HLA/Immunogenetics Laboratory

Female lab tech completing tests. The HLA/Immunogenetics Laboratory at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provides critical testing services for:

  • Patients awaiting kidney, pancreas, and heart transplantation
  • Patients requiring HLA-compatible platelet transfusions and/or bone marrow transplantation
  • Patients with conditions or diseases associated with certain HLA antigens
  • APOL1 testing for patients and potential donors. Visit the APOL1 Gene Testing Services site for more information or to order tests.

Beginnings of the HLA Lab

Our laboratory began in 1969 when Eugene Heise, PhD, established one of the first clinical histocompatibility (HLA) laboratories. In 1970, Jesse Meredith, MD, performed the Medical Center's first transplant, an adult HLA-identical brother-to-brother living donor kidney transplant. Since then, our transplant program has attracted many patients, as well as nationally recognized faculty.

HLA Lab Partners

Kidney Transplant Candidates and Dialysis Centers

Female lab tech in front of a computer.Each calendar month, we strongly encourage you to submit for each and every patient on the active (status 1) kidney waiting list one red top blood tube in order for our laboratory to perform PRA testing, also known as a monthly serum screen. This is to ensure that we have adequate and up to date serum on file in case a donor does become available so that each patient may be fairly considered.

As always, if you ever have any questions please feel free to call our lab to clarify any issues regarding shipping, paperwork, packaging, etc. It is our goal to receive 100% of patient samples accurately and on-time every month.

If you ever need any type of supplies, please contact our laboratory. We will send out everything you need from packaging materials to Fed Ex supplies.

We strongly recommend submitting samples via our prepaid (i.e. free to you) FedEx Express Saver Service. Also, keep in mind that if we receive samples that are improperly packaged or older than 7 days, we may be forced to reject the samples at which time they will need to be redrawn and resubmitted. This type of delay may inhibit a patients opportunity (if it should so arise) to receive a donor kidney. It has been our experience that services such as the U.S. Postal Service are highly unpredictable in terms of delivery times, so that we ask that you only send samples using a dependable express shipper such as FedEx, DHL or UPS.

If you request them, we will send you FedEx Express Saver air bills with which to return your samples charged to our laboratory in order to insure timely delivery.

Shipping Resources




  • For clot tubes, tube mailers, shipping materials and preprinted Fed Ex air bills contact Path-Tec at 1-706-569-6368. You can setup an online account where supplies can be ordered as needed.

Shipping Hazardous Materials

Federal Regulations (49 CFR 172.704) require that all shippers must be trained and certified prior to doing any of the following jobs:

  • Preparing shipping documentation
  • Loading trucks
  • Marking and labeling packages
  • Filling packages
  • Accepting packages for shipment and/or supervising these activities

The International Air Transport Association requires training every 2 years for shipments by air. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires training every 3 years. If you have not been trained or your training has expired, please contact your local human resources department.

Fines and penalties may be imposed against universities, companies, and individuals who fail to comply with the applicable rules including proper classification, identification, packaging, marking, labeling, documentation and training.

Failure to comply with federal and international regulations can result in refusal of the shipment by the airline, penalties of fines, jail or both. Hand carrying of infectious substances by air is strictly prohibited by law.