Sherwood, Karen

Sherwood, Karen


Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC | Director of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, VCH | Scientific Program Manager, Genome Canada Transplant Consortium

Affiliation(s): Vancouver General Hospital

Research and Scholarly Interests: Immunogenetics, Transplantation, Precision Medicine, Histocompatibility, Donor specific antibodies, Immune monitoring, Next generation sequencing, Access to transplantation, Outcomes evaluation

Short Bio

Dr. Karen Sherwood is the Director of the British Columbian Provincial Transplant Immunology Laboratory at Vancouver General Hospital, Canada; Clinical Assistant Professor at the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in University of British Columbia; Co-PI and the Scientific Lead for the Genome Canada Transplant Consortium program; and the Cluster Director for the Precision Medicine in Transplantation Research Excellence Cluster at UBC.

Dr. Sherwood’s research focuses on human immunogenetics and immune related diseases. She has published in the application of genomic and related technologies to drive the field of precision medicine in immune sciences from conception to implementation. She has led national programs in histocompatibility and immunogenetics, which have changed the way care is provided for transplant patients across Canada.

She set up and co-leads the Canadian first of-its-kind transplant biorepository certified by the Canadian Tissue Repository Network, and coordinated with the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation to engage donors to sponsor the first iteration of the BC Immune Biobank. The BC Immune Biobank is currently one of the largest clinical tissue banks for transplant and immune tissues available in Canada.



Academic Background

  • PhD, Virology and Genetics, University of Edinburgh. 2008
  • BSc (Hons), Biotechnology and Genetics, University of Edinburgh. 2004

Professional Qualifications

  • F(ACHI), Certified Fellow, American College of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, 2021
  • CHS (ACHI), Certified Histocompatibility Specialist, American College of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, 2020

Awards and Recognition

    • The Hip Society’s 2024 John Charnley Award. 2024
      American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons for “The Impact of HLA Genotype on Bacterial Infection Rates and Successful Eradication in Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Pilot Study”.
    • VGH Team Mini Grant  2022
      Grant for fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • John F. McCreary Prize for Interprofessional Teamwork 2022
      Team member of the 2021 Award recipient Genome Canada
      Transplant Consortium: CanPREV Precision Medicine for Renal Transplantation
    • ASHI Scholar Award 2020
    • Frank Stinchfield Award winner 2017
    • VCHRI Innovation and Translational Research Award 2014
    • MITACS award winner 2011
    • Edinburgh University Post-graduate scholarship 2004


    Dr. Karen Sherwood PUBMED


Research Interest

  • Immunogenetics
  • Transplantation
  • Precision Medicine
  • Histocompatibility 
  • Donor specific antibodies
  • Immune monitoring
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Access to transplantation 
  • Outcomes evaluation 

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest


  • UBC Path 711 2014–present
  • UBC Path 700 2016-present
  • UBC MEDI 502 2017-2021
  • UBC Path 438 2024-present
  • UBC Path 408 2017
  • BC Institute of Technology Instructor for specialist clinical training 2016-2022


  • Visiting lecturer with 20+ invited specific lectures nationally and internationally 2013–present
  • Immunology lecture series for St Paul’s Hospital Transplant cardiology group 2016, 2018, 2022
  • Immunology continuing education provided as in-service training to transplant nurses and staff annually 2018–present

Educational committees

  • Member of ASHI International committee 2024–present
  • Member of ASHI Proficiency committee 2021–present
  • Member of Canadian National HLA Advisory Professional Education Committee 2019–present
  • Member of Canadian National HLA Advisory Committee 2015–present

Other educational activities

  • Immunology continuing education provided to BC Transplant Society annually 2018–present (excl. 2020, 2021)
  • Clinical liaison for clinical rounds at VGH 2016–present
  • American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics HLA Journal club 2015–present
  • Canadian Blood Services and National HLA Journal club 2015–present