Explore the Immune Monitoring Laboratory


The Immune Monitoring Laboratory is an essential and integral part of the Cellular Immunotherapy Program.

The laboratory provides expertise to enable translational clinical studies of immune-based therapies, based on the highest standard operating systems. Assays are executed by a team of experts specializing in immune profiles of disease and analysis of immune testing and response. A cancer immune monitoring platform provides the equivalent of immune system pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, in addition to providing mechanistic data on patterns of toxicity, resistance, and efficacy.

Laboratory Assays

Assays performed by the Immune Monitoring Laboratory:

  • Processing of peripheral blood, bone marrow, CSF and fine needle aspirates
  • Storage of PBMC, BMMC, serum, plasma, CSF
  • mRNA extraction, quality evaluation and storage
  • DNA extraction and storage
  • Quantification of cytokines and other soluble proteins in serum, plasma and CSF using ELISA or multi-plex Luminex (standard assays or customizable kits)
  • Multi-color flow cytometry: Current assays in place include T cell memory phenotyping, T-reg identification and phenotyping, CAR-T identification, quantification and phenotyping, T cell absolute counts, plasma cell PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression. Custom assays can be developed upon request.
  • Nanostring bulk mRNA analysis for use in CAR-T therapy evaluation.

Assays in development:

  • Quantification of surface antigen expression
  • ddPCR for monitoring CAR-T expansion
  • T cell intracellular cytokine assays
  • T cell CD107 degranulation assay


Kathleen Gallagher

Kathleen Gallagher, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School Instructor, Laboratory Director, MGH

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Cardiff University, UK
MSc. Clinical Immunology (Healthcare sciences), Manchester University, UK
Ph.D. Cellular immunology, Cardiff University, UK

Kathleen Gallagher was previously trained as a Clinical Immunology Healthcare scientist in the UK. She was head of a large leukemia / lymphoma Immunophenotyping service at Birmingham University, UK. During this role, her lab achieved and maintained ISO 15189 accreditation. Kathleen also responsible for the processing and analysis of the NCRI AML-18, AML-19, and FIGARO measurable residual disease flow trials for the UK. Kathleen was recruited to establish the IML in 2018 and is passionate to support the groundbreaking work being undertaken in MGH in the field of immune-oncology.


Jennifer Yam

Jennifer Yam
Research Technologist II

BSc. Immunology and Biomedical Toxicology, University of Toronto, Canada
MSc. Immunology, University of Toronto, Canada

Jennifer completed her Master’s degree in Immunology at the University of Toronto and subsequently worked at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, where she gained experience in GMP manufacturing of adoptive cell therapy products and quality assurance management. In her current role at the Immune Monitoring Lab, she assists in the development of new assays as well as maintaining quality and consistency within the lab.


Gabrielle Brini

Gabrielle Brini
Research Technologist I

B.S. Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
M.S. Applied Molecular Biotechnology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gabrielle recently joined the lab after receiving her masters in Applied Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Massachusetts’s Amherst. Her prior research experience is includes characterizing genes for their potential contribution to salt and drought tolerance in the model organism A. thaliana. Gabrielle’s role in the IML includes sample processing and banking, database management and the development of molecular techniques including ddPCR and Nanostring for CAR-T investigations.


Katelin Katsis

Katelin Katsis
Research Technician I

B.S. Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, University of New Hampshire

Katelin recently joined the lab after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences from the University of New Hampshire. In her current role at the Immune Monitoring Lab, she performs sample processing and banking and database management duties.


Emily Silva

Emily Silva
Laboratory Manager, MGH

Emily is the Lab Manager for the Immune Monitoring Lab within the MGH Cancer Center. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s in Environmental Management and Sustainability from Harvard University Extension School. She has held research and lab management positions at the Harvard T.S. Chan School of Public Health and in several cancer research labs here at MGH. Emily oversees the management, administration and operations of the IML, ensuring that the lab runs in a safe and efficient manner.



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