The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC) Shared Resource provides state-of-the-art assays that measure biomarkers relevant to the immune system or specific pathogens. Examples of biomarkers that are specifically relevant to cancer include changes in lymphocyte signaling pathways, serum cytokines, and specific immune responses that target tumor cells. This resource offers Cancer Center members specialized assays that monitor the effects and efficacy of immunotherapies and vaccination strategies that are becoming increasingly important alternatives or adjuvants to conventional forms of cancer treatment. In addition, pathogens have been implicated in the etiology of many cancers, and the HIMC offers array methodologies for pathogen identification. The HIMC initiated operations in early 2007, and has attracted many faculty users in the past two years;74% of the current users are Cancer Center members. We expect an increasing demand for our services as new projects and clinical trials in the immune modulation of cancer are developed. Major services provided by the HIMC are Luminex bead-based assays for measuring cytokines, FACS phenotyping and phosphoflow analysis for cell characterization, and the Firefly nanofluidics assay method for detecting phosphorylated proteins. Dr. Holden Maecker is the Facility Director of HIMC and an expert in cancer immunology and immune monitoring. Leadership is provided by Dr. Maecker and oversight is provided by the HIMC Advisory Committee, consisting of 10 faculty and headed by Dr. Mark Davis, who is an internationally known expert in lymphocyte recognition and immune monitoring technologies. He is also the principal inventor of the peptide-MHC tetramer technology to monitor specific T cell responses. Future goals of the HIMC are to introduce for general use the multiplex peptide-MHC tetramer technology recently developed by the Davis lab to quantitate and characterize T cell responses to tumor associated antigens and the complementary ELISPOT analysis, which quantitates T and B cell responses. The shared resource will also offer full bioinformatics consulting and data management for its users.

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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Stanford University
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