WCCT Global, a CRO headquartered in Southern California, has established a collaboration agreement with researchers in Dr. Garry P. Nolan's laboratory from the department of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University. Together with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), WCCT Global currently is conducting influenza infection studies in healthy volunteers and is the first CRO to conduct such studies in North America.
Nolan is an immunologist and is a pioneer in the field of mass cytometry (CyTOF), an advanced single-cell analysis technique that allows simultaneous detection of more than 40 different proteins per cell.
"CyTOF permits deep profiling of immune responses by providing unprecedented resolution of the identity and signaling states of a large number of cell types. Together with the important scientific resource of WCCT Global's human influenza challenge facility, this will allow us for the first time to understand what the earliest phases of human influenza infection look like at a system-wide level,” said Dr. David McIlwain, leader of this project in the Nolan lab, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research fellow at Stanford University.
“By examining individuals in a highly controlled environment, we hope that this collaboration will shed light on what distinguishes someone in the community who will easily recover from the infection from those individuals who have prolonged symptoms and require hospitalization. Ultimately this work may point toward novel opportunities for intervention in the course of influenza infection, a major burden to global health," said McIlwain.