The MITII center research focuses on different aspects of understanding the dynamics and evolution if immune responses, with a focus on adaptive responses to influenza infection. The research consists of a tight combination of modeling and experints.
The modeling projects aim to develop a quantitative framework to describe how prior immunity affects the dynamics and evolution of recall immune responses to influenza viruses. The are currently three specific goals:
- Model how prior humoral immunity affects recall response to different hemagglutinin (HA) molecules of influenza strains with a focus on antibody response.
- Model how prior CD8 T cell immunity affects recall response to influenza.
- Model how prior humoral and T cell immunity affects recall response to influenza strains with focus on B & T cells.
The experimental projects aim to characterize recall immune responses to influenza. The goal is to develop quantitative models to predict vaccine efficacy. Our primary interests here are to provide the data to test and refine the quantitative models, and this will be accomplished through a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics and evolution of recall immune responses to influenza viruses. The current projects aims to
- Characterize the humoral immune response to influenza.
- Determine how T cell receptor affinity affects proliferation and differentiation, and quantify the longevity of resulting T cell populations
- Determine how pre-existing B and T cell responses to different epitopes affect the dynamics of recall responses to live virus strains differing in their antigenic distance to pre-existing immunity.
- Determine the relevance of our studies in the human system by measuring antibodies to the head and stem of HA following vaccination and measuring T cell affinity and diversity following infection.
The center involves researchers from 4 different institutions, with the PI at Emory University.