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, or other fluids. We measure multiple cytokines simultaneously using either Luminex (up to 63 analytes) or MesoScale Discovery (MSD, up to 10 analytes) systems. We also provide assays for other soluble proteins on the MSD platform (see their website at for available kits).

Mass Cytometry

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

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 NanoPro nanoimmunoassay platform from Protein Simple is an automated microcapillary isoelectric focusing system. Once focused, proteins are crosslinked to the capillary wall, and subject to antibody probes, much like a Western blot. This platform, formerly in HIMC, is now offered through the Translational Applications Service Center (TASC).  Contact Joanna Lilliental ( for more information.


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.