Massimo Mangiola, PhD, D(ABHI)
Assistant Professor of Pathology

Dr. Mangiola is the Assistant Director of the Histocompatibility Laboratory that provides service to the solid organ and bone marrow transplant program at UPMC Hospitals, VA Hospital and Children's Hospital of UPMC. He provides consultation regarding the sensitization status of potential transplant candidates, the patient's compatibility with potential donors and the patient's post-transplant allo-sensitization status. Dr. Mangiola is also engaged in teaching activities to graduate students, nursing staff, fellows and clinicians. He is the current Director of the Pathology Resident Histocompatibility Rotation Program and coordinates other fellow/clinician rotations through our Histocompatibility laboratory. Dr. Mangiola has also administrative duties within the Histocompatibility laboratory and serves on several professional society committees, including the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI). In addition to his clinical service, Dr. Mangiola is engaged in several research projects in collaboration with other investigators studying the role of HLA epitopes in transplantation and immune monitoring post-transplantation.

Office Location:
3477 Euler Way
Room 4032
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-647-0462 Fax: 412-647-6151 Email:


  • BA - The University of Messina, Italy - Natural Sciences, 1998
  • MS - The University of Messina, Italy - Biology - 1999
  • PhD - The University of Genoa, Italy - Clinical and Experimental Immunology - 2005

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Mangiola has several years of experience in Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. As Assistant Director of the Histocompatibility Laboratory, he employs his clinical expertise by providing compatibility consultations for all solid organ and bone marrow transplants. Dr. Mangiola has extensive experience in characterization of both the genetic compatibility (HLA antigenic and allelic match) between patient and donor and the patient's humoral sensitization (identification of HLA alloantibodies), and this expertise is utilized in the assessment of transplant compatibility and the role that donor-specific HLA antibodies have in rejection of both solid organ and bone marrow grafts. Dr. Mangiola has a strong clinical background in immunogenetics and immune monitoring pre- and post-transplant, including treatment strategies for the reduction of HLA antibodies (desensitization).

Research Interests

  • Role of HLA Epitopes in Solid Organ and Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Role of HLA Alloantibodies in Rejection of Solid Organs

The goal of my research is to understand the mechanisms of generation of HLA donor-specific antibodies (DSA) and the mechanisms driving antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). Identification of long-term graft loss risk factors is essential for individualized precision medicine. Patients awaiting transplant are frequently transplanted with donors highly mismatched for HLA and often against DSAs. It is universally accepted that both have a negative impact on long-term survival. The classical HLA genes translate for thousands of different HLA proteins. While these molecules share a great deal of conserved region (similarities), they possess also many polymorphic regions (dissimilarities). Therefore, for any given patient and donor pair, the number of HLA amino-acid differences that the patient will be exposed to after transplant may vary significantly. Polymorphic regions capable of eliciting an immune response, including the production of antibody, are known as epitopes or eplets. Although in organ transplantation there is evidence that some epitopes are more antigenic than others, the effect of the epitope load differences between patient and donor must be studied in more detail. Epitope mismatch load may be an important tool to stratify patient-donor pairs based on the individual risk of a patient to develop DSAs, AMR or ACR (acute cellular rejection). My research focuses on a multi-variate analysis of the epitope load mismatch against several clinical and pathological post-transplant data. The differences in epitope mismatch load between transplant pairs may have strong significance as a risk stratification tool and may help create the basis for individualized treatment and surveillance of post-transplant patients.


  • Diplomate of the American Board of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics - D(ABHI)
  • Histocompatibility Laboratory Director from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

Awards and Honors

The Starzl Transplant Institute 2016 Brian N. Seidel Award for Excellence in Research

Selected Publications

View Dr. Mangiola's publications on PubMed

  • Mangiola M, Marrari M, Feingold B, Zeevi A. Significance of Anti-HLA Antibodies on Adult and Pediatric Heart Allograft Outcomes. Front Immunol. 2017 Jan 27;8:4. PMCID: PMC5269448.
  • Ensor CR, Yousem SA, Marrari M, Morrell MR, Mangiola M, Pilewski JM, D'Cunha J, Wisniewski SR, Venkataramanan R, Zeevi A, McDyer JF. Proteasome Inhibitor Carfilzomib-Based Therapy for Antibody-Mediated Rejection of the Pulmonary Allograft: Use and Short-Term Findings. Am J Transplant. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1111/ajt.14222. PMID: 28173620.
  • Lefaucheur C, Viglietti D, Mangiola M, Loupy A, Zeevi A. From Humoral Theory to Performant Risk Stratification in Kidney Transplantation. J Immunol Res. 2017. PMCID: PMC5241462.