Penn Center for AIDS Research

Immunology Core Services

Mission | Personnel | Services | Contact Info

The Immunology Core provides a wide range of services and reagents to benefit the immunological research of the Penn CFAR Community. Services are provided by facilities in both the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and are housed at several sites. Services include:

  • Primary Cell Purification (Riley Lab, 8th Floor Similow Center for Translational Research)
    • Freshly isolated primary PBMCs, CD4, CD8, T cells, NK, monocytes and B cells
    • CCR5 deficient T cells and monocytes from Δ32 donors
  • Standard Immunological Assays (12th Floor Abramson Research Center, CHOP)
    • Cell Based Assays
    • Flow Based Assays and Services
  • Cellular, Humoral and Molecular Immunology assays (HIC, 410 & 704 Stellar Chance)
    • Specimen Processing, Banking and Sample Shipment
    • Luminex Assays
    • Flow Cytometry
    • ELISA
    • Sequencing of Human and Murine IgH rearrangement
    • Sequencing of Human TCR Vβ Rearrangements
    • Amplification and cloning of Ig rearrangements
    • Data analysis pipeline for repertoire studies
    • Customized data analysis
    • Scientific Consultation and Assay Development
  • BSL-3 Cell Sorting Facility
  • Small Animal Model of HIV-1 Infection


Small Animal Model of HIV-1 Infection

Mouse Breeding Colony
Isolators housing NSG breeding colony in Simlow Center for Translational Research.

The Penn CFAR Immunology Core is partnered with the Xenograft and Stem Cell Core to provide "ready-to-use" NSG and BLT mice, experimental planning and design, IACUC protocols, and in vivo experimental techniques.

Robust human T cell engraftment was developed in 2005 using mice engineered to have common gamma chain

deficiency, the Nod, SCID, common gamma chain deficient (NSG) mouse. This model has been used to study approaches like ZFN targeting coreceptors and anti-sense RNA to protect fully mature CD4 T cells from HIV-1 infection in vivo. As an important priority for the coming cycle, the Penn CFAR Immunology Core has been working with Xenograft and Stem Cell Core to establish the next generation humanized mouse model, the Bone marrow-Liver-thymus (BLT) humanized mouse.

NSG Mouse
NSG mouse

With support from the CFAR, the Xenograft Core monitors engraftment to determine when the mice are ready to use, at which point the mice are transferred to the investigator's protocol. In addition to producing "ready-to-use" BLT and NSG mice, the Core can further support users by performing a wide variety of in vivo techniques including injections of live HIV virus, human T-cells, peripheral blood sampling and tissue collection. The Core Director is also able to assist CFAR investigators with experimental planning, experimental design, and IACUC protocols.

Contact James L. Riley, Ph.D. ( / 215-573-6792) for more information regarding the small animal model service.

Xenograft and Stem Cell Core website:

Primary Contact:
James L. Riley, Ph.D.