About

Mission & Leadership

The Human Immunology Core (HIC) (RRID: SCR_022380) is one of the first and most active immune monitoring cores in the United States. Our mission is to provide wet bench expertise for incorporation of the newest technologies into early phase clinical trials using validated immunology assays and protocols, while also offering turnkey services and expert scientific and technical consultation to investigators conducting basic and translational research.

 

Scientific Director: Eline (Nina) T. Luning Prak, MD, PhD

ninaluningprak

Dr. Luning Prak is a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a board-certified clinical pathologist and human immunologist with over 20 years of experience in human translational immunology research, both as director of the Human Immunology Core (HIC) facility and as associate director of the Clinical Immunology lab at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  In the HIC, Dr. Luning Prak oversees many different kinds of cellular and molecular immunology assays, including multicolor immunophenotyping, ELISA, digital ELISA and multiplex bead arrays.  In the Clinical Immunology lab, Dr. Luning Prak oversees CLIA-certified assays on patient samples, including serologic assays for the evaluation of antibody responses in autoimmune and infectious diseases.  Dr. Luning Prak also directs an NIH-funded research laboratory that focuses on human B cells and adaptive immune receptor repertoire profiling.  She is the former president of the Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire Community, an international group of over 150 investigators that perform immune repertoire profiling studies, share and analyze data, and develop data sharing standards.  Her lab has developed and/or used methods for immune repertoire profiling including bulk sequencing from DNA, RNA, RNA with molecular identifiers and single cell sequencing (index sorted cells or 10X Genomics).  Her research lab and the HIC have also contributed to the development of ImmuneDB, which has been used to analyze and visualize data generated for over 170 different immune repertoire profiling projects.

Honghong Sun, PhD

Dr. Sun organizes laboratory operations and manages projects such as blood or biopsy processing for clinical studies and cellular immunology assays involving single-molecule (simoa) / digital ELISA, standard ELISA, Luminex, multicolor immunophenotyping, or ELISPOT. Previously a research associate in the laboratory of Emeritus Professor Youhai Chen, Dr. Sun has expertise in immune cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, and apoptosis. Her most recent research work has focused on the TIPE2 protein as a potential therapeutic target in inflammatory diseases.

Affiliated Faculty (Apheresis Products):  James (Jim) L. Riley, PhD

Dr. Riley is a professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania.  In the HIC, Dr Riley oversees production of cell products from HLA-typed apheresis donors. Dr. Riley also directs an NIH-funded research laboratory that focuses on signals controlling primary human T cell activation and function, and how these can be manipulated to develop T cell therapies for HIV, cancer, and autoimmunity.

Acknowledge the HIC

Acknowledge the HIC in publications when your science has been enabled by our products or services.

 

Cell Products

The authors thank Lynn Chen, Max Eldabbas, and Emileigh Maddox of the Human Immunology Core at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for assistance with (INSERT DETAILS - CONTACT JIM RILEY (rileyj@upenn.edu) IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE).  The HIC is supported in part by NIH P30 AI045008 and P30 CA016520.  HIC RRID: SCR_022380

 

HIC Services

The authors thank (INSERT STAFF NAMES, IF APPROPRIATE - CONTACT NINA LUNING PRAK (luning@pennmedicine.upenn.edu) IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH SPELLINGS) of the Human Immunology Core at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania for assistance with (INSERT DETAILS).  The HIC is supported in part by NIH P30 AI045008 and P30 CA016520. HIC RRID: SCR_022380

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What products and services does the HIC provide?

We provide cell products from HLA-typed apheresis donors and the following services: blood/tissue processing and banking, sample shipping, cellular immunology assays (such as Luminex, standard and digital ELISA, multicolor immunophenotyping), sequencing and analysis of human BCR and TCR rearrangements, and scientific consultation (such as assay design, study design, letters of support for grant proposals).

What is the cost of the HIC's products and services?

Fees for cell products and each service area are provided in the full fee listing under Accounts, Billing, and Fees section and a downloadable pdf of prices is available (PennKey login required). See the Cell Products menu to find out about subsets offered and our online ordering system. Consultations for Specimen Processing/Banking, Cellular Assays, and BCR/TCR Sequencing and immune repertoire profiling services are free of charge, and we recommend you begin with a consultation after browsing the menu(s) of interest.

How do I order cell products or submit a service request?

Visit the Accounts, Billing, and Fees section and download a copy of HIC Accounts & Billing Workflows.

How does the HIC handle client data?

All data belong to the client. Depending on project complexity, interim results are often provided during a project. Full results are provided upon project completion, and billing occurs after final results are reviewed with the client.

When should I acknowledge the HIC in publications?

Whenever your science has been significantly enabled by HIC cell products, results, or expertise. In some cases, the extent of the HIC's work and support merit contributing authorships by our scientists. Recent publications with our collaborators and instructions for acknowledging the HIC are provided under separate headings in our About section.

The HIC is a Tier 1 core research facility.  What does this mean?

Research Core Facilities funded by the NIH are centralized, shared resources providing access to instruments or services for basic, translational, and clinical researchers. A Tier 1 Core supports the highest level of research activity. Therefore, the HIC is subject to stringent requirements and policies specified by the NIH. Like all Biomedical Research Cores at the Perelman School of Medicine, the HIC also has local oversight.

Doesn't the HIC purposefully accumulate profit from the fees charged to Penn clients?

No. The HIC is expected to operate in a revenue-neutral manner. There are numerous NIH and University policies regarding how our (or any Core's) operating surplus may and may not be used. Recent HIC surpluses have allowed us to lower prices for Cell Products, and helped to defray the cost of a new digital ELISA instrument and software upgrade.

Equipment

Major equipment in the HIC

  • MVE temperature-monitored -80 and liquid nitrogen freezers; MVE CryoCart
  • Temperature-monitored refrigerators
  • Quanterix HD-X
  • FlexMap 3D
  • ImmunoSpot S3
  • CLARIOstar Plate Reader (BMG Labtech)
  • Illumina MiSeq
  • Chromium Controller
  • Qubit
  • BioRad UV gel documentation system

Downloadable "boilerplate" text for HIC Equipment and HIC Resources may be used for grant proposals.

Recent Publications

HIC publications and publications with our collaborators, July 2021-present

Autoantibodies are highly prevalent in non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infections and critical illness. Feng A, Yang EY, Moore AR, Dhingra S, Chang SE, Yin X, Pi R, Mack EK, Völkel S, Geßner R, Gündisch M, Neubauer A, Renz H, Tsiodras S, Fragkou PC, Asuni AA, Levitt JE, Wilson JG, Leong M, Lumb JH, Mao R, Pinedo K, Roque J, Richards CM, Stabile M, Swaminathan G, Salagianni ML, Triantafyllia V, Bertrams W, Blish CA, Carette JE, Frankovich J, Meffre E, Nadeau KC, Singh U, Wang TT, Luning Prak ET, Herold S, Andreakos E, Schmeck B, Skevaki C, Rogers AJ, Utz PJ. JCI Insight. 2023 Feb 8;8(3):e163150. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.163150. PMID: 36752204

Tissue adaptation and clonal segregation of human memory T cells in barrier sites.  Poon MML, Caron DP, Wang Z, Wells SB, Chen D, Meng W, Szabo PA, Lam N, Kubota M, Matsumoto R, Rahman A, Luning Prak ET, Shen Y, Sims PA, Farber DL. Nat Immunol. 2023 Feb;24(2):309-319. doi: 10.1038/s41590-022-01395-9. Epub 2023 Jan 19. PMID: 36658238

What are the current driving questions in immune repertoire research?  Greiff V, Luning Prak ET, O'Donnell T, Finotello F, Reddy ST, Walczak A, Mora T. Cell Syst. 2022 Sep 21;13(9):683-686. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2022.08.006. PMID: 36137509

Diversification and shared features of tumor-binding antibody repertoires in tumor, sentinel lymph node, and blood of three patients with breast cancer.  Pero, SC, Rosenfeld, AM, Shukla, GS, Mei, L, Sun, Y, Meng, W, Fournier, DJ, Harlow, SP, Robinson, MK, Krag, DN, Luning Prak, ET and BC Harman.  Clin. Transl. Immunol. 2022.  doi: 10.1002/cti2.1409.

Lipid nanoparticles enhance the efficacy of mRNA and protein subunit vaccines by inducing robust T follicular helper cell and humoral responses.  Alameh MG, Tombácz I, Bettini E, Lederer K, Sittplangkoon C, Wilmore JR, Gaudette BT, Soliman OY, Pine M, Hicks P, Manzoni TB, Knox JJ, Johnson JL, Laczkó D, Muramatsu H, Davis B, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Strohmeier S, Lin PJC, Mui BL, Tam YK, Karikó K, Jacquet A, Krammer F, Bates P, Cancro MP, Weissman D, Luning Prak ET, Allman D, Locci M, Pardi N. Immunity. 2022 Jun 14;55(6):1136-1138. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2022.05.007. PMID: 35704995

Bulk gDNA Sequencing of Antibody Heavy-Chain Gene Rearrangements for Detection and Analysis of B-Cell Clone Distribution: A Method by the AIRR Community.  Rosenfeld AM, Meng W, Horne KI, Chen EC, Bagnara D, Stervbo U, Luning Prak ET; AIRR Community. Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2453:317-343. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2115-8_18. PMID: 35622334

Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire (AIRR) Community Guide to Repertoire Analysis.  Marquez S, Babrak L, Greiff V, Hoehn KB, Lees WD, Luning Prak ET, Miho E, Rosenfeld AM, Schramm CA, Stervbo U; AIRR Community. Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2453:297-316. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2115-8_17. PMID: 35622333

AIRR Community Guide to Planning and Performing AIRR-Seq Experiments.  Eugster A, Bostick ML, Gupta N, Mariotti-Ferrandiz E, Kraus G, Meng W, Soto C, Trück J, Stervbo U, Luning Prak ET; AIRR Community. Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2453:261-278. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2115-8_15. PMID: 35622331

No increase in inflammation in late-life major depression screened to exclude physical illness.  Luning Prak ET, Brooks T, Makhoul W, Beer JC, Zhao L, Girelli T, Skarke C, Sheline YI. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 24;12(1):118. doi: 10.1038/s41398-022-01883-4. PMID: 35332134

BTK inhibition limits B-cell-T-cell interaction through modulation of B-cell metabolism: implications for multiple sclerosis therapy.  Li R, Tang H, Burns JC, Hopkins BT, Le Coz C, Zhang B, de Barcelos IP, Romberg N, Goldstein AC, Banwell BL, Luning Prak ET, Mingueneau M, Bar-Or A. Acta Neuropathol. 2022 Apr;143(4):505-521. doi: 10.1007/s00401-022-02411-w. Epub 2022 Mar 18. PMID: 35303161

IgA Plasma Cells Are Long-Lived Residents of Gut and Bone Marrow That Express Isotype- and Tissue-Specific Gene Expression Patterns.  Wilmore JR, Gaudette BT, Gómez Atria D, Rosenthal RL, Reiser SK, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Luning Prak ET, Allman D. Front Immunol. 2021 Dec 24;12:791095. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.791095. eCollection 2021. PMID: 35003110

Heterogeneity of human anti-viral immunity shaped by virus, tissue, age, and sex.  Poon MML, Byington E, Meng W, Kubota M, Matsumoto R, Grifoni A, Weiskopf D, Dogra P, Lam N, Szabo PA, Ural BB, Wells SB, Rosenfeld AM, Brusko MA, Brusko TM, Connors TJ, Sette A, Sims PA, Luning Prak ET, Shen Y, Farber DL. Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 30;37(9):110071. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110071. PMID: 34852222

A randomized controlled study of convalescent plasma for individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.  Bar KJ, Shaw PA, Choi GH, Aqui N, Fesnak A, Yang JB, Soto-Calderon H, Grajales L, Starr J, Andronov M, Mastellone M, Amonu C, Feret G, DeMarshall M, Buchanan M, Caturla M, Gordon J, Wanicur A, Monroy MA, Mampe F, Lindemuth E, Gouma S, Mullin AM, Barilla H, Pronina A, Irwin L, Thomas R, Eichinger RA, Demuth F, Luning Prak ET, Pascual JL, Short WR, Elovitz MA, Baron J, Meyer NJ, Degnan KO, Frank I, Hensley SE, Siegel DL, Tebas P. J Clin Invest. 2021 Dec 15;131(24):e155114. doi: 10.1172/JCI155114. PMID: 34788233

Cellular and humoral immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis on anti-CD20 therapy.  Apostolidis, S.A., Kakara, M., Painter, M.M., Goel, R.R., Mathew, D., Lenzi, K., Rezk, A., Patterson, K.R., Espinoza, D.A., Kadri, J.C., Markowitz, D.M., Markowitz, C.E., Mexhitaj, I., Jacobs, D., Babb, A., Betts, M.R., Luning Prak, E.T., Weiskopf, D., Grifoni, A., Lundgreen, K.A., Gouma, S., Sette, A., Bates, P., Henseley, S.E., Greenplate, A.R., Wherry, E.J., Li, R. and A. Bar-Or.  2021.  Nature Med.  Vol. 27(11): 1990-2001. PMID: 34522051.

mRNA vaccines induce durable immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern.  Goel RR, Painter MM, Apostolidis SA, Mathew D, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Lundgreen KA, Reynaldi A, Khoury DS, Pattekar A, Gouma S, Kuri-Cervantes L, Hicks P, Dysinger S, Hicks A, Sharma H, Herring S, Korte S, Baxter AE, Oldridge DA, Giles JR, Weirick ME, McAllister CM, Awofolaju M, Tanenbaum N, Drapeau EM, Dougherty J, Long S, D'Andrea K, Hamilton JT, McLaughlin M, Williams JC, Adamski S, Kuthuru O; UPenn COVID Processing Unit‡, Frank I, Betts MR, Vella LA, Grifoni A, Weiskopf D, Sette A, Hensley SE, Davenport MP, Bates P, Luning Prak ET, Greenplate AR, Wherry EJ. Science. 2021 Dec 3;374(6572):abm0829. doi: 10.1126/science.abm0829. Epub 2021 Dec 3. PMID: 34648302

Trivalent nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine yields durable memory B cell protection against genital herpes in preclinical models.  Awasthi S, Knox JJ, Desmond A, Alameh MG, Gaudette BT, Lubinski JM, Naughton A, Hook LM, Egan KP, Tam YK, Pardi N, Allman D, Luning Prak ET, Cancro MP, Weissman D, Cohen GH, Friedman HM. J Clin Invest. 2021 Dec 1;131(23):e152310. doi: 10.1172/JCI152310. PMID: 34618692

Long-term outcomes after gene therapy for adenosine deaminase severe combined immune deficiency. Reinhardt B, Habib O, Shaw KL, Garabedian E, Carbonaro-Sarracino DA, Terrazas D, Fernandez BC, De Oliveira S, Moore TB, Ikeda AK, Engel BC, Podsakoff GM, Hollis RP, Fernandes A, Jackson C, Shupien S, Mishra S, Davila A, Mottahedeh J, Vitomirov A, Meng W, Rosenfeld AM, Roche AM, Hokama P, Reddy S, Everett J, Wang X, Luning Prak ET, Cornetta K, Hershfield MS, Sokolic R, De Ravin SS, Malech HL, Bushman FD, Candotti F, Kohn DB. Blood. 2021 Oct 14;138(15):1304-1316. doi: 10.1182/blood.2020010260. PMID: 33974038

New-onset IgG autoantibodies in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.  Chang SE, Feng A, Meng W, Apostolidis SA, Mack E, Artandi M, Barman L, Bennett K, Chakraborty S, Chang I, Cheung P, Chinthrajah S, Dhingra S, Do E, Finck A, Gaano A, Geßner R, Giannini HM, Gonzalez J, Greib S, Gündisch M, Hsu AR, Kuo A, Manohar M, Mao R, Neeli I, Neubauer A, Oniyide O, Powell AE, Puri R, Renz H, Schapiro J, Weidenbacher PA, Wittman R, Ahuja N, Chung HR, Jagannathan P, James JA, Kim PS, Meyer NJ, Nadeau KC, Radic M, Robinson WH, Singh U, Wang TT, Wherry EJ, Skevaki C, Luning Prak ET, Utz PJ. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 14;12(1):5417. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25509-3. PMID: 34521836

BLyS neutralization results in selective anti-HLA alloantibody depletion without successful desensitization.  Agarwal D, Luning Prak ET, Bharani T, Everly M, Migone TS, Cancro M, Allman D, Choe I, Kearns JD, Trofe-Clark J, Naji A, Kamoun M. Transpl Immunol. 2021 Dec;69:101465. doi: 10.1016/j.trim.2021.101465. Epub 2021 Sep 10. PMID: 34506905

Altered function and differentiation of age-associated B cells contribute to the female bias in lupus mice.  Ricker, E., Manni, M., Flores-Castro, D., Jenkins, D., Gupta, S., Rivera-Correa, J., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Pannellini, T., Bachu, M., Chinenov, Y., Sculco, P.K., Jessberger, R., Luning Prak, E.T. and A.B. Pernis.  Nat. Commun.  2021.  Vol. 12(1): 4813. Doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25102-8.  PMID: 34376664.

TNFRSF13B genotypes control immune-mediated pathology by regulating the functions of innate B cells.  De Mattos-Barbosa, M.G., Lefferts, A.R., Huynh, D., Liu, H., Zhang, Y., Fu, B., Barnes, J., Samaniego, M., Bram, R.J., Geha, R.S., Shikanov, A., Luning Prak, E.T., Farkash, E.A., Platt, J.L. and M. Cascalho.  2021. JCI Insight. Vol. 6(17): e150483. Doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.150483.  PMID: 34283811.

Transcriptome and unique cytokine microenvironment of Castleman disease.  Wing, A., Xu, J., Meng, W., Rosenfeld, A.M., Li, E.Y., Wertheim, G., Paessler, M., Bagg, A., Frank, D., Tan, K., Teachey, D.T., Lim, M.S., Luning Prak, E.T., Fajgenbaum, D.C. and V. Pillai.  Mod. Pathol. 2022.  Vol. 35(4): 451-461.  PMID: 34686774.

Funding

The Human Immunology Core at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is supported in part by NIH P30 AI045008 and P30 CA016520.

Image Credits

Images on this website are from Alex Farley, Nina Luning Prak, or created by AI Dream Studio (with promts from Nina Luning Prak) or DALL-E-2 (with prompts from Jean Scholz).

Quick Contacts and Locations

Cell Products

Follow Us on Twitter

** Pick up cell products at SCTR (Smilow Center for Translational Research) Floor 8, bay 181 for PBMCs, monocytes, and unpurified apheresis product; or bay 185 for T cells, CD4, CD8, and NK cells. 

** Pick up times are 2-2:30 PM for PBMCs and 5:30-6 PM for others.

 

Clinical Studies, Specimen Processing/Banking - Dr. Honghong Sun

** Samples are dropped off / retrieved at SCL (Stellar-Chance Labs) Room 412

** HIC shipping address

 

Cellular Assays - Dr. Honghong Sun

** Samples are dropped off at SCL (Stellar-Chance Labs) Room 412

 

BCR/TCR Sequencing, Immune Repertoire Profiling - Dr. Wenzhao Meng

** Samples are dropped off at SCL (Stellar-Chance Labs) Room 408

 

Account or billing matters -  Path BioResource Help Desk

 

HIC Shipping Address

Attn: Yangzhu Du, University of Pennsylvania, Stellar Chance Labs Rm. 412, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Telephone +1 267-764-6703  

Email Yangzhu.Du@pennmedicine.upenn.edu