This year, 2019, marks a momentous milestone in clinical medicine. It was 50 years ago when the landmark studies of Dr. Ramon Patel and Dr. Paul I. Terasaki – “Significance of the Positive Crossmatch Test in Kidney Transplantation”, NEJM, 1969, were published. This transformative article led to substantial improvements in outcomes for solid organ transplant recipients and launched an entirely new discipline within clinical laboratory medicine.
The Paul I. Terasaki Antibody Symposium is designed to provide attendees with an overview of Dr. Terasaki’s many contributions to transplantation spanning more than 50 years of research and considerable potential future directions in overcoming chronic allograft rejection. Beginning with a historic perspective on transplantation and progressing through the immunobiology of HLA antibodies and their role as both prognostic and diagnostic tools in clinical transplantation, this symposium will highlight Dr. Terasaki’ s unrelenting dedication to provide evidence in support of his “Humoral Theory of Transplantation“. Dr. Terasaki’s discoveries and inventions provided the foundation for the emergence of clinical histocompatibility testing and gave us a better understanding of the role of HLA antibodies in transplantation. Furthermore, they provided a basis for the development of approaches to remove HLA antibodies pre-transplant as well as protocols to treat antibody-mediated graft rejection. Complementing this work was Dr. Terasaki’s visionary leadership in driving the field of HLA Immunogenetics, which today is revolutionizing our understanding of the immunogenicity of HLA driving allorecognition. This unique symposium gathers leaders from across the fields of histocompatibility, immunology and clinical transplantation to honor Dr. Terasaki life’s work and to provide a forum to consider future directions in this ever-evolving field.