J Michael Cecka, PhD is Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Immunogenetics Center, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles. He directs the Hawaii Cellular Therapy and Transplant Laboratory in Honolulu and the American Red Cross Southern California Region HLA Laboratory in Pomona. He currently serves as histocompatibility director for the National Kidney Registry, facilitating access to transplantation for sensitized patients through kidney paired donation.
Dr Cecka received his PhD in Microbiology under Dr Eli Sercarz 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 Registry from 1989-2000. He served on the Scientific Advisory Committee for UNOS from 1987-2000 and several other committees since. He was among the architects of the change in assessment of sensitization among transplant candidates to a calculated PRA and the current US national kidney allocation system. Dr Cecka has published more than 130 scientific articles, reviews and invited editorials and more than 100 book chapters. He published 21 editions of the book, Clinical Transplants, which summarized the development of transplantation worldwide.