The Human Immunologic Monitoring (HIM) facility serves as a specialized laboratory performing correlative assays for cancer-based clinical trials. We participate in project development to assist in assay selection and optimization prior to study initiation. We offer a pick-up service for specimens from patients at the U of C Hospital or outpatient clinics, and process the samples as indicated for the assays being performed. For some studies, isolation and freezing of peripheral blood lymphocytes for analysis at a later date is performed, while for others immediate staining of whole blood for specific cell surface markers of interest is carried out. In addition, our laboratory prepares clinical grade products, such as peptide vaccines, for administration into patients.
Assays performed include a wide variety of immunology-based assays such as ELISA, ELISPOT, tetramer binding assays, detection of cell surface markers by flow cytometry, and biochemical assays such as Western Blots. We also perform molecular biology assays such as RNA extraction from tumor biopsies and either real time RT-PCR for specific transcripts or preparation of samples for gene expression profiling. Our facility is equipped with MACSQuant Flow Cytometer, ELISA microplate reader, ELISPOT reader, PCR thermocyclers, CO2 incubators, biosafety cabinets, centrifuges, and equipment for Western blot analysis. Although we perform assays on human samples, consideration will be given to expanding these services to mouse-model systems. If you are interested in using any of these services either for pilot experiments for your grant applications or for research projects, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Human Immunologic Monitoring facility is the beneficiary of funding support from the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.