CANCELLED - Guiding Antibody Evolution via Programmable Antigen Environments

Date Thursday October 20, 2016 at 4:00 PM
Location A2-342 MDCC, Moss Auditorium, Marion Davies Children Clinic
Speaker Shenshen Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Theoretical/Computational Biophysics), Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA
Sponsoring Dept UCLA Biomathematics
Abstract ABSTRACT: Antibodies, soluble forms of B cell receptors, attain increasing affinity for encountered antigens by alternating between somatic mutation and competitive selection in a cyclic fashion, a phenomenon known as affinity maturation. But this Darwinian process becomes ineffective in facing highly mutable complex pathogens, notably HIV, which have evolved various tactics to escape and divert immune responses. In this talk, I will describe the challenges in inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies by vaccination, present an agent-based computational model of affinity maturation driven by multiple antigens with complex epitopes, and discuss novel immunization strategies that can potentially focus antibody response onto the targeted viral vulnerability which test favorably in mice. If time allows, our recent attempts and surprises will be briefly mentioned.
Flyer Shenshen_Wang_20161020_cancelled.pdf