The Immunomonitoring Laboratory (IML) provides cutting-edge technology platforms for the comprehensive immunophenotyping of blood and tissues. Our services allow investigators to monitor the impact of therapeutic interventions on immunologic profiles, interrogate mechanisms and pathways related to treatment protocols and advance the conceptual basis for targeted treatment strategies. We collaborate with scientists, clinicians and industry partners involved in clinical trials and discovery-based immunologic research.

We offer expertise in:

  • Study consultation and planning
  • Sample procurement and processing
  • Cataloguing and biobanking
  • Immune assay
  • Immunophenoptics
  • Integration with immunogenomics, technology development and immunophenotyping at scale

View a list of services . To view prices and request services, visit our iLab page.

Contact Us
Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

Who We Are

C. Marcela Diaz, PhD

Scientific Director

Jennifer Ko, MD, PhD

Medical Director

Pat Rayman, MS

Principal Research Technologist

Paul Pavicic, MS

Lead Research Technologist

Miles Dunn

Research Technician


Jennifer Powers

Laser Assisted Cell Isolation Specialist

Mikayla Mundell

Research Technician

Brian Race

Lab Technician

Assays & Technology

Study Consultation and Planning
Expertise is available to help investigators select optimal immunophenotyping strategies including the type, design and feasibility of assays; the relevant time points needed; and amount of blood/tissue required. Project managers are available for large projects or clinical trials correlates research.

Sample Procurement and Processing
Our laboratory offers cost effective standardized and optimized procedures for blood and tumor tissue processing. We continuously monitor our procedures to ensure consistent yield of viable cell products. We also offer assistance with paraffin tissue block selection and retrieval, and assay-specific processing.

Cataloguing and Biobanking
In collaboration with the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Cental Biorepository, we offer acquisition, barcoding and controlled storage of procured samples and/or cell products. We utilize the scientific data management system LabVantage® for biospecimen annotation, report generation and quality control with ensured compliance with regulatory standards.

Immune Assays
We offer highly specialized technologies to analyze both cellular and soluble biomarkers, including high-parameter flow cytometry (BD FACSymphony®) and cell sorting, advanced proteomics platforms (Meso Scale Discovery [MSD]; Olink Proteomics); as well as a myriad of functional immune assays (T cell activation assays, T cell suppression assays, ELISPOT, intracellular cytokine analysis, etc.).

Tumor circling and purity quantification, as well as conventional and special slide stains will be available. In collaboration with the LRI Imaging Core, investigators will be able to visualize, analyze and quantify the cellular components of the tumor microenvironent by multiplex immunocytochemistry, as well as by multispectral imaging on the Vectra Polaris®.

Integration with Immunogenomics, Technology Development and Immunophenotyping at Scale
The IML is a central component of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology (CITI). In addition to offering immunophenotyping resources, CITI also has an in-house computational team and technology development team (Discovery Lab). These state-of-the-art resources are available to enhance IML-based immunophenotyping at scale.

Highlighted Studies

Kidney Cancer

  • CASE 5816: A Single-arm Phase II Trial of Intermittent Nivolumab in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma who Have Received Prior Anti-Angiogenic Therapy 
  • CASE 12815: A Phase Ib Trial of Neoadjuvant Durvalumab (MEDI4736) +/- Tremelimumab in Locally Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Bladder Cancer

  • CASE 6819 A Phase II Study of Intermittent Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients with Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma

Brain Cancer

  • CASE 1317: A Randomized Phase 2 Open Label Study of Nivolumab plus standard dose Bevacizumab versus Nivolumab plus low dose Bevacizumab in Recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM)
  • CASE 2317: Phase I Study of Ibrutinib with Radiation and Temozolomide in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
  • CASE 3317: Phase I Study of Ruxolitinib with Radiation and Temozolomide in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Grade III Gliomas and Glioblastoma
  • CASE 7318: Regorafenib in Bevacizumab Refractory Recurrent Glioblastoma
  • CASE 4316: Expedited Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy and Chemoradiation for Patients with Newly Diagnosed High Grade Gliomas

Breast Cancer

  • CASE 3113: Overcoming Stromal-specific Immune Escape Mechanisms by Targeted Immunotherapy.
  • CASE 8119:Evaluation of immunologic and serologic biomarkers for prediction of response to checkpoint antibody therapy in metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC)


  • CASE 1617: Germline Mutations in High Risk Melanoma Patients
  • CASE 1619: Leveraging ctDNA Analysis to Improve Early Detection of Cancer Recurrence in the High-Risk Adjuvant Melanoma Setting
  • CASE 2619: Phase II Trial of Nivolumab in Combination with Talazoparib in Patients with Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma with mutations in BRCA or BRCA-ness
  • CASE 6620: Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy Combined with Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in Cancer


Sheng IY, Diaz-Montero CM, Rayman P, et al. Blood Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Correlate with Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio and Overall Survival in Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma. Target Oncol. 2020;15(2):211-220. doi:10.1007/s11523-020-00707-z

Fallah J, Diaz-Montero CM, Rayman P, et al. Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Nonmetastatic Urothelial Carcinoma of Bladder Is Associated With Pathologic Complete Response and Overall Survival [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 19]. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2020;S1558-7673(20)30053-7. doi:10.1016/j.clgc.2020.03.004

Tannenbaum CS, Rayman PA, Pavicic PG, et al. Mediators of Inflammation-Driven Expansion, Trafficking, and Function of Tumor-Infiltrating MDSCs. Cancer Immunol Res. 2019;7(10):1687-1699. doi:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0578

Pfannenstiel LW, Diaz-Montero CM, Tian YF, Scharpf J, Ko JS, Gastman BR. Immune-Checkpoint Blockade Opposes CD8+ T-cell Suppression in Human and Murine Cancer. Cancer Immunol Res. 2019;7(3):510-525. doi:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0054

Tzeng A, Diaz-Montero CM, Rayman PA, et al. Immunological Correlates of Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma. Target Oncol. 2018;13(5):599-609. doi:10.1007/s11523-018-0595-9

Zahoor H, Pavicic PG Jr, Przybycin C, et al. Evaluation of T cell infiltration in matched biopsy and nephrectomy samples in renal cell carcinoma. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(37):e12344. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000012344

Ornstein MC, Diaz-Montero CM, Rayman P, et al. Myeloid-derived suppressors cells (MDSC) correlate with clinicopathologic factors and pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients with urothelial carcinoma (UC) undergoing cystectomy. Urol Oncol. 2018;36(9):405-412. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.02.018

Najjar YG, Rayman P, Jia X, et al. Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Subset Accumulation in Renal Cell Carcinoma Parenchyma Is Associated with Intratumoral Expression of IL1β, IL8, CXCL5, and Mip-1α. Clin Cancer Res. 2017;23(9):2346-2355. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-1823