Professor of Transplant Immunology
- Director of Clinical Transplant Immunology, Oxford Transplant Centre
- Scientific Advisor, Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant
I am Professor of Transplant Immunology within the University of Oxford and Director of Clinical Transplant Immunology at the Oxford Transplant Centre where I am responsible for the Transplant Immunology and Immunogenetics for the clinical transplant programmes within the Oxford University Hospitals. I am also the Scientific Advisor to Organ Donation and Transplantation within NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), and a member of a number of national organ advisory groups.
I was awarded a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1982 for my work on immunogenetics of the Human Leucocyte Antigens (HLA) system, after graduating with BSc and MSc degrees in Biochemistry and Medical Biochemistry, respectively, from the University of Manchester.
I have conducted research in histocompatibility and transplantation for many years exploring the nature of polymorphism with the HLA system and potential biomarkers to predict transplant outcome. Currently I am interested in the application of histocompatibility and immunogenetics in clinical transplantation. HLA matching between transplant donor and recipient has been shown to improve outcome of kidney transplantation and antibodies to foreign HLA present a barrier and decrease a patient’s access to transplantation.
Recently I was a principal investigator in a collaborative project funded by the European Commission. The project, termed ‘EUROSTAM’ aimed to determine the feasibility and advantages of developing a Europe-wide Strategy to enhance Transplantation of highly sensitised patients on the basis of Acceptable HLA Mismatches. Using population genetics and innovative approaches, the project successfully demonstrated mechanisms to enhance transplantation of patients with little chance of a kidney transplant within the donor population in their own country.
Through my work within NHSBT, I have a major interest in organ allocation algorithms and chaired the Kidney Advisory Group Allocation Task Force. The evidence from statistical analyses of factors influencing kidney transplant outcome and simulation work performed within the group culminated in the UK National Kidney Allocation Scheme which is currently the mechanism for allocation of deceased donor kidneys throughout the UK.
I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and undertake a number of professional activities. I was recently the Chair of the British Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics and have served terms as a Councillor of the British Transplantation Society. Within the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, I chair the Visibility of Women Working Group.