Genetics of HLA


Take a closer look at the genetics of HLA and how ancestry may affect a match.

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Target Audience

NMDP/Be The Match Network partners, nurses, laboratory technologists, and other healthcare professionals who work in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify basic components of DNA and define DNA sequences
  2. Name the main class I and class II HLA genes
  3. Contrast the structural differences between class I and class II HLA genes
  4. Distinguish between haplotypes and genotypes and their role in HLA matching
  5. Describe the polymorphic nature of HLA genes and how ancestry can play a role in HLA matching


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Immunogenetic Operations & Research spearheaded the creation of the HLA education series with the help of Case Management and NMDP Education and Training. The Immunogenetic Operations & Research department is responsible for understanding the scientific aspects of hematopoietic cell transplantation data, ensuring the timely acquisition and validation of these data for searching patients, and translating the evolving science into actionable policies, practices, and services.