Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2010
  • Initiating Organization: National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • No disease focus
  • Location: North America


The Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC) was established in 2010 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation as part of the overall NIAID focus on human immunology. HIPC’s purpose is to capitalize on recent advances in immune profiling methods in order to create a novel public resource that characterizes diverse states of the human immune system following infection; prior to and following vaccination against an infectious disease; or prior to and following treatment with an immune adjuvant that targets a known innate immune receptor(s).


HIPC’s goals are as follows:

Structure & Governance

HIPC has a number of specific subcommittees each with a specific area of expertise, including Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Clinical Research, and Samples & Assays subcommittees.

The Steering Committee (SC) consists of the principal investigators from each HIPC center as well as Department of Health and Human Services scientists and staff. The SC serves as the governing board of the network and directs the collaborative work of the HIPC investigators, determines the use of the Infrastructure and Opportunities Fund (IOF), evaluates the progress and direction of the individual awardees and network, and makes recommendations for the continuation or re-direction of projects on an ongoing basis and in consultation with NIAID. The SC chair is elected annually by majority vote from among the nongovernment SC members.

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 2011 to provide advice to NIAID on the progress of scientific studies, to identify gaps within the program, and to review and recommend new opportunities that will contribute to fulfillment of the HIPC mission. SAB members attend the semiannual investigator meetings to review and discuss HIPC progress and deliverables with the HIPC SC and with NIAID management staff.

Data Sharing

HIPC was established with the specific goal to share data as widely and freely as possible in order to promote new research and generate new hypotheses. In addition to individual center projects, HIPC includes an IOF that supports pilot projects as well as shared research infrastructure for ongoing development of the immunology project network, which may include, for example, the development of shared databases, sample repositories, bioinformatics tools, sample sparing assays, centralized laboratory resources, and other collaborative activities. It is essential that data be made available to HIPC investigators, as well as those outside of the HIPC centers, for the purposes of data mining. The method of data storage must enable easy comparison of standardized results and meta-data. The ease with which data can be shared and compared is critical to the success and mission of the HIPC centers.

The HIPC Data Sharing Plan is designed to enable the widest dissemination of data, while also protecting the privacy of the participants and the utility of the data, by de-identifying and masking potentially sensitive data elements. This approach is fully compliant with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) public data-sharing policy (

The HIPC Data Sharing Plan applies to all HIPC investigators (see definition below). HIPC principal investigators (PIs) are responsible for providing copies of this plan to their center investigators as well as to any other collaborators who receive HIPC funds, including IOF support.

Relevant Definitions:
“Data” refers to all data associated with a HIPC-funded research project or clinical study, including the meta-data needed to interpret and mine the results.
A data set, “for the purposes of this document, is pre-defined in a formal written Data Set Completion Plan developed for each study by HIPC investigators in cooperation with NIAID Program Officers. When a previously defined data set is completed, the timeline for making the data available to the public begins (see section b., ‘Defining Data Sets,’ below). Note that data may be deposited into the Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort, prior to the completion of a pre-defined data set. In this case, the timeline for making the data set public does not begin until the defined data set has been completed.”
A “HIPC investigator” is any project leader, core leader, or other investigator funded under one or more of the HIPC U01 or U19 grants, as well as other investigators supported by the IOF.
A “HIPC Principal Investigator (PI)” is the PI of a HIPC U01 or U19 grant.

Timeline for Public Data Sharing:
Completed data sets, as described below, will remain private to the HIPC investigator who generated the data, and his/her designee, for three years in order to allow for analysis and publication by the HIPC investigator, or until acceptance of the first publication by the HIPC investigator. When the earlier of these two conditions is met, the data set will be moved to a public space for access by outside investigators. Note that abstracts and oral presentations are not considered to be publications for the purposes of the HIPC Data Sharing Policy.

The timeline for public availability will not begin until the data set is complete, although portions of a previously defined data set should be deposited into the Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort) prior to that point, in accordance with the timeline outlined in the Data Set Completion Plan.

Requests for embargo periods in excess of three years can be made with appropriate justification, but are expected to be very rare.

Data Management:
Central Database: HIPC investigators agree to deposit their data ImmPort according to a timeline determined together with the NIAID program officer for each study. To fulfill the HIPC data-sharing objectives, the investigators will enter all study data and meta-data into ImmPort. If any additional or alternative databases are identified by the HIPC Steering Committee, then these will also be acceptable platforms for data sharing.

Standards for Complex Data Sets:


PMIDs for publications


Points of Contact

Sponsors & Partners

Baylor Research Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Research Institute

Emory University

Mayo Clinic

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

Stanford University

Yale University

Last Updated: 04/15/2016

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