The EFI Information Page

Brief History

The European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI) (previously known as The European Foundation for Immunogenetics) was formally founded in March 1985, and is registered in the Register of Associations in the Tribunal d'Instance de Strasbourg. The administrative address of the FEDERATION is at 10 Rue Spielmann, 67065 Strasbourg cedex, France.

The roots of the FEDERATION can be traced back to the late 1970's and stem directly from the work of the Committee of Experts in Histocompatibility set up under the auspices of the Council of Europe. In 1981 the Members of the Committee decided that time had come to establish a formal organisation for immunogeneticists and tissue typers.

One of the main aims of the FEDERATION was the organisation of biennial meetings. The Council of Europe offered its headquarters as a venue and the first meeting took place in 1983 in the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg. Since 1990 EFI has organised meetings annually, the most recent meeting of which took place in Oslo, Norway in June 2006. The next meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2007.

Aims of EFI

The aims of EFI are summed up in the Constitution. They are;

  • To advance the development of Immunogenetics in Europe as a discipline of medicine and support research and training.
  • To provide a forum for exchange of scientific information and to reinforce the skills and knowledge of young scientists and others working in the field.
  • To create a formal organisation of workers in the field of immunogenetics, histocompatibility testing and transplantation.
  • To elaborate recommendations for standardisation of techniques, quality control and criteria for accreditation and to support their implementations.
  • To promote the organisation and use of immunogenetic data bases.
  • To develop relations with similar organisations.

Activities of EFI

In order to achieve the aims of EFI, a number of Committees have been set up to co-ordinate the work and monitor progress in the different areas of activities:

  • The Standards and Quality Assurance Committee is in charge of yearly revisions and updating of the EFI Standards for Histocompatibility Testing. The Standards are based on those developed by the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) and amended to reflect the practices in European histocompatibility laboratories.
  • The Accreditation Committee is in charge of organising and implementing the EFI Accreditation of histocompatibility laboratories. The accreditation process is organised regionally and arranged by and regional Commissioners trained centrally. The process of accreditation of laboratories is coordinated from the Accreditation Office established in Leiden.
  • The External Proficiency Testing Committee collects information on external quality assessment schemes operational in various European countries or regions and ensures their homogeneity and comparability. The Committee presents proposals concerning the organisation of External Quality Assessment schemes and proficiency testing surveys and provides help in setting up new national and regional quality assessment schemes by giving advice on organisational matters.
  • The Education Committee is in charge of education in the field of histocompatibility and immunogenetics. The committee provides help in organising exchange between laboratory co-workers for educational purposes and has bursaries available for this purpose.
  • The Scientific Committee is in charge of of the scientific program of the annual EFI meeting.
  • The EFI Web Committee is responsible for all EFI online activities including the EFI website.

EFI is actively encouraging close collaboration between laboratories. In particular, co-operation between the West and East European laboratories is high on the EFI agenda. EFI has established close collaboration with a number of national and regional histocompatibility organisations both in Europe and in America.

Past Presidents

  • JJ van Rood (1985-8)
  • BA Bradley (1988-90)
  • E Albert (1990-2)
  • J Hors (1992-4)
  • MM Tongio (1994-6)
  • JG Bodmer (1996-8)
  • F Claas (1998-2000)
  • ES Curtoni (2000-2)
  • E Thorsby (2002-4)
  • F Garrido (2004-6)

Annual Meetings

The annual EFI Conferences are held in early spring. The venue initially alternated between Strasbourg and other European cities. In 1996, exceptionally, the Conference was combined with the 12th International Histocompatibility Workshop and Conference (IHWC) in Paris.

  • 1983  1st - Strasbourg
  • 1988  3rd - Strasbourg
  • 1990  4th - Strasbourg
  • 1991  5th - Leiden/Noordwijkerhout
  • 1992  6th - Strasbourg
  • 1993  7th - Stresa
  • 1994  8th - Strasbourg
  • 1995  9th - Brighton
  • 1996 10th - Paris
  • 1997 11th - Budapest
  • 1998 12th - Strasbourg
  • 1999 13th - Crete
  • 2000 14th - Montpellier
  • 2001 15th - Granada
  • 2002 16th - Strasbourg
  • 2003 17th - Baden-Baden
  • 2004 18th - Sofia
  • 2005 19th - Istanbul
  • 2006 20th - Oslo
  • 2007 21st - Barcelona

The Ceppellini Lecture

Each year at the annual EFI meeting a scientist who has made a substantial contribution to the field of Immunogenetics is honoured by the society and invited to present their work in the form of the Ceppellini lecture. The lecture is named in honour of Ruggero Ceppellini (1917-1988) an Italian geneticist who was greatly influential in the HLA field. He was the organiser of the Third International Histocompatibility Workshop held in Torino, Italy in June 1967.

A list of all the recipients of this award is given below.

  • 1988 - Jon J. van Rood
  • 1990 - Walter F. Bodmer
  • 1991 - Jack Strominger
  • 1992 - Fritz Bach
  • 1993 - Alberto Piazza
  • 1994 - Andrew McMichael
  • 1995 - Hugh McDevitt
  • 1996 - Hidde Ploegh
  • 1997 - Eva Klein
  • 1998 - Paul Terasaki
  • 1999 - Peter Morris
  • 2000 - Julia G. Bodmer
  • 2001 - Dominique Charron
  • 2002 - Marie-Marthe Tongio
  • 2003 - Peter Parham
  • 2004 - John Trowsdale
  • 2005 - Mary Carrington
  • 2006 - Rolf Zinkernagel
  • 2007 - Klas Karre
ImagePhoto courtesy WF Bodmer

The Julia Bodmer Young Scientist Award

As a tribute to the late EFI president Julia Bodmer, who encouraged many young researchers in the field of Immunogenetics, an award was established to recognize the work of a young scientist. The award is associated with an oral presentation in a plenary session at the annual EFI meeting.

A list of all the recipients of this award is given below.

  • 2002 - Benedicte Lie
  • 2003 - Maria Pascual
  • 2004 - Marlies Dankers
  • 2005 - Peter Horn
  • 2006 - James Traherne
  • 2007 - Blanca Rueda
ImagePhoto courtesy SGE Marsh

The EFI Medal

The EFI Executive Committee award the EFI Medal to recognize distinguished EFI Members and HLA laboratory directors on their retirement. A list of all the recipients of this award is given below.

  • 2005 - GB Ferrara
  • 2005 - Zafirys Polymenidis
  • 2006 - Aad van Leeuwen
  • 2006 - Ieke Schreuder
  • 2006 - Renee Fauchet
  • 2007 - Antonio Nunez-Roldan
  • 2007 - Ella van den Berg-Loonen
EFI Medal

Membership of EFI

Membership of EFI is open to all workers in the field of Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility. New Members need to be proposed and seconded by two other EFI Members.

In May 2007 there were 885 Members in 59 countries. There are also EFI Members in a number of countries outside Europe. The annual membership fee is presently 30 Euro. Members receive the quarterly EFI Newsletter free of charge. EFI Members are eligible for a reduced registration fee at the annual European Histocompatibility Conference and can apply for bursaries to attend these conferences. It is also possible to apply for educational bursaries to visit other laboratories. EFI Members are entitled to participate and vote at the Annual General Assembly, where important decisions are made.

EFI Publications

A quarterly EFI Newsletter informs Members of the progress of the work of the various Committees. The EFI Newsletter publishes contributions and letters from Members, their views and news, as well as reports of meetings and other articles of interest to tissue typers. A team of regional editors informs the readership of news and developments in different regions or countries.

The EFI Standards and Quality Assurance Committee has published EFI Standards for Histocompatibility Testing. The Standards provide a basis for the EFI accreditation process and are regularly reviewed and updated before being presented to the membership for approval.


© The European Federation for Immunogenetics
Page Created 10 July, 2002, Last Modified 12 November, 2007