Comprehensive immunological assessments are critical to improve vaccines. Recent studies have emphasized the importance of incorporating repertoire analysis in the assessment of vaccine-induced T cell efficacy. Immunomonitoring Core will provide the information (such as T cell epitopes, type of T cell responses, Ab titer) and tools (such as tetramers) required to perform the research in all the Projects through the expertise and state-of-the art technologies. The primary objectives of the Immunomonitoring Core are:
AIM 1 : To provide state-of-the-art analysis of the Flu antigen-specific T cell repertoires (EpiMax). T cell repertories specific for Flu antigens (H1 HA, M2, and NP) will be comprehensively analyzed at a peptide level with samples obtained from healthy individuals (from Sample Core), Flu-vaccinated subjects, and Flu-infected subjects (from Clinical Core). The epitopes (for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), the type, and the magnitude of Flu-specific T cell responses will be determined.
AIM 2 : To provide state-of-art analysis of multiple Flu-antigen-specific antibody liters (Ab Luminex). Flu-antigen (H1HA, H5 HA, M1;M2, and NP)-specific antibodies will be measured by the assay developed at the Institute in a platform of Luminex.
AIM 3 : To provide Flu-antigen derived peptide/HLA class I or class II tetramers. The T cell epitopes identified in EpiMax assay will be tested for the binding to HLA class I or II molecules, and the tetramers will be generated at Dr. Sekaly's lab.
AIM 4 : To perform cell cultures with the identified Flu antigen epitopes for genomic Immunoreactivity profiles. Global gene expression profile of PBMCs and nasal wash samples cultured with the T cell epitope peptide identified with EpiMax will be analyzed in the collaboration with Microarray Core. Thus, Immunomonitoring Core will extensively interact with other Core facilities and all the Projects towards the common goals: development of mucosal vaccines, and establishment of biomarkers of protective immunity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Baylor Research Institute
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