The adaptive immune system protects us from infectious diseases and diverse pathologies (e.g., cancer). The pathogen-specific immunological memory that the adaptive immune system exhibits is the basis for vaccination. The adaptive immune system can also go awry, leading to diverse autoimmune diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis). The Chakraborty group is focused on understanding how systemic adaptive immune responses are regulated, and on harnessing this understanding to design vaccines against scourges such as HIV. We confront these challenges by bringing together theoretical and computational studies, rooted in statistical physics, with a diversity of biological experiments and clinical data (with collaborators). A major emphasis of our theoretical and computational studies is to make mechanistic predictions and design therapies that can be directly tested, and the metric of success is uncovering basic principles and impact on experimental and clinical immunology. We have active collaborations with immunologists around the world. Current research interests are primarily focused on signaling in T and B lymphocytes, development of an antigen specific (yet degenerate) lymphocyte repertoire, the human immune response to HIV, and vaccine design.
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