Mission Statement

The Indian Immunohematology Initiative (III) aims to improve the safety of transfusion in India by teaching South Asian blood bankers, both physicians and technical workers, to detect and identify blood group antibodies and to diagnose and treat diseases caused by red blood cell antibodies.


The III is a program under the fiscal sponsorship of the Illinois Association of Blood Banks, a non-profit organization devoted to education is blood banking and transfusion medicine.  Our educational programs and other activities are conducted by volunteer faculty (see below).  The III is directed by Dr. Jim Perkins; the associate director is Ms. Susan Johnson (see Faculty below).  We have a memo of understanding with the Asian Association of Transfusion Medicine to produce two “wet workshops” on immunohematology a year in AATM member countries.

The Program

We have identified four ways in which we can promote the understanding and practice of immunohematology in India:

  • Conduct hands-on (“wet”) workshops on immunohematology,
  • Provide independent learning materials including cases studies, slide presentations, and instructional videos through this website
  • Provide support and consultation for implementation of improved immunohematologic testing at Indian blood centers and hospitals,
  • Provide and support immunohematology instruction at meetings and workshops on transfusion medicine,

Accomplishments to date

Wet Workshops

To date III faculty have conducted 10 wet workshops training over 200 blood bank physicians and technical staff at 7 different events including:

  • A three-day workshop on basic techniques at the November, 2006 Indian Society for Blood Transfusion and Immunohematology (ISBTI) meeting in Ahmedabad with 25 students,
  • Two, five-day, comprehensive workshops at the Jeevan Blood Center in Chennai, conducted in January 2007 and 2008, each with 12 students,
  • Two, two-day workshops, one basic and one advanced, at the November, 2007 ISBTI meeting in Bhopal with 12 students in each.
  • A two-day advanced workshop for staff of the Prathama Blood Center in Ahmedabad in November 2007.
  • A five-day comprehensive immunohematology workshop at the Rotary ttk Blood Bank, Bangalore in September, 2009
  • Two, two-day workshops, one on antibody identification (10 students) and one on reagent preparation (12 students) at the November, 2010 ISBTI meeting in Hyderabad.
  • A five-day comprehensive immunohematology workshop followed by a 0ne-day case studies seminar at the Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai in November, 2012.
  • Six 5 day workshops followed by a 0ne-day case studies seminars, 3 spring workshops in Delhi at the Lions blood bank, and 3 fall workshops in Bangalore at the Rotary ttk blood bank, each for 15 students, conducted in 2013, 2014 and 2015/16 (the 2015 Bangalore fall workshop was moved to January 2016).

Our current plan is to hand the teaching of these workshops over to our capable local colleagues, enabling the core III faculty to develop wet workshops in other South Asian locations.

Our website

The website you are viewing now includes instructional materials focused specifically on immunohematology including slide presentations, videos our organization has developed, and case studies. It also includes immunohematology procedures downloadable in Microsoft WORD so that they can be used to develop the an institution’s own immunohematology procedure manual. Our goal is to continue to develop this website to the point that a motivated individual can teach themselves much of immunohematology independently from this source.

Support and Consultation

We have worked with multiple blood centers and blood center leaders to develope their imunohematology processes and procedures. We offer consultation on individual patient cases to our past workshop students, and many of our past students have taken advantage of this option. We also provide immunohematology case studies with questions on this website.

Instruction at Meetings

In addition to the lectures given as part of the workshops, III faculty have delivered multiple lectures at five ISBTI meetings, three SAATM meetings and one AATM meeting (Kathmandu 2014), and independent immunohematology symposiums in Indore in 2005 and Delhi in 2008.

III Fellowships

Three Indian blood bankers have completed fellowships, each consisting of two weeks’ training in the laboratory at Evanston Hospital and two weeks at Blood Center of Wisconsin, and a fourth had an abbreviated and focused visit at the same institutions. Unfortunately, due to limitations in faculty time and increased regulation of observer participation in the US we only able to provide fellowship experiences on a very limited basis.

  • The first fellow, Lepakshi, then a technician at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, completed her fellowship in July 2008
  • Dr. Poonam Srivastava of ESI hospital, New Delhi, finished her’s in August, 2009.
  • The fellowship of Mr. Satish Kumar, Chief Technologist of the Blood Bank at Apollo Hospital, Hyderbad, included attendance at the 2009 AABB annual meeting supported in part by an AABB scholarship.
  • Dr. Ankit Mathur worked at Evanston Hospital and the Blood Center of Wisconsin in October 2012, with an emphasis on selection and freezing of antibody panel cells.


Watch Lepakshi talk about her fellowship and the III

Faculty Involved to Date

James Perkins, M.D. , III Director

  • Director, NorthShore University Health System Blood Banks, Evanston, Illinois
  • Medical Director, NorthShore School of Medical Technology
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Pritsker School of Medicine

Susan Johnson, MSTM, MT(ASCP)SBB, MS, III Associate Director

  • Vice President for Education, Blood Center of Wisconsin (BCW), Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Director, Specialist in Blood Bank Technology Program
  • Director, Transfusion Medicine Program, Marquette University

Martha Rae Combs, MT(ASCP)SBB

  • Technical Director of Immunohematology, Transfusion Service, Duke Medical Center

Janis Hamilton, MT(ASCP)SBB, MS

  • Manager, Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region

Marilynn Moulds, MT(ASCP)SBB

  • Vice President of Educational Services, ImmucorGamma, Retired

Graeme Woodfield, MB, ChB (NZ), PhD, FRCPE, FRCPA

  • Honorary Academic Transfusion Medicine Specialist, the University of Auckland


International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT)
  • The ISBT has provided for the six wet workshops performed in 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • Support included airfare and accommodations for Ms. Johnson, Ms. Hamilton, and Ms. Combs, as well as for miscellaneous teaching materials.

NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group:

  • The Director’s travel funds are entirely provided by the NorthShore University Health System Department of Pathology.
  • The medical group “Good Samaritan Fund” has donated $1000/year for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2015.

Immucor-Gamma Inc.:

  • Donation of equipment and many thousands of dollars worth of critical blood bank reagents

The Rotary Club of the Northshore-Wilmette (www.northshorerotary.info):

  • $6000; November 2006 fundraiser
  • $8,500; September 2008 fundaiser

Cardinal Health Care:

  • Donation of equipment and supplies

Bio-Rad India

  • Donation of equipment and critical blood bank reagents

Faculty time has been donated by each individual’s home institution. Host institutions provide space, support staff, materials, faculty housing and board, and logistic support.

Illinois Association of Blood Banks (ILABB)

The ILABB is dedicated to transfusion medicine education that as a non-profit (501(c)3) organization is the ‘fiscal sponsor’ of the III. Historically ILABB efforts have been focused only on education within the state of Illinois and surrounding states, but in adopting the III has become an organization of international scope.

Previously the Center for International Health of Milwaukee Wisconsin served as our fiscal sponsor, and we are grateful for their stewardship.  Without their help we would not exist. 

RECAP 2008 workshop in Chennai with Martha Rae Coombs and Dr. Jim Perkins

How You Can Help

The III is grateful for financial contributions.  These support travel by our faculty to meetings in India and travel of our students to the United States for extended training.  (Please note that the director’s travel is entirely funded by his employer, NorthShore Medical Group.)  Your contribution leverages the generous support of the other organizations listed on the “About the III” page.   Financial contributions can only be made by check at this time.  Please make checks out to “The Center for International Health” with “Indian Initiative” on the memo line and mail them to:  9501 Watertown Plank Road, P.O. Box 1997, Milwaukee, WI  53226.

In addition to financial contributions we welcome contributions of equipment, particularly serologic centrifuges, dry heat incubators, and cell washers.  If you have such items please contact us at the link below and we will arrange shipping.

Contact Us

Contact Info etc.