Matthias Niemann receiving the ASHI Scholar Award in Las Vegas. (Photo M. Niemann)

The American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) is an international society of professionals dedicated to advancing the science, education and application of immunogenetics and transplant immunology. Their vision is to improve the quality of human life and health through the translation and implementation of scientific innovations to clinical practice. This is where we share the same vision, because also the NephroCAGE consortium partners are working strongly on the translation of latest scientific innovations to clinical practice. Although the year 2022 was still affected by COVID-19 restrictions, the 2022 ASHI Annual Meeting brought together more than 900 participants from over 55 countries in Las Vegas, NV end of Oct 2022.

After being invited to share the NephroCAGE vision in the ASHI podcast, NephroCAGE congrats Matthias Niemann from NephroCAGE partner PIRCHE for being awarded with the ASHI Scholar Award on the 2022 Annual ASHI Meeting. In this joint publication he partners with our NephroCAGE partners from Charité as well as medical experts from the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland and the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands.

The submitted conference abstract is based on two recent publications in Frontiers of Immunology, where Niemann et al. showed that HLA protein surface varies between alleles, suggesting that uniform models for antibody epitope prediction may lack specificity. Clinical data suggests correlation between allele-specific solvent-accessible amino acid mismatches (Snowflake) and immunizer-specific HLA antibodies. The computational pipeline incorporates latest deep learning techniques, e.g. Alphafold 2, which is currently the most accurate protein folding predictor. Deciphering histocompatibility of transplanted patients is one key component of the NephroCAGE project, thus we were happy for the opportunity to discuss our results with a broader audience.


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