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Michael Cecka, PhD

NKR Lab Director
  • Professor Emeritus, UCLA
  • Former Director, UCLA Immunogenetics Center

Michael Cecka, PhD, is the NKR Lab Director and Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Immunogenetics Center, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. He is certified by the American Board for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics and an HLA Laboratory Director and holds licenses in California, Hawaii and New York. He directs the Hawaii Cellular Therapy and Transplant Laboratory in Honolulu and the American Red Cross Southern California Region HLA Laboratory in Pomona.

Dr. Cecka received his PhD in Microbiology at UCLA and explored antigen presentation in the context of the structure and function of major histocompatibility molecules during postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology, University College London and the University of Basel. He joined the UCLA Tissue Typing Laboratory under Dr. Paul Terasaki in 1982 and began to work with the UCLA International Kidney Transplant Registry.

He was involved in the development of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and managed the UNOS Kidney Transplant Registry from 1989-2000. He served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for UNOS from 1987-2000 and several other UNOS committees since. He was among the architects of the change in assessment of sensitization for transplant candidates to a calculated PRA and the current US national kidney allocation system.

Dr. Cecka has authored more than 140 scientific articles, reviews and invited editorials and more than 100 book chapters. He published 19 editions of the book, Clinical Transplants, which summarized the development of transplantation worldwide.

Photo of Michael Cecka

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