UCL Cancer Institute, University College London. She achieved her PhD from UCL while at Anthony Nolan in the group of Professor Steven Marsh. Her PhD studies demonstrated the impact of NOD2 gene polymorphisms on relapse rates and mortality for Unrelated Donor (UD) Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) recipients with an Acute Leukaemia. Her research is currently focussed in two areas, firstly the development and implementation of novel methods to detect genetic polymorphism and secondly, analysing the impact of HLA and non-HLA genetic variants on the outcome of UD-HSCTs in the UK transplant population. Recently Dr Mayor was responsible for the development of the Third Generation Sequencing method Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing for clinical HLA typing and aided in the transition of the technology from a research tool to a high-throughput, ISO 15189 accredited technique. Dr Mayor has been awarded the Invitrogen Young Scientist at the 18th BSHI meeting (2007), the van Bekkum Award at the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) meeting (2007), the International ASHI Scholar Award at the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) meeting (2014) for her research work.
Laboratory Operations Manager – Senior Clinical Scientist
Sue Davey started her career in 1985 as a Junior MLSO at the Regional Transfusion Centre in Bristol and was introduced to H&I during her first rotation. Although she qualified in transfusion science, by 1989 Sue had returned to H&I (then part of UK Transplant) to pursue her main area of interest.
Sue’s molecular journey began in 1991 when she became responsible for the HLA typing of volunteer bone marrow donors using both serological and RFLP techniques. This was followed by the implementation of PCR-SSP for HLA class II, initially to resolve some RFLP ambiguities but eventually for the routine typing of clinical samples. Introduction of PCR-SSP was how Sue met her husband Nick who was collaborating with UKT in the early days of PCR-SSP development. However, as H&I never stands still, Sue was also instrumental in the subsequent implementation of Sanger sequencing based typing at UKT.
Sue moved to the Royal London Hospital in 1995 to head the molecular typing section. This relocation provided her with the opportunity to study for an MSc in Medical Molecular Biology, resulting in transition from an MLSO to a Clinical Scientist. In 2000 she joined NHSBT in Colindale, initially to lead the donor typing team and later in her current role as Laboratory Operations Manager.
Over the past 17 years Sue has been intimately involved with a number of changes in technology for patient and donor HLA typing, the most recent being next generation sequencing (NGS). Sue was responsible for the design and development of a high throughput NGS protocol for allele level HLA typing, resulting in NHSBT becoming the first UK laboratory to implement NGS for registry typing. Sue has also employed NGS technology for her professional doctorate, developing of a novel genotyping approach to improve transfusion support for patients with HLA and HPA alloantibodies.
Senior Post-Doctoral Research Scientist - H&I Service Development
Winnie is a senior Research Scientist with 15 years of experience in academia, industry and the health sector. She obtained her BSc.(Hons) degree in molecular biology in 1998 and PhD in epigenetics in 2003 from the University of Portsmouth.
Her post-doctoral research studies include regulated intramembrane proteolysis at the Marie Curie Research Institute and a Wellcome Trust-funded study of histone methylation in VDJ recombination at University College London.
In 2005, she moved into the industrial sector as a Senior Research and Development Scientist at Bioline Ltd., developing new products for rapid PCR and qPCR directly from blood, tissues and cells. Since 2008, she has been the Senior Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in the H&I Service Development group at NHS Blood and Transplant. This is a national role supporting the six H&I laboratories in NHSBT by designing, developing and evaluating new molecular and serological tests to support transplantation, transfusion and disease association studies.To support haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and donor registry testing, Winnie has developed tests for the detection of CCR5 delta32 mutation in stem cell donors, NGS typing of HLA Class II genes and is currently evaluating rapid NGS typing for clinical testing. Winnie and her team also support solid organ transplantation by developing tests for pharmacogenetic markers relevant to drug metabolism and outcome following renal transplantation. On an international level, she has led a collaboration to validate a rapid antibody detection assay developed using recombinant platelet antigens in a study of 498 NAIT cases. This assay was also tested by 21 international laboratories as part of the 16th ISBT Platelet Immunology workshop. NGS is currently the focus of her activities and she is participating in two projects of the NGS of Full-length HLA genes component of the 17thInternational HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop. In addition, she also lectures to MSc and Medical students
Professor of Structural Biology and of Microbiology & Immunology
Peter Parham grew up in London and in 1972 gained a degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. He then obtained a Kennedy Fellowship that enabled him to pursue graduate studies in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University. There he joined the research group of Jack Strominger and worked on studies to purify and sequence HLA-A and –B proteins. On gaining his PhD in 1977, Parham was awarded a three year Harvard Junior Fellowship, which enabled him to spend the first year in Walter Bodmer’s research group in the Genetics Department at the University of Oxford. At that time the new technology of monoclonal antibodies was just beginning to be applied to the study of cell-surface proteins and in particular, at Oxford, to the HLA system. By immunizing mice with highly purified HLA-A and –B proteins, Parham was able to make an extensive panel of monoclonal antibodies that recognized a variety of polymorphic and monomorphic epitopes of HLA class I. Some of the polymorphic epitopes corresponded to the alloantigens defined by human alloantisera, but others were different and revealed previously unknown heterogeneity in HLA antigens. On joining the faculty of Stanford University in 1980, Parham began to develop sequence-based strategies for precise definition of the differences between HLA-A, -B and –C allotypes and for discovering the common HLA-A, -B and –C allotypes that could not be distinguished by serological HLA typing. Since 1991, Parham has expanded this immunogenetic approach to the KIR family of lymphocyte receptors, which recognize epitopes of HLA class I and has genetic diversity comparable to that of HLA class I. For these research accomplishments Peter Parham has received the Rose Payne, Ceppellini, Festenstein and Simons awards for histocompatibility and immunogenetics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016.
Mathijs Groeneweg studied biology at Utrecht University. He then started as a PhD student at the Molecular Genetics department at Maastricht university, where he studied inflammation in oxLDL loaded foam cell macrophages. During his PhD, he applied bioinformatics to analyze gene expression. As a member of the CARIM institute he obtained het CARIM certificate in 2005. He then continued his research at the pathology department of the Maastricht University Medical Center, where he studied the effects of modulated inflammatory pathways on atherosclerosis and obtained his PhD degree. In 2010, he started at the department of Transplantation Immunology at the Maastricht University Medical Center. At the Transplantation Immunology department his main research topics are gene organization, splicing, full gene polymorphism and bioinformatics. He currently focusses on the development and implementation in clinical diagnostics and research of the Oxford Nanopore MinION device and the accompanying bioinformatics.
Professor of Transplant Surgery
Professor Mamode works at Guys Hospital, where he is Clinical Lead for Transplant Surgery, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He has a particular interest in antibody incompatible transplantation, and runs one of the largest programmes in the UK, as well as contributing to guidance and strategy at a national level in this field. He has developed an antibody incompatible EVNP model and has a number of ongoing research projects- he is Chief Investigator for two NIHR funded multicentre studies, as well as two other multicentre randomised trials, and supervises 5 PhD students. He is a member of the Council of the British Transplant Society, and the College of Experts for NICE. He performed the first robotic transplants in the UK, and has published over 70 papers, one book and three book chapters.
Voluntary Director of Research
John Trowsdale PhD FMedSoc is a Professor in the Immunology Division in the Department of Pathology, Cambridge UK. After postdoctoral work in Paris and California he joined Sir Walter Bodmer’s laboratory, an HLA pioneer, in Oxford, which then moved to Cancer Research UK (formerly ICRF) in London. In the early 1980’s Trowsdale was one of the first to clone HLA genes and his group was the first to complete sequencing on the entire HLA region. In collaboration with Stephan Beck at the Sanger Centre he provided completely sequenced HLA haplotypes, which are now considered ‘gold-standard’ reference sequences. Trowsdale has made other contributions to the field of immunogenetics, in particular identifying components of antigen processing for HLA, such as TAP transporters. Recently the group developed novel, high-throughput methods for typing polymorphic immunoreceptor genes. In 2002 he received the ASHI Rose Payne distinguished scientist award. Trowsdale received the Ceppellini Award at the Annual Conference of EFI in Sofia 2004. He was the chair of BSHI in 1997 and he delivered the Festenstein Lecture at the BSHI meeting in Liverpool in 2012.
Professor of Human Transplant Immunology
Giovanna Lombardi is Professor of Human Transplant Immunology in the Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, MRC Centre for Transplantation, at King’s College London (KCL), UK. Before moving to KCL in 2005 she was a Reader in Cellular Immunology (from 2002) at Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London. She joined the Department of Immunology at the Hammersmith Hospital in 1987 from the University of Rome, Italy, as Senior Research Officer.
Her research has focused on the mechanisms of transplant rejection and tolerance as well as on the phenotype and function of regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells (Tregs) in health and disease, both in the murine system and in human. Recently her laboratory has examined manipulating this population of cells in vitro to use for immunotherapy in transplanted patients. A protocol to expand polyclonal Tregs for clinical use has been established. Two clinical trials with Tregs in renal transplant patients as part of a large EU cell therapy consortium (the One Study) and in liver transplant patients supported by the MRC (ThRIL) have just been completed. In parallel, her group has demonstrated that adoptive cell therapy using alloantigen-specific Tregs can offer an advantage compared to polyclonal Tregs for preventing chronic allograft rejection. A new GMP facility with a cell sorter to generate highly pure Tregs is under validation, opening the possibility of using alloantigen-specific Tregs for future clinical trials. Finally, her group has been investigating ways to increase the efficacy of Treg therapy by combining the adoptive transfer of Tregs with inhibiting components of the innate immune system or by co-injecting low dose IL-2. So far these approaches have appeared to synergise with Tregs in delaying transplant rejection. The results obtained will inform future Treg therapies in transplant patients.
Director of BPRC
Ronald Bontrop started studying the HLA system in 1983 in the Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Bank (Head Prof. dr Jon van Rood) Leiden, the Netherlands. His PhD thesis was published in 1987, and involved the biochemical, molecular and functional characterization of HLA class II antigens. In 1988, he moved to the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Rijswijk, the Netherlands and initiated studies on the characterization of MHC genes and molecules in various great ape and monkey species. He has expanded his research interests to other components of the Immune system such as the KIR, BTN and other gene families. He is scientifically intrigued by the co-evolution of immune system genes and pathogens. In 1998, he was appointed as the general and scientific director of the BPRC. Under his reign the institute was completely rebuilt and substantial improvements were made on numerous animal welfare issues. In 2010, he was recruited by the Utrecht University as a professor in Comparative Immunogenetics and Refinement. His team has published more than 250 papers in peer reviewed journals
Reader in Immunity and Inflammation
Dr Clatworthy read Medicine at Cardiff, completed her professional training in nephrology at Cambridge and undertook a PhD at the University of Cambridge, investigating the role of IgG and FcgRs in autoimmunity and infection. She was awarded the British Renal Association Raine Award and the Academy of Medical Sciences/Medical Research Society Young Investigator Award for this work. She subsequently completed a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship at Cambridge and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA.
Dr Clatworthy is a PI in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge. Her lab is based in the Molecular Immunity Unit, within the new MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Her research focuses on immune regulation, particularly of B cell and antibody effector function and the effect of tissue environment on immune responses. Her clinical interests are in renal transplantation, particularly using novel immunosuppressants to target humoral immunity. She has also written a number of educational textbooks, including Transplantation at a Glance (Wiley Blackwell 2013).