Tetramer Request Process The tetramer request process is managed by two entities:
- the NIAID/NIH Project Officer and the Tetramer Resource Committee (TRC) at the NIH in Bethesda, MD
- the Facility Manager at the NIH Tetramer Facility at Emory University in Atlanta, GA
The request process can be broken down into three steps.
Step 1: All tetramer requests, including refill requests, are made using the appropriate online request form that is automatically sent to the NIH TRC for review. It is important that the requester complete all fields of the request form, even for refill requests. Incomplete request forms will be held for consideration until the required information is provided.
Requests will be reviewed in a confidential manner by the NIH TRC comprised of NIH staff. The NIH TRC meets approximately every two weeks to review, approve and prioritize applications. All requests received by 12 pm EST on the day prior to the meeting are reviewed at the TRC meeting on the following day. All requests received after 12 pm are reviewed at the next meeting.
Requests should be made by the laboratory Principle Investigator (PI) who must also register with the NIH Tetramer Facility. Registration entails completing a Materials Transfer Agreement and sending the original signed document to Dale Long, Facility Manager at the NIH Tetramer Facility at Emory University. The registration form may be completed before or after submitting tetramer requests, but failure to submit a registration form will delay or prevent final approval of tetramer requests. If the PI changes institutions, he/she must submit a new registration form from the new institution.
Step 2: Requesters are informed of approval by Dale Long, NIH Tetramer Facility Manager, via email and given additional instructions for shipping peptides and/or transport containers to the NIH Tetramer Facility.
Step 3: The NIH Tetramer Facility Manager organizes tetramer production and shipment to requesters. The Facility Manager may contact the requester to coordinate peptide or tetramer shipments or to discuss any issues related to production of the approved tetramers. Requesters may also contact the Facility Manager to receive a progress report on a particular tetramer order.
For custom-made tetramers, requesters are required to submit the necessary epitope peptides to the NIH Tetramer Facility within four months of request approval. Approved requests that do not meet this deadline will be inactivated, and the requester will have to submit a new request online. Epitope peptide submissions should normally be 10 mg (for class I tetramers) or 2 mg (for custom made class II) of lyophilized, >80% pure peptide. Note that there are some exceptions; for example, the class I alleles HLA-B*57xx are particularly difficult to fold, and so we ask for a minimum of 25mg in this case.
Please note that for custom-made class I reagents it takes at least one month minimum from the time the NIH Tetramer Facility receives the peptide to the time the reagent is ready to be shipped. Custom class II tetramer synthesis may take three to four months, depending on the MHC alelle requested (for those alleles that require tethered consructs). The time frame for receiving a reagent can vary depending upon the timing of the TRC meeting, the workload at the Tetramer Facility, technical issues related to actual tetramer production, and shipping delays.