The Core Immunology Laboratory at Blood Systems Research Institute has focused on performing high-throughput immune assays including cell phenotyping and sorting at our flow cytometry facility and soluble markers at our biomarker research facility. We have measured immune responses including cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, antibodies and other biomarkers of immune response or pathology in a number of disease settings ranging from viral infections (HIV, HCV, HBV, West Nile, Dengue, Zika), parasitic infection (Chagas) and chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, liver fibrosis, kidney disease and neuropathology). Our work has been evaluated by an NIH-funded quality assurance program and we have performed to the highest standards set out by the EQAPOL program.

  • Contact
  • Core Services
  • Publications

Clara Di Germanio, PhD
270 Masonic Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118
Click Here For Email  
Phone: (415) 923-5771 x499

Consultation and collaboration for experimental design for clinical studies

We will work with investigators who have research interests or objectives but need advice on study design for clinical sampling and specimen type. We can also advise on refining study objectives and selecting biomarkers that would be needed to achieve those goals. In conjunction with the VRI research grants administration, repository and statistics core facilities, we make collaborating cost and time efficient. Our publication record demonstrates this extensive work.

Measuring biomarkers by ELISA, Luminex, Meso Scale

Including but not limited to:

  • Single and multiplex markers of Inflammation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Neurological and cognitive disorders
  • Antibodies to infectious diseases

Flow cytometry and cell sorting

  • Cell phenotyping and intracellular cytokine analysis
  • Microparticle and exosomal vesicle analysis

Examples of assays performed at the Core Immunology Laboratory:

Publications in NLM's PubMed

Publications in Google Scholar


Selected Publications

Ragin AB, Wu Y, Gao Y, Keating S, Du H, Sammet C, Kettering CS, Epstein LG. Brain alterations within the first 100 days of HIV infection. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2015 Jan;2(1):12-21. PMID: 25642430

Lanteri MC, Vahidnia F, Tan S, Stapleton JT, Norris PJ, Heitman J, Deng X, Keating SM, Brambilla D, Busch MP, Custer B; NHLBI REDS III Study. Downregulation of Cytokines and Chemokines by GB Virus C After Transmission Via Blood Transfusion in HIV-Positive Blood Recipients. J Infect Dis. 2015 May 15;211(10):1585-96.PMID: 25425697

Potter DR, Baimukanova G, Keating SM, Deng X, Chu JA, Gibb SL, Peng Z, Muench MO, Fomin ME, Spinella PC, Kozar R, Pati S. Fresh frozen plasma and spray-dried plasma mitigate pulmonary vascular permeability and inflammation in hemorrhagic shock. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Jun;78(6 Suppl 1):S7-S17.PMID: 26002267

Keating SM, Deng X, Fernandes F, Cunha-Neto E, Ribeiro AL, Adesina B, Beyer AI, Contestable P, Custer B, Busch MP, Sabino EC; NHLBI Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II), International Component. Inflammatory and cardiac biomarkers are differentially expressed in clinical stages of Chagas disease. Int J Cardiol. 2015 Nov 15;199:451-9.PMID: 26277551

Williams B, Livak B, Bahk M, Keating SM, Adeyemi OM. Short Communication: SCD14 and SCD163 Levels Are Correlated with VACS Index Scores: Initial Data from the Blunted Immune Recovery in CORE Patients with HIV (BIRCH) Cohort. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2016 Feb;32(2):144-7. PMID: 26366931

Zungsontiporn N, Ndhlovu LC, Mitchell BI, Stein JH, Kallianpur KJ, Nakamoto B, Keating SM, Norris PJ, Souza SA, Shikuma CM, Chow DC.Serum amyloid P (SAP) is associated with impaired brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in chronically HIV-1 infected adults on stable antiretroviral therapy. HIV Clin Trials. 2015 Nov;16(6):228-35. PMID: 26777795

Hodowanec A, Williams B, Hanson B, Livak B, Keating S, Lurain N, Adeyemi OM. Soluble CD163 But Not Soluble CD14 Is Associated With Cytomegalovirus Immunoglobulin G Antibody Levels in Virologically Suppressed HIV+ Individuals. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Dec 15;70(5):e171-4.PMID: 26569178

Jin J, Liss NM, Chen DH, Liao M, Fox JM, Shimak RM, Fong RH, Chafets D, Bakkour S, Keating S, Fomin ME, Muench MO, Sherman MB, Doranz BJ, Diamond MS, Simmons G.Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies Block Chikungunya Virus Entry and Release by Targeting an Epitope Critical to Viral Pathogenesis. Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 22;13(11):2553-64.PMID: 26686638

Chow D, Kohorn L, Souza S, Ndhlovu L, Ando A, Kallianpur KJ, Byron MM, Baumer Y, Keating S, Shikuma C.Atazanavir use and carotid intima media thickness progression in HIV: potential influence of bilirubin. AIDS. 2016 Feb 20;30(4):672-4.PMID: 26825035

Zungsontiporn N, Tello RR, Zhang G, Mitchell BI, Budoff M, Kallianpur KJ, Nakamoto BK, Keating SM, Norris PJ, Ndhlovu LC, Souza SA, Shikuma CM, Chow DC. Non-Classical Monocytes and Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) Correlate with Coronary Artery Calcium Progression in Chronically HIV-1 Infected Adults on Stable Antiretroviral Therapy. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 11;11(2):e0149143. PMID: 26867220

Norris PJ, Zhang J, Worlock A, Nair SV, Anastos K, Minkoff HL, Villacres MC, Young M, Greenblatt RM, Desai S, Landay AL, Gange SJ, Nugent CT, Golub ET, Keating SM. Systemic Cytokine Levels Do Not Predict CD4(+) T-Cell Recovery After Suppressive Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in Chronic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2016 Feb 8;3(1):ofw025. PMID:26966697

Chow D, Kohorn L, Souza S, Ndhlovu L, Ando A, Kallianpur KJ, Byron MM, Baumer Y, Keating S, Shikuma C. Atazanavir use and carotid intima media thickness progression in HIV: potential influence of bilirubin. AIDS. 2016 Feb 20;30(4):672-4. PMID: 26825035

Hora B, Keating SM, Chen Y, Sanchez AM, Sabino E, Hunt G, Ledwaba J, Hackett J Jr, Swanson P, Hewlett I, Ragupathy V, Vikram Vemula S, Zeng P, Tee KK, Chow WZ, Ji H, Sandstrom P, Denny TN, Busch MP, Gao F; REDS-III and EQAPOL programs. Genetic Characterization of a Panel of Diverse HIV-1 Isolates at Seven International Sites. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 17;11(6):e0157340.

Keating SM, Pilcher CD, Busch MP. Timing is Everything - Shortcomings of Current HIV Diagnostics in the Early Treatment Era. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Jun 17.

Keating SM, Kassanjee R, Lebedeva M, Facente SN, MacArthur JC, Grebe E, Murphy G, Welte A, Martin JN, Little S, Price MA, Kallas EG, Busch MP, Pilcher CD. 2015.

Performance of the Bio-Rad Geenius™ HIV1/2 Supplemental Assay in Detecting ‘Recent’ HIV Infection and Calculating Population Incidence. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Aug 1.

Kassanjee R, Pilcher CD, Busch MP, Murphy G, Facente SN, Keating SM, Mckinney E, Marson K, Price MA, Martin JN, Little SJ, Hecht FM, Kallas EG, Welte A; Consortium for the Evaluation and Performance of HIV Incidence Assays (CEPHIA). Viral load criteria and threshold optimization to improve HIV incidence assay characteristics. AIDS. 2016 Sep 24;30(15):2361-71.

Keating SM, Heitman JW, Wu S, Deng X, Stacey AR, Zahn RC,de la Rosa M, Finstad SL, Lifson JD, Piatak M, Gauduin MC, Kessler BM, Ternette N, Carville A, Johnson RP, Desrosiers RC, Letvin NL, Borrow P, Norris PJ, Schmitz JE. 2015. Magnitude and quality of cytokine and chemokine storm during acute infection distinguish non-pathogenic and pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus infections of nonhuman primates. J Virol. 2016 Sep 14. pii: JVI.01061-16

Himes JE, Ho C, Nguyen QN, Amos JD, Xu H, Chan C, Chow SC, Ochsenbauer C, Kaidarova Z, Keating SM, Fouda GG, Permar SR. Characterization of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Variants Anatomically Compartmentalized in Plasma and Milk in Chronically Infected African Green Monkeys. J Virol. 2016 Sep 12;90(19):8795-808.

Gangcuangco LM, Kohorn LB, Chow DC, Keating SM, Norris PJ, Nagamine LS, Ndhlovu LC, Souza SA, Kallianpur KJ, Shikuma CM. High 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with unexpectedly high plasma inflammatory markers in HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Oct;95(43):e5270.

Sharma A, Ma Y, Scherzer R, Wheeler AL, Cohen M, Gustafson DR, Keating SM, Yin MT, Tien PC. Brief Report: Association of Adipokines With Bone Mineral Density in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women.


Rubin, L.H., Phan, K.L., Keating, S.M., Weber, K.M., & Maki, P.M. (in press). Low dose hydrocortisone has acute enhancing effects on verbal learning in HIV-infected men. In press JAIDS.

Jacobs ES, Keating SM*, Abdel-Mohsen M, Gibb SL, Heitman JW, Inglis HC, Martin JN, Zhang J, Kaidarova Z, Deng X, Wu S, Anastos K, Crystal H, Villacres MC, Young M, Greenblatt RM, Landay AL, Gange SJ, Deeks SG, Golub ET, Pillai SK, Norris PJ. Cytokines Elevated in HIV Elite Controllers Reduce HIV Replication in vitro and Modulate HIV Restriction Factor Expression. J Virol. 2017 Jan 04. PMID: 28053103.

Ghrelin, amylin, gastric inhibitory peptide and cognition in middle-aged HIV-infected and uninfected women. The Women's Interagency HIV Study. Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology (Pharmacology Sciences)