ASHI Past President, Charley Orosz, was gifted with talents which suited his many activities and roles: first-rate Immunologist, Laboratory Director, Professor, editor, gifted writer, and occasional artist. But of all the hats that Charley wore, the one that fit him best was that of a teacher.
Charley's teaching skills came naturally. He consistently challenged his audience to keep preconceptions at bay, while trying to make sense of empirical data from new, and sometimes unconventional, perspectives.
Charley was a visionary, not only able to see the big picture, but to sometimes contribute new brushwork to the canvas.
He saw interconnections easily and was well positioned to bring together experts in various fields to consider what light they might shed on a shared problem. Take transplantation as an example: Charley might ask, "What part does wound repair, and tissue remodeling play in transplant outcomes?"
Yes, Charley was a superb teacher. Consequently, he quickly grasped the vision and endorsed the value of developing a standardized training and education program in the area of histocompatibility and immunogenetics. As ASHI's President, he became an active and vocal supporter for exploring this idea.
Charley knew that this effort served a very practical need. He also recognized it as a wonderful opportunity with which to empower and engage a cadre of experts: histocompatibility technologists actively engaged in the business of bench-top testing. Charely's encouragement helped the first seeds of this effort to germinate.
It is, therefore, our great privilege and pleasure to dedicate ASHI University to Charley Orosz. Like many of Charley's intitiatives, we hope to see ASHI University teach those interested in our craft around the globe, and to grow into a useful and informative tool.
ASHI University was conceived in the vision of Charley Orosz and has come to fruition under the guidance of Peter Nickerson, also a past president of ASHI.
Dr. Nickerson has been dedicated to the field of transplant immunology in his career as a caregiver to transplant patients and a laboratory director and researcher whose passion for innovation and pushing the limits of accepted knowledge have made him a leader in the field.
When the opportunity of a standardized teaching program was first proposed, Dr. Nickerson immediately saw the possibilities of a global stage for advancing excellence in the field of histocompatibility. With a philosophy of improving communication and excellence within the histocompatibility community, he felt that ASHI U was the ideal forum for sharing knowledge and bridging international barriers with their attendant access limitations, but also a necessary platform to facilitate interaction with the greater medical transplant community and indeed finally with the patients we serve.
As such, his commitment to ASHI University has been seen in his words and moreover in his actions from its inception, and his unwavering support for, and work towards its maturity has been invaluable.
Dr. Nickerson penned the accompanying diagram, in 2005 as an illustration of his goals and ideals for the future direction of ASHI, and we are proud to have ASHI University become the first channel for this innovative and unifying strategy. We thank Dr. Nickerson for his creativity, his support and his encouragement in this endeavour and we honour his contributions through the ASHI U Logo.