Clinical scientists in histocompatibility and immunogenetics (H&I) are specialists in tissue typing, a critical role in haemopoietic stem cell and organ transplantation.
H&I clinical scientists are critically involved in the genetic matching of prospective organ and stem cell donors with patients, typing human leukocyte antigens (HLA) and assessing the closeness of the match. They have the main responsibility for advising clinicians on the most suitably matched donors.
They provide genetic tests for a range of immune-related genes and HLAs, are involved in the investigation of blood transfusion based reactions and may be involved in tests to determine genetic predisposition to diseases and platelet therapy.
H&I laboratories are also charged with the maintenance of a register of potential donors and recipients and their specific immunological characteristics to enable quick identification of a suitable recipient when a donation is received.