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KSL Diagnostics opens transplant immunology laboratory to serve WNY


Tue, Aug 1st 2023 05:40 pm

New lab provides exclusive testing for Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health transplant patient cases

KSL Diagnostics, developers of novel diagnostic and therapeutic applications for immunology and oncology, has opened a transplant immunology laboratory to serve the Western New York region. Now the provider for Erie County Medical Center and Kaleida Health, KSL will handle transplant testing for patient cases in the region. ConnectLife, WNY's only community blood bank and federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization, is also using KSL’s new transplant immunology laboratory, servicing Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

KSL President and CEO Kevin Lawson said, “There has been a trend for local laboratories to get gobbled up by megalabs in Western New York and across the country. It harms turn-around time, impacts patient care, and fosters brain-drain from our region in laboratory medicine. We set out to change the paradigm and built an accredited, state-of-the-art laboratory capable of stat testing to service the region we live and operate in. We are thrilled that ECMC and Kaleida were interested in keeping their laboratory services local and are proud to be supplying quality testing for transplant patients within our community.”

A press release stated, “The transplant immunology laboratory at KSL Diagnostics is a histocompatibility and immunogenetics testing laboratory equipped with the latest technology, and staffed by a team of experienced professionals dedicated to providing accurate and timely results.”

Providing HLA testing and consult services for both solid-organ transplant programs and transfusion medicine services (platelet refractoriness workups), available tests that are “integral to transplant patients” include:

√ Deceased donor evaluation

√ Living donor evaluation, preliminary or final

√ HLA antibody monitoring (pre-transplant)

√ Solid organ transplant candidate evaluation

√ HLA antibody monitoring (post-transplant)

The laboratory can also provide testing and consult services for primary and specialist care (disease association and drug sensitivity testing), and clinical trial and basic research.

“Every minute counts when it comes to each phase of the transplant process; having a lab dedicated to transplant immunology adds efficiency to the process. We believe that keeping these services for the community within the community is a win-win for all,” said Dr. Liise Kayler, program director, Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care, Erie County Medical Center.

ConnectLife CEO Kevin Gramlich added, “With roughly 120-150 kidney transplants a year occurring in WNY alone, along with many other transplant services, it is so important for patients to have a testing laboratory in their own backyard. We are grateful that KSL built this laboratory to make it easier to provide these services to patients in our community who are in need of a transplant.”

The press release noted, “The transplant immunology laboratory at KSL Diagnostics has been certified by the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) and has received final approval from UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit scientific and educational organization that administers the only organ procurement and transplantation network in the United States.”

The transplant immunology laboratory at KSL Diagnostics is managed by Dr. Thomas Shanahan and Carey Killion.

Shanahan, consulting director of transplant immunology and immunogenetics at KSL Diagnostics, received his doctorate in immunology from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He has directed transplant immunology and HLA (human leukocyte antigen) laboratories at the Erie County Medical Center, Strong Memorial Hospital, Buffalo General Hospital, Upstate New York Transplant Services, and Immco Diagnostics, and has held faculty appointments with the University at Buffalo and University of Rochester medical schools.

Killion, transplant immunology laboratory supervisor at KSL Diagnostics, has more than 15 years managing labs with transplant testing protocols, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Working with Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), a not-for-profit organization responsible for recovering organs, she joined the HLA labs where she matched patients for organ donations. Eventually, she took on a supervisory position at an HLA lab based in WNY. Killion is a UB graduate with a BS in clinical laboratory science and is currently the chair of the communications, engagement and marketing committee, for the ASHI and a non-doctoral member of the ASHI board of directors.

Lawson said, “Since KSL was founded, we have been preserving a great legacy of laboratory science innovation in Buffalo and vow to continue this mission. Similar to the integration of Beutner Laboratories and the Robert Guthrie Laboratory, pioneers in their fields, the transplant immunology laboratory at KSL Diagnostics will maintain standards of excellence and keep testing local. Retaining these essential services is crucial to the well-being of our community.”

For more information about the transplant immunology laboratory at KSL Diagnostics, go to https://www.ksldx.com/transplant-immunology-testing.

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