Understanding the Adaptive Immune Response to Pathogens

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). Our group is focused on understanding how the adaptive immune system is 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 mechanics, with a diversity of biological experiments and clinical data.

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.

Our Lab Values

Our lab fully supports the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Black Community. We would like to eradicate racism in all walks of life in the US, and around the world. We believe that having a larger representation of students from Black and other underrepresented minorities in academe is an important component that will help achieve this goal.