The Core resources supported by this COBRE allowed us to acquire state-of-the-art equipment and establish new technologies and resources. Select examples are described below
The Clinical Core, led by Dr. Judith James, was a centralized resource for COBRE investigators to recruit participants, collect and process samples, maintain strict compliance with relevant ethical and regulatory requirements, and access large collections of patient/control samples with associated clinical, demographic, and experimental data. Leveraging funds from the National Center for Research Resources, the Clinical Core also supported the Clinical Core Community Engagement project. This project obtained high quality patient and control samples, as well as clinical information, to allow researchers to study the underlying genetic and environmental influences which can lead to autoimmune disease.
The Immunophenotyping Core, led by Dr. Joel Guthridge, provided technical expertise and access to current state-of-the-art technologies, including the use of multiparameter flow cytometry and high-content/high-throughput cellular bioassays, to examine cellular responses and cellular phenotypes across a variety of human disease states. This Core addressed investigators’ growing need to test biological responses in fresh human blood to facilitate evaluation of pathogenic mechanisms, development of new biomarkers of disease activity or prognostic outcomes, and explore the initial events in systemic autoimmunity and response to human vaccination. More information about the Immunopheontyping Core
Serum Analyte and Biomarker Core
The Serum Analyte and Biomarker Core, led by Dr. Melissa Munroe, provided investigators with human serum components to supplement research in disease development and pathology. It aided investigators by providing access to technology, expertise, and training in high-throughput proteomic methods to assay autoantibodies, serum cytokines, specific antibody responses, serum hormone levels, and biochemical metabolites in human serum or other biofluids. More information about the Serum Analyte and Biomarker Core
Human Monoclonal Antibody Core
The Human Monoclonal Antibody (hmAb) Core grew out of COBRE-supported scientific observations (Wrammert, et al, Nature 2008, PMCID: PMC2515609) that allow rapid production of human monoclonal antibodies after vaccination. This Core produced hundreds of high-affinity, protective antibodies to influenza, anthrax lethal toxin, and various Streptococcus pneumoniae polysaccharides. This Core supported investigators by helping quantify post-vaccination antibody-secreting cell responses and by generating human monoclonal antibodies for characterization. In addition, this Core generated pathogen-specific human monoclonal antibodies available for licensing agreements and other forms of commercial development. More information about the Human Monoclonal Antibody Core