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.
Director, Immune Monitoring Lab
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.

Visit the Immune Monitoring lab website



Cellular Immunotherapy Program

Cellular Immunotherapy Program

Learn about the Cellular Immunotherapy Program.

Maus Lab

Maus Lab

Learn about the Maus laboratory.

CAR T-Cell Therapies

CAR T-Cell Therapies

Learn about CAR T-Cell Therapies at Mass General Cancer Center.


  • Wehrli M, Gallagher K, Chen Y, McAfee S, El-Jawahri A, DeFilipp Z, Horick N, McAfee S, O’Donnell P, Spitzer T, Dey B, Cook D, Trailor M, Lindell K, Maus M.V, Frigault M, Maus MV. Biomarkers associated with Anakinra treatment as a third line therapy for refractory CRS / ICANS in CAR T treated patients. Accepted for publication in Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer, 2022.
  • Haydu, JE, Maron JS, Redd RA, Gallagher KME, Fischinger S,Barnes JA, Hochberg EP, Johnson C, Takvorian RW, Katsis K, Portman D, Ruiters J, Sechio S, Devlin M, Regan C.,Blumenthal KG, Banerji A, Judd B AD, Scorsune KJ., McGree BM, Sherburne MM, Lynch JM, Weitzman J, Lei M, Kotton CN, Dighe AS, Maus MV, Alter G, Abramson JS, Soumerai JD. Humoral and cellular immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a prospective cohort study. Accepted for publication in Blood Advances, 2022.
  • Bailey SR , Vatsa S , Larson RC, Bouffard AA, Scarfo I, Kann MC, Berger T, Leick MB, Wehrli M, Schmidts A, Silva H, Lindell KA , Demato A, Dr. Gallagher KM, Frigault MJ, Maus MV. Blockade or deletion of IFNg reduces macrophage activation and enhances CAR-T function in hematologic malignancies. Accepted for publication in Blood Cancer Discovery, 2022.
  • Weingarten-Gabbay S, Klaeger S, Sarkizova S, Pearlman LR, Chen DY, Gallagher KM, Bauer MR, Taylor HB, Dunn WA, Tarr C, Sidney J. Profiling SARS-CoV-2 HLA-I peptidome reveals T cell epitopes from out-of-frame ORFs. Cell. 2021 Jul 22;184(15):3962-80.
  • Johansson U, Gallagher K, Burgoyne V, Maus MV, Casey KS, Brini GG, Frigault MJ, Yam JY, Chavda N, Besley C, Lugthart S. Detection of CAR‐T19 cells in peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid: An assay applicable to routine diagnostic laboratories. Cytometry Part B: Clinical Cytometry. 2021 Apr 29.
  • Gallagher KM, Leick MB, Larson RC, Berger TR, Katsis K, Yam JY, Brini G, Grauwet K, COVID M, Maus MV. SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity to variants of concern following vaccination. bioRxiv. 2021 Jan 1.
  • Maryamchik E, Gallagher KM, Preffer FI, Kadauke S, Maus MV. New directions in chimeric antigen receptor T cell [CAR‐T] therapy and related flow cytometry. Cytometry Part B: Clinical Cytometry. 2020 Jul;98(4):299-327.
  • Frigault MJ, Dietrich J, Martinez-Lage M. Leick M, Choi BD, DeFilipp Z, Chen YB, Abramson J, Crombie J, Armand P, Nayak L, Panzini C, Riley LS, Gallagher K, Maus M. Tisagenlecleucel CAR-T Cell Therapy in Secondary CNS Lymphoma. Blood. 2019, 12; 134(11):880—866.

American Society for Hematology Oral Abstracts, 2021:

  • Frigault MJ, Gallagher KM, Wehrli M, Valles B, Casey K, Lindell K, Trailor M, Cho H, Brown JL, Horick NK, Chou J. A Phase II Trial of Anakinra for the Prevention of CAR-T Cell Mediated Neurotoxicity. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:2814.
  • How J, Gallagher KM, Liu Y, DeMato A, Katsis K, Larson R, Leick MB, Neuberg DS, Maus MV, Hobbs G. Antibody and T-Cell Responses to COVID-19 Vaccination in Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:316.
  • Bailey SR, Vatsa S, Larson R, Bouffard AA, Scarfò I, Gallagher KM, Frigault MJ, Maus MV. Blocking IFNγ in CAR-T Reduces Checkpoint Inhibitors and Cell-Mediated Toxicity without Compromising Therapeutic Efficacy in CD19+ malignancies. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:1723.
  • Scarfò I, Gallagher KM, Leick MB, Kann MC, Budka J, Sowrirajan B, Nguyen K, Shen RR, Bot A, Maus MV. Effects of Prior Exposure to Tec Kinase (BTK/ITK) Inhibitors on Kte-X19 Products. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:3849.
  • Frigault MJ, Chen YB, Gallagher KM, Horick NK, El-Jawahri A, Scarfò I, Wehrli M, Huang L, Casey K, Cook D, Spitzer T. Phase 1 Study of CD37-Directed CAR T Cells in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory CD37+ Hematologic Malignancies. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:653.
  • Leick MB, Silva H, Scarfò I, Larson R, Choi BD, Bouffard AA, Gallagher KM, Schmidts A, Bailey SR, Kann MC, Jan M. Rational Chemical and Genetic Modifications Enhance Avidity and Function of CD70-Directed CAR-T-Cells for Myeloid Leukemia. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:405.
  • Frigault MJ, Dietrich J, Gallagher KM, Scarfò I, Roschewski M, Jordan JT, Forst DA, Plotkin SR, Cook D, Casey K, Katsis K. Tisagenlecleucel Demonstrates Safety, Efficacy and CNS Trafficking in Primary CNS Lymphoma. Blood. 2021 Nov 23;138:258.