Serology Laboratory

Overview

The Serology Laboratory provides expertise and leadership on the development, validation, and standardization of serology assays for HPV and COVID-19 studies.

Both our HPV and COVID-19 teams create and improve tools that enable scientists to compare data across different vaccines and studies.  

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020, our scientists pivoted to evaluate the performance of SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As the National Cancer Institute established the Serological Sciences Network that same year, our laboratory grew from its original HPV focus to address COVID-19 serology and immunology.

The Serology Laboratory combines the former HPV Immunology Laboratory and HPV Serology Laboratory, evolving from a legacy of expertise that stretches back more than two decades. 

The HPV Immunology Laboratory was formed in 2001 under the direction of Ligia Pinto, Ph.D., with a mission to provide infrastructure and scientific leadership for studying immune responses to HPV infection and vaccines in large epidemiological cohorts. In response to developments in the field and the need to increase HPV vaccine implementation worldwide, we worked with the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and various other collaborators to identify gaps in the HPV serology field. In response, the HPV Serology Laboratory was established in January 2017. 

Focus

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Scientist stands next to workstation lit in purple
 

HPV serology 

  • Seek increased understanding of the immunogenicity, the ability of an antigen to provoke an immune

    response, of currently licensed HPV vaccines. 

  • Study immune responses to fewer doses of the HPV vaccine as part of clinical trials. 

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    Graphic logo saying "HPV Serology Lab. Advancing HPV Assay Standardization"
  • Evaluate serological responses to HPV vaccines in different demographic and patient groups. 

  • Provide laboratory-based evidence to inform public health decisions regarding novel vaccine recommendations and vaccine efficacy, particularly in regard to more cost-effective and fewer-dose vaccines. 

  • Lead HPV Serology Standardization to harmonize HPV Serology in clinical trials in a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, World Health Organization, Karolinska Institute and Public Health England

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Green laboratory notebook labeled "COVID-19"
 

COVID-19 serology

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Empty well plate
 

Serology standardization 

  • Develop, validate, and standardize serology assays, reagents, and procedures to enable the comparison of different studies evaluating immune responses induced by vaccines. 

  • Provide standardized resources to the scientific community, such as the HPV Operating Procedures

  • Lead COVID-19 serology standardization to support antibody response and vaccine efficacy studies.