About the IPD-IMGT/HLA Database

The IPD-IMGT/HLA Database currently contains 15,197 allele sequences . In addition to the physical sequences, the database contains detailed information concerning the material from which the sequences were derived, as well as data on the validation of the sequences. It is now standard procedure for authors to submit the sequences directly to the IPD-IMGT/HLA Database for curation and assignment of an official name prior to publication - this avoids the problems associated with renaming published sequences and the confusion of multiple names for the same sequence. The need for reasonably rapid publication of new HLA allele sequences has necessitated an annual meeting of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. We also publish monthly HLA Nomenclature Updates, both in journals and online, to provide quick and easy access to new sequence information.

In collaboration with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF, now Cancer Research UK) and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), we have developed an Oracle® database to hold the HLA sequences in a way that allows users to present complex queries to the database about the sequence and its features, associated references, contacts and allele designations via a graphical user interface online. The initial development of this database was funded by collaborative European Union BIOMED1 (BIOCT930038) and BIOTECH2 (BIO4CT960037) grants awarded to the ICRF as part of the International ImMunoGeneTics (IMGT) databases. The work on the HLA database was done in collaboration with Julia Bodmer (of the ICRF), James Robinson (previously of the ICRF, now at ANRI) and Peter Parham of Stanford University.

The graph below indicates the numbers of alleles named and held in the IPD-IMGT/HLA Database since 1987 up to the end of June 2016.

(A higher resolution version is available here)

Collaborators and Development Team

The IPD-IMGT/HLA Database is currently maintained by the following:

Anthony Nolan Research Institute

  • Steven GE Marsh, BSc PhD ARCS
  • James Robinson, BSc MSc
  • Anup R Soormally, BSc MSc
  • Dominic J Barker, BSc MSc

Other collaborators include:

The original design and development of the database was undertaken with Julia G. Bodmer, MA DSc Hon MRCP of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.