Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

peoplepublicationshome pageresearch


The adaptive immune response enables humans (and other higher organisms) to combat pathogens that they have never encountered before.  In spite of many important advances over the past decades, a predictive understanding of the principles that govern the emergence of an adaptive immune response has been elusive.  The Immune Response Consortium (IRC) aims to take steps toward the development of such predictive mechanistic principles.  A specific focus is the adaptive immune response to Listeria monocytogenes, a class B pathogen.

The activation of the adaptive immune response is the result of cooperative dynamic processes that span molecular, cellular, and tissue scale processes.  It is this hierarchically organized cooperativity with feedback that makes it difficult to intuit underlying mechanisms from experimental observations alone.  The IRC aims to confront and overcome this challenge by an approach that brings together methods rooted in the biological, physical, and engineering sciences.  Synergistic use is made of theoretical and computational approaches and genetic, biochemical, and imaging experiments to address the pertinent issues.

The IRC is a collaboration involving scientists and engineers from MIT, Stanford University, Washington University, New York University, Memorial Sloan Ketering Cancer Center, University of California (Berkeley), and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The IRC is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.