December 16, 2014  |  General

At ASHI 2014, SMRT Sequencing Meets HLA Typing with Great Results

Earlier this fall, we headed to Denver for ASHI, or the annual meeting of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Though we’d attended this conference in the past, this was our first year having an exhibit hall booth and workshop, both of which were enthusiastically received by the conference attendees. Even though it’s a fairly recent development for scientists to apply the PacBio® sequencing platform to analyze the HLA genes, which are often used in histocompatibility research studies, there were already many great examples and exciting data generated by users on the PacBio platform.
Our luncheon workshop on fully phased HLA and KIR typing was packed, and that was no doubt due to our top-tier speakers: Prof Steve Marsh, from the Anthony Nolan Research Institute and University College London; Nezih Cereb, CEO & Co-Founder of Histogenetics; and Martin Maiers, Director of Bioinformatics Research at the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. We were able to record video of their presentations, which you can check out below. You can also peruse some posters showcasing Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing for HLA and KIR analysis, as well as a webinar recorded at the meeting.

Workshop presentations
Steve Marsh spoke about the challenges of HLA typing in a clinical laboratory and his vision for a more holistic approach to HLA gene sequencing. He also called for submissions of only full-length, phased HLA sequences to the IMGT/HLA reference database.
Nezih Cereb’s talk focused on the addition of SMRT Sequencing to the research arsenal at Histogenetics; they were the first HLA typing lab in the world to acquire a PacBio instrument. In the presentation, he discussed their efforts to enhance the resolution and accuracy of HLA typing. Recording will be available soon.
Martin Maiers spoke about the use of KIR genomic content for clinical transplantation, as well as outcomes of HLA sequencing from a variety of methods. He also shared recent data from experiments with PacBio sequencing of fosmid libraries.
In an introduction to the workshop, PacBio’s Swati Ranade offered a primer on the use of SMRT Sequencing for full-length, phased, imputation-free HLA gene analysis with allele-level typing. She also spoke about the new PacBio chemistry, which provides longer reads to enhance HLA and KIR analysis.
In addition, we recorded the workshop Q&A.
Customer testimonial
Dr. Nezih Cereb, CEO & co-founder of HistoGenetics shares his reasons for adopting the PacBio DNA Sequencing platform into their operations, and elaborates on the PacBio RS II System’s unique ability to sequence full-length HLA genes and to provide fully phased HLA alleles.
Application of Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing Technology for the Field 4 Level Genotyping of Classical HLA Loci
Evaluation of Multiplexing Strategies for HLA Genotyping Using PacBio® Sequencing Technologies
View additional HLA resources at

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