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HIV Immunopathogenesis Core

Recent advances in technology related to the study of immune function provide highly specialized tools to advance our understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis. The goal of the HIV Immunology Core (HIC) is to use highly specialized assessments of immune function to advance our understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis. Investigators will be able to perform their laboratory studies after consultation with, and BSL3 training from, the highly qualified staff in the HIC.


  • Flow cytometry
  • Live cell sorting (HIV-infected or other biohazardous cells, in BL3)
  • Confocal microscopy (immune cell interactions)
  • Basic flow cytometry course
  • ELISpot assay training
  • Virology services

Please contact the IMMUNOPATHOGENESIS CORE LEADERSHIP to discuss the above services or other services that you might need. We are eager to hear your ideas about additional core services not listed here that can help your research.


Infectious Diseases
1161 21st Avenue South Room A2200 Medical Center North
Vanderbilt University
Nashville,Tennessee 37232-2582


Spyros Kalams, M.D.
(615) 322-5977
Dr. Kalams is an expert in cellular and molecular immunology, with extensive experience in human T cell immunology. He discusses projects with prospective core users to determine the best use of core resources and help plans potential experiments with users.

Associate Director
Bindong Liu, Ph.D. (Meharry Medical Center)
Dr. Liu oversees usage of a BD FACScalibur at MMC. This instrument has two lasers and is capable of four color analysis. Dr. Liu will act as a liason between MMC and VUMC, and help determine whether users from MMC would benefit from instrumentation or resources available at VMC.


Louise Barnett has 25 years of experience in flow cytometry and cell sorting. She is responsible for all live-cell sorting with the FACSaria, which is configured to perform 4-way sorting and 11-color analysis. Ms. Barnett is an expert at optimizing assays, and is directly involved with planning experiments. Ms. Barnett also supervises use of the Ultraview 3-laser confocal microscope, which is also located in the BL3 area.

Rita Smith has extensive experience in the isolation, cryopreservation, and thawing of viable cells, as well as with Elispot assays and intracellular cytokine staining assays. As a core service, Ms. Smith and Ms. Barnett help CFAR core users learn the proper techniques for cellular analysis, and help with the selection of antibodies and fluorochromes for flow analysis or cell sorting.

Lorraine Sutton directs the CFAR BL3 Training Program. She supervises usage of the dedicated HIC hoods and performs p24 antigen assays. Users may work unsupervised in the BL3 after 20 hours of work supervised by a trainer.


Infectious Diseases
1161 21st Ave. S.
Room A-2100 Medical Center North
Vanderbilt University
Nashville,TN 37232-2582

(615) 343-5929 (Louise Barnett)

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This page was last updated September 16, 2011 and is maintained by Gina Perez