The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC)
HIMC provides standardized, state-of-the-art immune monitoring assays at the RNA, protein, and cellular level, as well as archiving, reporting, and data mining support for clinical and translational studies. In partnership with the research community, we also work to test and develop new technologies for immune monitoring.
Immune monitoring services
We have standardized immunoassays for human and mouse cytokines, which can be used to assay serum, plasma, cell culture supernatants, tissue homogenates, urine, CSF, lavages or other fluids. We measure multiple cytokines simultaneously using either Luminex with up to 76 biomakers or Olink panels with up to 92 biomarkers per panel (https://www.olink.com/products/). In addition, custom panels can be tailored or selected from multiple vendors (Thermofisher, EMD millipore, R&D systems/Biotechne, Biorad).
MesoScale Discovery electrochemiluminescence assays are available. (https://www.mesoscale.com/)
Mass cytometry, or CyTOF (Fluidigm), is a variation of flow cytometry in which antibodies are labeled with heavy metal ion tags rather than fluorochromes. Readout is by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. This allows for the combination of many more antibody specificities in a single samples, without significant spillover between channels. We have standardized panels for immunophenotyping, phenotyping+intracellular cytokine staining (ICS), and phenotyping+phospho-CyTOF, each with 30 to 38 antibodies.
The HIMC offers RNA and DNA extraction, Bioanalyzer services, gene expression and miRNA microarrays, and microfluidic qPCR arrays for human and mouse.
Flow cytometry is used to assess immune cell phenotypes and functions. We offer standardized immunophenotyping, phosphoepitope, and intracellular cytokine assays for human blood cells. Our assays have all been optimized for use with cryopreserved PBMC; use with fresh samples must be coordinated in advance.
The HIMC Biobank offers full specimen processing, cryopreservation, and banking services for human subjects research. This includes processing specimens for Immunoassays, CyTOF, flow cytometry, genomic assays, and much more. The processing team has developed and implements standardized and optimized protocols for specimen ioslation of PBMC, serum, plasma, RNA, DNA, etc.
The HIMC now offers statistical consultation, statistical methods development, and mathematical modeling for immunological assay and immunoassay. This service 1) provides investigators with guidance on how to analyze their data themselves, including instruction on applicable R and/or SAS script and 2) develops new statistical methods or other mathematical models where existing methods will not permit adequate analysis.
Note to users: For a list of publications that used the HIMC, see here. If work done with the HIMC produces data in a publication, you must acknowledge us (Stanford Human Immune Monitoring Center) in the publication. Further, if HIMC staff provide significant experimental design, data interpretation, or other intellectual contribution (as evaluated by the PI), then it is expected that these individuals will be coauthors on the publication.