The molecular characterization of the HLA (Human Leucocyte Antigen) polymorphism in human populations represents a crucial step in several disciplines concerned by public health (histocompatibility/transplantation and epidemiology) and also constitutes a main research focus in human molecular evolution (molecular population genetics). While needing similar requirements at the different levels of their analysis (good quality of sampling, high resolution HLA typing, powerful biostatistic analyses adapted to complex HLA data, easy access to specific population databases and understandable computer tools), the investigators working in these different fields are currently limited in their interactions.
HLA-NET offers an innovative framework by which those scientists will put their expertise in laboratory work, clinical work, ethical issues, population genetics, biostatistics and/or computer science into contribution to elaborate consensual standards, define common procedures and share high quality data and tools. Highly significant scientific, technological and societal benefits are expected through the Action with immediate applications in donor-recipient matching, case-control studies and population genetics research. The network will expand and disseminate its results through an electronic platform starting with more than 15 laboratories throughout Europe. The workshops supported by this Action will permit essential transfers of knowledge and expertise at the European scale and will foster collaboration throughout Europe and beyond.
Keywords: HLA, histocompatibility/transplantation, epidemiology, population genetics, European network