Dr.Nezih Cereb and Dr. Soo Young Yang are the founders of Histogenetics, a laboratory which performs high resolution HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) typing. HLA is used to determine a tissue match between a patient and a healthy donor. For many suffering from a fatal blood disorder (like Leukemia, Thalassemia and other diseases) a bone marrow or a Blood Stem Cell transplant from an unrelated donor is the only chance to survive.
Histogenetics was working with some of the Indian hospitals to perform the HLA typing of such patients. Both of them were well aware of the shortage of HLA matched unrelated Indian donors and saw an urgent need of a donor registry in India. Raghu Rajagopal while working in the US had encountered a situation where a friend’s fiancée of Indian origin could not find a HLA match neither in the US registry nor in other international registries. So he assisted in conducting awareness campaigns amongst the Indian community to register them as potential blood stem cell donors. When he moved back to India he became aware of the fact that it was almost impossible to find an unrelated donor for patients of Indian origin.
The three of them came together and found a registry in India to meet the increasing demand for Blood Stem Cell donors. Histogenetics supported the installation and functioning of the registry. Histogenetics (India) Private Limited was generous in providing office space to DATRI at free of cost to run its project office in Chennai in the early days. They have also helped DATRI in designing the software required to run the operations of the registry and with its maintenance. Histogenetics waived the HLA typing fees for the first 10,000 donors who registered with DATRI. Other forms of invaluable support have been mentoring and providing advice in the development of a registry at par excellence.