The Immunochemistry Laboratory,which is part of the Lindsey F. Kimball Research Institute, performs research that is focused on the clinical practice of transfusion medicine. The aim of our research is to identify clinically-relevant blood group alleles, and in locating antigen-negative blood for transfusion recipients.
The focus of research in the Laboratory of Immunochemistry is human blood group antigens with the aims of precisely matching donor units to transfusion recipients. We are also studying blood group genes as they relate to population genetics, and mechanisms that change the character of blood group antigen expression.
The knowledge of the molecular bases associated with many blood group antigens and phenotypes makes it possible to predict the blood type of people using DNA. The technology has tremendous clinical potential in such cases as the detection of a fetus at risk for hemolytic disease of the newborn and determination of the true blood type of a multiply transfused patient. We have developed practical approaches to perform DNA analysis for blood group polymorphisms using DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes, aminocytes, epithelial cells, and urine sediment. We are leaders in the field of DNA testing and our research translates to the practical use of our laboratory developed tests in the field of Immunohematology.
To determine frequency and diversity of RH alleles in African Americans, we are sequencing and studying the RHD and RHCE genes from African American donors and patients with Sickle Cell Disease. The data generated will be used to design microarrays to identify rare blood donors and precisely match them to alloimmunized patients.