8-10 october 2012 Печать E-mail
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25.09.2013 г.

С 8 по 10 октября 2012 года на Биологическом факультете МГУ пройдёт цикл лекций «Physico-chemical Concepts in Immunology and Virology», который прочтёт профессор Аруп Чаркаборты (MIT, Cambridge, USA), выдающийся специалист по применению физических концепций и моделей к иммунологическим проблемам.

Курс рассчитан на продвинутых дипломников, аспирантов, а также более зрелых специалистов в области физики, химии, биоинформатики и т.п., интересующихся проблемами современной иммунологии.

Курс рассчитан на 15 часов занятий в течение двух с половиной дней, начиная со второй половины понедельника 8 октября.

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Physico-chemical Concepts in Immunology and Virology

Led by Arup K. Chakraborty
Robert T. Haslam Professor of chemical engineering, chemistry, & biological engineering
Director, Institute for Medical Engineering & Science
Founding member, Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard

Course Objective

This three-day course is intended to educate physicists, physical chemists, and engineers about the basic concepts in immunology and describe how approaches rooted in the physical sciences can help address important immunological questions. The primary goal of the course is to inspire physical and engineering scientists to work together with immunologists and virologists to advance our understanding of the immune response to pathogens and to harness that understanding in order to develop therapeutic protocols (such as vaccines). No background in immunology is assumed; the course is appropriate for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty members in physics, chemistry, or engineering departments. Students and faculty members from immunology, virology, and medicine will also find the course helpful in that it will expose them to ways in which physical scientists and engineers can work with them to confront and overcome major challenges in basic immunology and global health.

Course Overview

Various types of cells and organs of the immune system serve as the sentinels and armed forces that enable humans to survive in a world full of infectious pathogens. Higher organisms, like humans, have an adaptive immune system that allows them to mount pathogen-specific immune responses to combat a diverse and evolving world of pathogens for which they are not pre-programmed. The importance of adaptive immunity is made vivid when it is compromised (e.g., upon HIV infection). Also, many autoimmune diseases are the direct consequence of the adaptive immune system failing to discriminate between markers of “self” and “non-self”. The toll of infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders has motivated a great deal of experimental research aimed toward understanding how the adaptive immune response is regulated, and indeed, some spectacular discoveries have been made. Yet, an understanding of the principles that govern the emergence of immune or autoimmune responses has proven to be elusive. An example of a practical consequence of this missing knowledge is that a quarter of a century after the discovery of HIV, a vaccine is not yet available. An important barrier to the quest for mechanistic principles is that the pertinent processes involve multi-scale, stochastic, and collective dynamic phenomena with many participating components, features that can confound an intuitive interpretation of experimental observations. Theoretical, computational, and quantitative approaches rooted in the physical and engineering sciences, are beginning to play an important role in confronting this challenge. The goal of this course is to introduce students to basic immunology, and then lead them to such leading-edge research at an intersection of the physical, life, and engineering sciences. The last day of the course aims to provide a capstone experience by providing an introduction to the pathogenesis of HIV, and then demonstrating cutting-edge efforts to design a vaccine against this scourge on the planet. The methods discussed on the last day can be translated to address other viral infections.

About the Instructor

Arup K. Chakraborty is the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Biological Engineering at MIT, and the founding Director of MIT’s new Institute of Medical Engineering and Science. He is also a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard, which is focused on multi-disciplinary approaches to understand human immunology and develop a vaccine against HIV. After obtaining his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, and postdoctoral studies at the University of Minnesota, he joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in December 1988. He rose through the ranks, and ultimately served as the Warren and Katherine Schlinger Distinguished Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, and Professor of Biophysics at Berkeley. He was also Head of Theoretical and Computational Biology at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In September 2005, Arup moved to MIT. For over twelve years, the central theme of his research has been the development and application of theoretical/computational approaches, rooted in physics and engineering, to study how T lymphocytes, orchestrators of the adaptive immune response, function. In recent years, this has included efforts to study the human immune response to HIV and vaccine design. A characteristic of his work is the impact of his studies on experimental immunology and clinical studies (he collaborates extensively with leading immunologists). Arup’s work at the interface of the physical, life, and engineering sciences has been recognized by many honors that include a NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the E.O. Lawrence Memorial Award for Life Sciences, the Allan P. Colburn and Professional Progress awards of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, a Miller Research Professorship, and a National Young Investigator award. Arup is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Course Outline

  1. Basic concepts in immunology:
    • The innate and adaptive immune systems and how they interact
    • A focus on adaptive immunity
    • Humoral immunity (e.g., B lymphocytes)
    • Cellular immunity (e.g., T lymphocytes)
  2. Cellular immune responses mediated by T lymphocytes (T cells) I:
    • How T cells recognize the presence of a foreign pathogen
    • How signaling in T cells translates recognition to function
    • Challenges in understanding T cell signaling and its aberrant regulation
    • Deterministic mathematical models for the T cell signaling network
    • Importance of stochastic fluctuations, master equation-based models, and algorithms
    • Case study showing the discovery of new aspects of the T cell signaling machinery by bringing together computational and experimental studies
  3. Cellular immune responses mediated by T lymphocytes (T cells) II:
    • How many types of T cells do you need to recognize diverse pathogens
    • How long must the peptides be to cover self and foreign antigens
    • Development of the T cell repertoire in the thymus
    • How is T cell recognition of pathogens both specific and degenerate
    • Theoretical and computational models for development of the T cell repertoire
    • Case study on specific/degenerate T cell recognition of pathogens by bringing together concepts from spin glass physics, extreme value distributions, and experiments
  4. Humoral immune responses mediated by B lymphocytes and Antibodies:
    • Development of B cells
    • Germinal center reactions and evolution of antibodies (affinity maturation)
    • Mathematical models, continuum and stochastic, for antibody maturation
  5. Host-pathogen dynamics:
    • Basic concepts in host-pathogen interactions
    • Dynamical equations for host-pathogen dynamics
    • Virus evolution, stochastic and deterministic models
    • Mapping viral evolution to Ising models in statistical physics
  6. Case studies focused on adaptive immune response to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); a special emphasis on bringing sophisticated theory, in vitro experiments, and clinical data together.
    • Genetic determinants of HIV control
    • Development of the fitness landscape of HIV (and other viruses) by bringing together statistical physics with clinical data
    • Design of potent immunogens for a vaccine against HIV
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