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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 2015 summer school (June 1-4) and symposium (June 4-5) will take place on the campus of the University of Rochester, presented by the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling (URCBIM). The summer school is intended for experimental immunologists and scientists who desire to learn how to use mathematical/computational models, in particular differential equation models and their experimental data, to address immunological questions. Computational biology and bioinformatics graduate students at the earliest stages of their studies are also welcome. No computational modeling experience is required. Please visit the Summer School website for more information and registration instructions. The registration deadline is May 1, 2015.

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 May 1, 2015. Visit the Summer School 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.

Immediately following the summer school is the symposium on “Immune Modeling in the Big Data Era.”  The symposium brings together an international group of speakers to address the challenges of modeling immune responses from complex data, focusing on

  • Immunological Big Data
  • Mathematical modeling of immunity and pathogens
  • Bioinformatics modeling in immunology
  • Network modeling for systems immunology and biology
  • Modeling Ebola and other emerging viruses 

There will be a poster session with three awards for the best posters. Poster abstracts are due May 15, 2015.

Visit the 2015 Symposium website for more information, travel awards, and registration instructions.

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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 February 03, 2015

Last Reviewed February 03, 2015