Immune Profiling Program
The Lowance Immune Profiling Program, led by Dr. Christopher Tipton, offers the following services and capabilities:
- High-resolution, multi-color flow cytometry and cell sorting of distinct B cell populations
- Full length heavy and light chain IGH sequencing of bulk sorted or unsorted B cells including full bias control, PCR artifact control, and quantitative information via molecular barcodes and synthetic library spike-ins
- Single cell sorting and cloning of matched heavy and light chains.
- High-throughout, emulsion-based heavy and light chain pairing for synthetic reproduction of antibodies and subsequent binding and reactivity testing
- Expert analysis of large repertoire data sets using a specialized pipeline developed specifically for study of clonal dynamics between B cell populations
- Access to an extensive library of comparison control data, including longitudinal, subsetted B cell samples from healthy, vaccinated, and diseased individuals.
Christopher M. Tipton obtained his PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 2009. His graduate work examined how opioid abuse affects immune function on a molecular level, with a specific focus on transcriptional regulation of inflammatory factors in response to mu and kappa opioid peptides. For his post-doctoral studies, Dr. Tipton joined the lab of Dr. Iñaki Sanz and used his expertise in molecular immunology to construct from the ground up an extensive method for analysis of the human B cell repertoire using state-of-the-art next generation sequencing technology coupled with multi-color flow cytometric analysis and cell sorting. Studying the human antibody repertoire on a populace and single cell level, he has made seminal contributions to our understanding of plasma cell diversity and derivation in autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus. During this time, he also concentrated on optimizing computational analysis of high-density data derived from these studies using an in-house developed bioinformatics pipeline. He was quickly promoted to assistant professor and given duties as director of the Antibody Core Facility in the Lowance Center for Human Immunology. As one of the leaders in IGH repertoire sequencing, this core facility allowed collaborators access to advanced B cell population analysis.
In 2015, Dr. Tipton joined Adaptive Biotechnologies as a Senior Computational Biologist and was involved in analysis and experimental design of T cell receptor (TCR) and B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire studies from clients from around the world, including both academic collaborators and pharmaceutical companies. These studies spanned from large cohorts of cancer patients, looking at clonal tumor T cell infiltrates in response to novel immunotherapy drugs, to projects involving longitudinal collection from subjects after vaccination.
However, eager to continue his own research on the molecular events surrounding loss of immunological tolerance and development of autoreactivity in autoimmune disorders, Dr. Tipton rejoined Emory University in late 2016 as director of the Lowance Immune Profiling Program (LIP2). This program conducts cutting edge translational and mechanistic studies while providing essential core services to multiple investigators in the Lowance Center, Division of Rheumatology, the Emory Autoimmunity Center of Excellence, and from other institutions around the world. LIP2 also provides collaborative support for NIH-funded research centers and networks including the Immune Tolerance Network.