Research in cancer immunology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC), Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has undergone a natural progression from basic laboratory studies of the host immune response to cancer to the clinical evaluation of immune-based cancer therapies. Many of these immune-based strategies to mobilize and augment the anti-tumor immune response were founded on the discoveries made by JHU investigators. Moreover, the application of immunotherapeutic strategies as an adjunct to cancer treatment across a wide range of malignancies and therapeutic settings has expanded dramatically over the past several years. The ability to carefully and reliably quantify the human immune response is critically important to assess the impact of any immunotherapeutic strategy. While there is great diversity in the therapeutic modalities being studied, most areas, in fact, overlap strongly in their techniques and approaches to immunological analysis. Modern immunological techniques for characterizing and quantifying human immune responses are complex, and it is difficult for individual investigators to assemble all the techniques that may be most appropriate for a particular project. The Human Immunology Core Laboratory (HICL) was established in 2005 to provide SKCCC investigators the capacity to reliably monitor and quantify human immune responses using state-of-the-art immunologic assays. Thus, the specific goals of this CORE are to: 1) Provide technical expertise and conduct immunological assays to monitor and characterize the human immune responses;2) Establish standard operating procedures and quality control measures for all immunological assays;3) Communicate its expertise and availability to SKCCC investigators;4) Provide technical support to SKCCC investigators seeking to identify and develop assays specific to their research objectives, and 5) Serve as a repository for key reagents and cell lines useful for the study of human immunology. Taken together, the HICL plays an important role in monitoring human immune responses that crosses many disciplines within the SKCCC and provides for the development of new therapeutic approaches to augment the anti-tumor immune response. Lay: The Human Immunology Core Laboratory identifies different subsets of lymphocytes that participate in the immune response to cancer and assesses their function and their ability to produce inflammatory cytokines that amplify the immune response. By tracking or monitoring the immune response, the Human Immunology Core Laboratory can assist investigators assess the impact or influence of their therapy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Johns Hopkins University
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