It was perhaps presaged by the work of Peter Gorer, who both trained at Guy's and spent most of his working life there from 1940. Peter Gorer was the first person to describe transplantation antigens and formulate an immunological theory of transplantation. He has been described as 'the father of histocompatibility antigens'.
The Tissue Typing Laboratory was established by Professor Richard Batchelor and stemmed from his pioneering work in the characterisation of HLA antisera.
The first renal transplantation in the South Thames region was performed at Guy's Hospital in May 1967. HLA typing is now based on the detection of variation in the genes that encode HLA antigens and HLA antibodies are detected using flow cytometry and capture assays using purified antigen.
The laboratory takes part in national and international quality control exercises to be assured of the highest possible standard. It has been fully accredited by the CPA (UK) Ltd since 1997 and the European Federation of Immunogenetics since 2008 and is approved as a teaching laboratory for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics by the Royal College of Pathologists.
The laboratory provides a comprehensive service in support of transplantation to all the South Thames area adult renal units, all the London area paediatric renal units and the Liver Unit at KCH. It is the busiest renal transplantation labortatory in the UK and has a particular interest in supporting HLA and ABO antibody removal. In addition we support the Clinical Haematology stem cell transplantation service with HLA typing, chimerism analysis and donor searches.