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Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT)

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Modeling Immunity for Biodefense

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Program Overview

The NIAID contract program Modeling Immunity for Biodefense (MIB) brings together immunologists, microbiologists, bioinformaticians, and modelers to develop mathematical models of immunity to infection or vaccination. Resources developed by the program are freely available to the research community.

The contract also supports an annual summer school and symposium to introduce immunologists to modeling techniques and to explain how modeling can enhance immunological research.

Contract Awardees and Project-Generated Resources

In 2010, the MIB program awarded four contracts. The organizations and principal investigators include the following:

  1. Center for Computational Immunology at Duke University—Thomas Kepler, Ph.D.
  2. Program for Research on Immune Modeling and Experimentation (PRiME) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine—Stuart Sealfon, M.D.
  3. Research Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP) at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Polytechnical Institute—Josep Bassaganya-Riera, D.V.M., Ph.D.
  4. University of Rochester Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling—Hulin Wu, Ph.D., and Martin Zand, M.D., Ph.D. 

Each website provides free access to research data, protocols, and computational modeling and data analysis tools. These resources will also be made available through the NIAID-supported ImmPort.

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Summer School and Symposium

The 2014 summer school and symposium will take place on June 9-13, 2014, on the campus of Virginia Tech, presented by the Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens. This year's focus will be the application of computational modeling approaches to studying mucosal immunity. Please visit the Summer School and Symposium website for more information and registration instructions. The registration deadline is April 30, 2014.

A limited number of travel awards are available for students, postdocs, faculty, and staff who wish to attend, with a preference for junior investigators, students, and postdocs. Travel award applications are due March 10, 2014. Visit the Summer School Travel Award website for details.

Leading researchers in the field will give lectures and lead hands-on labs demonstrating the application of modeling techniques to immunology and infectious disease research.

This school is intended for experimental immunologists who desire an introduction to mathematical/computational modeling techniques and their applications to immunology. Computational biology and bioinformatics graduate students at the earliest stages of their studies are also welcome. No computational modeling experience is required.

Symposium topics will include computational modeling for the elucidation of

  • Receptor regulation of immune cell function
  • Mechanisms underlying immune responses to mucosal pathogens
  • Modeling immune responses to vaccination
  • Information coding of dendritic cell responses during flu infection
  • Multiscale computational modeling of tissue remodeling

Questions? Contact the Modeling Mucosal Immunity program at

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Recent MIB Publications

Miao H, Hollenbaugh JA, Z and MS, Holden-Wiltse J, Mosmann TR, Perelson AS, Wu H, Topham DJ. Quantifying the early immune response and adaptive immune response kinetics in mice infected with influenza A virus. J Virol. 84(13):6687-98 (2010).

Sen D, Forrest L, Kepler TB, Parker I, Cahalan MD. Selective and site-specific mobilization of dermal dendritic cells and Langerhans cells by Th1- and Th2-polarizing adjuvants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 107(18):8334-9 (2010).

Nudelman G, Ge Y, Hu J, Kumar M, Seto J, Duke JL, Kleinstein SH, Hayot F, Sealfon SC, Wetmur JG. Coregulation mapping basedon individual phenotypic variation in response to virus infection. Immunome Res. 6:2 (2010).  

Zaslavsky E, Hershberg U, Seto J, Pham AM, Marquez S, Duke JL, Wetmur JG, Tenoever BR, Sealfon SC, Kleinstein SH. Antiviral response dictated by choreographed cascade of transcription factors. J Immunol. 184(6):2098-17(2010).

Mitha F, Lucas TA, Feng F, Kepler TB, Chan C. The Multiscale Systems Immunology project: software for cell-based immunological simulation. Source Code Biol Med. 3:6 (2008).

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Last Updated January 31, 2014

Last Reviewed January 31, 2014