Dr. Sebastiaan Heidt

Associate Professor - Group leader

Brief summary of my research:

My main research interests are HLA epitope matching, the formation and detection of HLA-specific B cell memory, personalized medicine by definition of acceptable HLA mismatches and novel treatment options for sensitized patients. After finishing my study biomedical sciences I performed my PhD research in the laboratory of Prof. Frans Claas on the characterization of B cell responses in relation to organ transplantation. Hereafter, I worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the laboratory of Prof. Kathryn Wood in Oxford for 2 years, mainly focusing on immune monitoring in kidney transplant recipients. Afterwards, I returned to Leiden to work as a senior postdoctoral scientist on the detection of HLA-specific memory B cells and the role of B cells in transplant rejection. Currently I am working as an associate professor, heading the research team of the laboratory of Immunogenetics and Transplantation Immunology of the LUMC. Furthermore, I am Director of the Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory (ETRL), which is also situated in Leiden. The main tasks of the ETRL are external proficiency testing of Eurotransplant affiliated laboratories, as well as running the Eurotransplant Acceptable Mismatch program for highly sensitized patients.

I am section editor ‘HLA in solid organ transplantation’ of the HLA journal, and member of the scientific committee of both the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI), and the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). Furthermore, I am counselor of the International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIWS), and co-organiser of the 18th IHIWS, to be held in Amsterdam in 2022.


Current and previous positions:

2020-present       Director of the Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory

2017-present       Associate Professor, Dept. of Immunology, LUMC, the Netherlands

2014-2020           Managing Director of the Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory

2014-2017           Assistant Professor, Dept. of IHB, LUMC, the Netherlands

2011-2014           PostDoc, Dept. of IHB, LUMC, the Netherlands

2009-2011           PostDoc, Nuffield Dept. of Surgical Sciences, Oxford, UK



  • Site-directed mutagenesis of HLA molecules reveals the functional epitope of a human HLA-A1/A36-specific monoclonal antibody

    Meng T, Bezstarosti S, Singh U, Yap M, Scott L, Petrosyan N, Quiroz F, Van Eps N, Ka-Wai Hui E, Suh D, Zhu Q, Pei R, Kramer CSM, Claas FHJ, Lowe D, Heidt S

    HLA 2022, 101(2):138, PMID: 36401817

  • Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Regulatory T-cells in Solid Organ Transplantation

    Gille I, Claas FHJ, Haasnoot GW, Heemskerk MHM, Heidt S

    Front Immunol. 2022, 13:874157, PMID: 35720402

  • HLA-DQ-specific recombinant human monoclonal antibodies allow for in-depth analysis of HLA-DQ epitopes

    Bezstarosti S, Kramer CSM, Franke-van Dijk MEI, Vergunst M, Bakker KH, Uyar-Mercankaya M, Buchli R, Roelen DL, De Fijter JW, Claas FHJ, Heidt S

    Front Immunol 2021, 12:761893, PMID: 35069533

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