The Bone Marrow Registry in Nigeria, with help from the National Marrow
Donor Program, is organizing a pilot HLA population frequency analysis in
sub-regions of Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. This is a feasibility study for a
subsequent HLA population analysis on a larger scale.
The pilot study will take HLA samples from bone marrow donors and correlate
their genetic information with geography and ancestry informative markers
to create an "HLA map" of a certain region and/or ethnic group.
Most major donor registries use search algorithms that rely HLA population
data; and that data is largely missing for Africa. This pilot data will
begin to gather than missing information, and hopefully secure funding to
do more donor drives and gather more data.
So far we have identified three potential collection sites in Nigeria, and
are researching two more: one in Ghana, the other in Kenya. Ideally, the
site will be based at an academic medical institution with has a focus on
hematology, sickle cell or cancer care.
We are seeking around 50 participants for each site. In addition to joining
the bone marrow registry, we will ask permission from the donors to use
their ancestry information to help analyze the HLA frequencies in the
If you are located in either Kenya and Ghana, and are interested in being
part of this project, please send me an email at with
your CV. You will be asked to help identify potential collection
sites, organize participants, obtain informed consent, etc.