The overall goal of the Immunology Core is to provide the infrastructure necessary for the characterization of the innate and adaptive immune responses to infectious agents (viruses, bacteria and their products). It will also provide standardized testing for potential vaccine candidates, including proteins produced within the Biomolecule Production integrated service center core, and serve facilitator between the Boston University Medical Center Transgenic Core and the NEIDL in order to provide transgenic and mutant mice for investigators. These mice will be used for the characterization of the innate and adaptive immune responses to model pathogens in the whole animal context. In order to monitor innate and adaptive immune responses in vivo and in vitro, the core will provide the following services: 1) perform basic cell enumeration and separation services for human, non-human primate and small animal cells using magnetic separation, as well as cell subset identification by flow cytometry in high containment (BLS-4);2) elucidate cytokine profiles of responding cells by flow cytometry, and cytokine production measured in serum and in culture by BioPlex analysis;3) characterize humoral antibody responses by ELISA, perform ELISPOT for enumerating antibody producing cells, and identification of neutralizing antibodies using automated plaque and colony counting assays;4) provide consultation services for developing other immunological assays as needed, such as monitoring of cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells to infected populations;and 5) monitor changes in surface antigen expression in both human and other animal cells that have interacted with or been infected by various pathogens, including MHC, costimulatory molecules, cytokine and chemokine receptors, etc. The Director and/or Associate Director of the Immunology Core will consult with the project PI?s to develop assays as needed for measuring viral/microbial loads using specific ELISA assays and will develop necessary reagents for the phenotyping of viral and bacterial stocks.
Two of the stated goals of the NEIDL Institute are to identify therapeutics and develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. In order to achieve these goals, it is crucial that we utilize all the tools at our disposal to understand the innate and adaptive immune responses to these pathogens, identify targets for treatments, and leverage this information to modulate the responses to infections and/or prophylactically treat individuals who are at risk for exposures. The Immunology Core is designed to support NEIDL investigators and help them understand the immune responses to emerging pathogens, identify responding cells and mediators of the immune system that are stimulated, and those that do not, and identify their pathogen targets, in order to help achieve Institute goals.
|LeDuc, James W; Anderson, Kevin; Bloom, Marshall E et al. (2009) Potential impact of a 2-person security rule on BioSafety Level 4 laboratory workers. Emerg Infect Dis 15:e1|