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CL VII Human Immunophenotyping

Summary

The Cluster Laboratory provides a comprehensive and standardized human immune monitoring and functional immune analysis platform, which will be required in several interdisciplinary projects and RAs. A disease gene may not only affect a single facet of the immune system, but may also lead to different compensatory effects that are often not accessible to simple off-the-shelf assays. In therapeutic interventions, clinical endpoints often do not include immunologic remission in the definition. Thus, standardized immune monitoring assays designed to minimize intra- and interassay variability which are sensitive enough to detect minimal differences between disease states are required. This approach will be particularly important when investigating the immunomodulatory impact of innovative therapies applied within the CCIM. The CL will provide such standardized core assays and evaluate new technologies for immunophenotyping and functional immune analysis of inflammatory barrier diseases. Services provided by the CL will concentrate on (i) immunophenotyping (multicolor flow cytometry, high-speed cell sorting, quantitative cytometry, TCR/BCR repertoire analysis, multiplex cytokine measurements); (ii) autoantibody profiling; (iii) tissue (micro)arrays and (iv) advanced imaging techniques in smaller cohorst of selected patients (endomicroscopy, 2-photon microscopy). In addition, data from immune monitoring studies will be archived for use in biomarker development and immunointervention studies.

Contribution to the Scientific Discourse

The CL provides a standardized, parallel human immune monitoring platform for in-depth characterization of patients and controls by: (1) analyses of human immune responses (cytokines, Phosflow, TCR/BCR repertoire, quantitative imaging platform for dynamic processes), (2) central cell sorting capacities for genomic, epigenetic and functional investigation of defined cellular subsets, (3) archiving, reporting and data mining of complex immune data sets to assist in biomarker development and (4) technical development of biomarker strategies for immunointervention studies.

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