About the event
The Department of Physics and Astronomy invites all to a colloquium featuring Dr. Armita Nourmohammad, Department of Physics at University of Washington. Dr. Nourmohammad will present their talk, “Adaptive Immunity in Light of Host-Pathogen Coevolution”, Thursday, October 21, at 4:10 p.m. in Webster 17.
Abstract: The adaptive immune system consists of highly diverse B and T cells whose unique surface receptors enables them to mount specific responses against a multitude of pathogens. Adaptive immunity incorporates all aspects of life, from molecular signaling to cellular evolution. The result is an information processing molecular organization with many interacting components, which can reliably sense and adaptively respond to diverse and evolving pathogens. With the growing amount of molecular data, we can now quantify the sequence diversity generated in immune repertoires. However, we still lack an understating of how such diversity translates to immune function. In this talk, I will introduce a principled statistical framework to integrate interpretable biophysical models of immune receptor generation with flexible and powerful deep learning approaches to characterize sequence determinants of immune receptor function. Apart from these data-driven approaches, I will establish a theoretical framework to characterize the organization and encoding of information in the adaptive immune system to counter the out of equilibrium evolutionary drive that a host experiences from pathogens. These approaches will shed light on how the diversity of immune repertoires shape functional responses to ever-changing pathogenic environments.