The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC) at Mount Sinai is a nationally recognized resource. In contrast to immune monitoring laboratories that may exist at other large medical institutions, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) facility goes beyond just offering a set of standardized assays, or focusing on one disease. The HIMC develops customized experimental strategies (personalized medicine) to optimally support both internal and external NIH-supported researchers, and has already established partnerships with multiple regional and national academic partners. Internally, the HIMC interfaces with Mount Sinai’s Core Facilities for microbiome, genomics, bioinformatics, and biostatistics to provide a comprehensive offering of services. As collaborators on other projects beyond cancer, HIMC investigators have a broader knowledge base of other diseases and apply concepts of immune monitoring for biomarker development to these problems.
The HIMC serves as an important regional and national r[MH1] esource; facilitated projects of significance are: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (immune response to malaria); Weill Cornell Medical School (lymphoma, multiple myeloma and prostate-specific membrane antigen targeted radiation); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, biomarkers of pancreatic cancer prediction); and SUNY Stonybrook (image analysis for multiplex immunohistochemistry); and Core immune monitoring resource for several multi-center NIH-funded consortia, including two independent U19 Human Immunology Project Consortia with investigators from Columbia University, NYU, U.C. Berkeley, Northwestern University, and Sanford Burnham Medical Institute. Other national projects include U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health (Zika), University of South Florida (Mass Cytometry Analysis of TrialNet Samples), and MD Anderson Cancer Center, UC San Diego Health, and U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health (clinical trials).
In recognition of our commitment to cancer research, the ISMMS was awarded an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) in 2015 for the Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) at Mount Sinai. Additionally, the HIMC was identified by the NCI as one of only four sites with sufficient expertise in high-dimensional assays to identify biomarkers associated with response or resistance to immunotherapy, one of the major goals of the Cancer Moonshot. Accordingly, Sacha Gnjatic, MD (Facility Manager) was awarded a 1U24CA224319 award, which established the HIMC as the core of Mount Sinai’s Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Center (CIMAC) under the TCI. Ramon Parsons, MD (Director, TCI) was recently awarded a renewal for an additional five years (8/1/2020 – 7/31/2025) in ISMMS’s NCI P30 application (The Tisch Cancer Institute – Cancer Center Support Grant). The HIMC was assessed to be of Exceptional to Outstanding merit in the Institutional Support component during the renewal of the NCI CCSG.
Organizationally, the HIMC is within the Precision Immunology Institute at the ISMMS (PrIISM) as one of the institute’s Cores. One of the last frontiers in medicine is the exploration of the immune system and its contribution to disease sequelae. The goal of PrIISM though HIMC is to develop novel technologies and approaches to characterizing immune profiles and responses across many sample types. We [KS2] support translational medicine in an increasingly diverse range of areas including infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmunity, allergy, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease. HIMC leverages cutting edge technology platforms, using immunological and technical expertise, to provide comprehensive immune monitoring for clinical and translational studies [KS3] . The Core facility serves ISMMS as well as external academic research communities and industry sponsors.
Currently, the HIMC supports more than 20 research programs with 35 active federal grants, totaling $16 million in NIH funding.