Characterizing the Immune Response to Novel Vaccine Candidates in a Human Whole Blood Assay Using High-Dimensional Single Cell Proteomics

Monitoring the immuno-modulatory effects of vaccine formulations is critical for novel vaccine development. While animal models have been effective, increasing evidence suggests differences when translating to humans. We have designed a platform which uses fresh human whole blood coupled with a high-throughput single cell analysis, mass cytometry (CyTof Helios), to characterize and model the immune responses to vaccine formulations. Preliminary results have revealed an expansion and changes in the immunophenotype of naive, effector, and memory T-cells, as well as other immune cells including B cells, monocytes, and NK cells. This illustrates the complex topography of biologically relevant cellular expansion of different immune cell subsets induced by a vaccination. This unique systems immunology (/vaccinology) approach will produce high-dimensional data on adjuvant-modulated, antigen-driven immune responses in a clinically relevant human model. This platform has the potential to transform the way new vaccines can be assessed before and throughout clinical development to anticipate and considerably de-risk vaccine strategy.

Faculty Supervisor:

Derek Wilson


Jessica Duprez


Sanofi Pasteur






York University



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