The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

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21 Mar 2024

Antibody responses upon vaccination

Add to my calendar 04/04/2024 12:00 pm 04/04/2024 1:00 pm Australia/Melbourne Antibody responses upon vaccination Doherty Institute Auditorium, Ground Floor, 729 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne DD/MM/YYYY

04 Apr 2024
12.00 - 1.00pm

Doherty Institute Auditorium, Ground Floor, 729 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Antibody responses upon vaccination

Research seminar presented by:

Professor Arup K. Chakraborty
Departments of Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry and the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About Professor Arup Chakraborty

Arup K. Chakraborty is one of the 12 Institute Professors at MIT, the highest rank awarded to a MIT faculty member, and holds the John M. Deutch Institute Professorship. He is also a Professor of Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry at MIT. He served as the founding Director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and he is a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard. For over two decades now, Chakraborty’s work has largely focused on bringing together approaches from statistical physics, immunology, and virology. His interests span T cell signaling, development of the T cell repertoire, and a mechanistic understanding of virus evolution, antibody responses, and vaccine design. Since 2016, Chakraborty has also been interested in the role of phase separation in gene regulation.


We do not have effective vaccines against rapidly mutating viruses, such as HIV; nor do we have a universal vaccine against seasonal variants of influenza or new variants of SARS-CoV-2. I will describe how by bringing together approaches from physics, virology and immunology, progress is being made to address this challenge. I will focus on the antibody arm of this challenge. Antibodies are produced by a Darwinian evolutionary process called affinity maturation that occurs in germinal centers (GCs). I will describe results obtained from statistical physics-based models of affinity maturation and processes that occur outside GCs during the recall response, and complementary data from animals and humans, that shed light on the types of antibodies that are produced upon repeated vaccination. Booster shots with variant antigens and the same antigen will be considered. Feedback loops important in determining the recall response will be described. Finally, I will discuss how bringing together physics-based simulations, approaches from machine learning/optimization, and experimental studies may help design protocols that elicit desired antibody responses.