Department of Surgery »  Faculty »  Dessislava Kopchaliiska, Ph.D.

Dessislava Kopchaliiska, Ph.D.

Assistant Adjunct Professor
Assistant Director, Immunogenetics and Transplantation Laboratory

Contact Information

Immunogenetics and Transplantation Lab
45 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
415 476 3883 - Phone
415 476 0379 - Fax
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  • University of Sofia, B.S. Biotechnology, 1993
  • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. Immunology, 1999
  • Johns Hopkins University, Immunogenetics, 2001 - 2006
  • Diplomate of the ABHI (American Board of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics)
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • HLA Antigens
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Transplantation Immunology

Dessislava Kopchaliiska, Ph.D., D (ABHI), is an Assistant Adjunct Professor specializing in immunogenetics and histocompatibility and Diplomate of the ABHI (American Board of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics).

Dr. Kopchaliiska graduated with a B.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria. She obtained her Ph.D. at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Immunogenetics and Transplantation Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kopchaliiska has been the recipient of several awards including the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Scholar Award and The Sofia University, Alumni Association, Professional Achievement Award.

She is also a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, American Association of Immunologists and the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association.

My research interests are focused on identification and characterization of HLA-specific B cells in transplant patients. I have developed an assay for the identification and quantification of HLA-specific B lymphocytes using HLA tetramers. Patients with known sensitization to HLA have significantly higher frequencies of B cells specific for the antigen(s) to which they were exposed compared to healthy, non-sensitized males. Additionally, after induction in vitro of the HLA-specific B cells with a combination of cytokines and polyclonal stimuli, they produce antibodies of the respective HLA specificity. My further studies will be focused on characterization of the different subpopulations of HLA-specific B cells and their role in transplant patients.

Sikorski P, Kopchaliiska D, Lucas DP, Leffell MS, Zachary AA. Characterization of an antibody specific for HLA-A36 and not reactive with HLA-A1, Hum Immunol. 72(1):87-90, 2011.

Zachary AA, Kopchaliiska D, Jackson AM, Leffell MS. Immunogenetics and immunology in transplantation, Immunol Res. 47(1-3):232-9, 2010.

Kopchaliiska D, Zachary AA, Montgomery RA, Leffell MS: Reconstitution of peripheral allospecific CD19+ B-cell subsets after B-lymphocyte depletion therapy in renal transplant patients. Transplantation, Vol. 87(9), 2009.

Zachary AA, Kopchaliiska D, Montgomery RA, Leffell MS: HLA-specific B cells: I. A method for their detection, quantification, and isolation using HLA tetramers, Transplantation, Vol. 83, 2007.

Zachary AA, Kopchaliiska D, Montgomery RA, Melancon JK, Leffell MS: HLA-specific B cells: II. Application to transplantation, Transplantation, Vol. 83, 2007.