14th IHIWS : Melbourne (2005)


The 14th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop was held in Melbourne, Australia from 29th November – 3rd December, 2005. The Chair James McCluskey, was supported by Co-Chairs Frank Christiansen, Brian Tait, John Hansen and Rhonda Holdsworth.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to understanding the genetics and outcomes of solid organ transplantation.  An outstanding cast of speakers discussed pre-transplant monitoring and antibody ablation protocols for highly sensitized transplant recipients.  There were presentations on workshop studies examining the role of antibodies in chronic rejection and new methods of matching using bioinformatic and other approaches.  The day concluded with a special tasting of Australian wines.

Concurrent with the session on solid organ transplantation there was an all day meeting with bone marrow transplant coordinators and a session on bone marrow registry researching and diversity.  Also concurrently there was a meeting of the hemopoietic stem cell transplantation group led by Effie Petersdorf, the microsatellite group led by Ann Cambon-Thompson, and a KIR educational workshop organised by Derek Middleton, Margaret Diviney and Campbell Witt.

A meeting of the Asia Pacific network type 1 diabetes consortium and a session on the immunogenetics of aging also took place during the Workshop.  A series of concurrent workshop sessions covered a broad range of topics including sequence based typing, the structural basis of HLA compatibility, HLA in cancer, MHC and infection, anthropology, the HLA dictionary, KIR genomics, reproductive immunology, the genetics of type 1 diabetes, DLA,  and the basis of chronic rejection.

The HLA nomenclature committee and the minor antigen nomenclature committee also met linked to a meeting of the minor antigen workshop component led by Els Goulmy.

A plenary symposium featured Stephan Beck, Henry Erlich and John Trowsdale discussing anthropology and genomics of the major histocompatibility complex and other gene regions. Intense concurrent workshop sessions covered a broad range of topics including anthropology,  MHC and infection, HLA dictionary, highly sensitised patients, and other topics.

Each day featured an industry sponsored lunchtime talk for those wishing to obtain more start-of-the-art information on technical advances in genetics and histocompatibility testing.  These were sponsored by One Lambda, Dynal, Affymetrix and BCS/Tepnal Sciences.

The Workshop was held as a conjoint meeting with the Australian Society of Immunology

4th Dec – 7th Dec, 2005 and many delegates combined the Workshop with this conference.

The proceedings of the 14th IHIWS were published as peer reviewed contributions in a special edition of Tissue Antigens (now HLA). Abstracts for the meeting were also published as a special issue in Tissue Antigens entitled  “Genetics and The Immune Response” and were available to all delegates at the time of the meeting;


Genetics and The Immune Response, Abstracts of the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society for Immunology and 14th International HLA & Immunogenetics Workshop (pages 343–604). Tissue Antigens (2005) 66 (5) 343-622



—James McCluskey

The University of Melbourne
and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Victorian Transplantation and Immunogenetics Service