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How to Hit HIV Where It Hurts

Arup K. Chakraborty, PhD, MIT
Center for Cell Circuitry Seminar
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Mahley Auditorium

Vaccines have revolutionized modern medicine,  and saved more lives than any other medical procedure. But vaccines have failed against some pathogens, among them HIV, a highly mutable virus.

Arup K. Chakraborty and his team combine theoretical and computational biology, rooted in statistical physics and machine learning, with basic and clinical immunology to understand how the virus’s ability to propagate infection depends on its sequence. They then validate the predictions emerging from this analysis using in vitro and clinical data. 

In this seminar, Chakraborty will describe how a T cell–based HIV vaccine was designed based on these findings, and tested in pre-clinical studies. He will also discuss his work on affinity maturation, and understanding how it may be manipulated by antigens and vaccination protocols to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies against highly mutable pathogens, such as HIV and influenza.

About the Speaker

Arup K. Chakraborty is currently the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Physics and Chemistry at MIT. After obtaining his PhD in chemical engineering and postdoctoral studies, he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1988. In 2005, Chakraborty moved to MIT.

Chakraborty’s work has largely focused on bringing together immunology and the physical and engineering sciences. He is specifically focused on the intersection of statistical mechanics and immunology. His interests span T cell–signaling, T cell–development and repertoire, and a mechanistic understanding of HIV evolution, antibody evolution, and vaccine design. 

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.

Hosted By: 

Gladstone Center for Cell Circuitry

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