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UBC Math Dept
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Mathematical Biology and related seminars

April, 2015
Tuesday,
April 28
Bryan Mayer -- 3:30 pm in ESB 4133
Fred Hutchinson
Statistical and mathematical modeling of human herpesviruses
Abstract
In this talk, I will discuss applications of statistical and mathematical models to study two different human herpesviruses. First, I will demonstrate how viral load data can be used to estimate viral load thresholds required for transmission of genital herpes infection. This information provides a vital link between viral pathogenesis at the single host level and epidemiologic spread of the virus. Second, using data collected from a study in Uganda, I analyze primary cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in infants, where little is known about the natural history of infection. In this cohort, infants with primary CMV infection persistently shed virus for extended periods of time (> 180 days) with characteristic kinetics. Here, a mathematical model is employed to explain different phases of primary infection.
May, 2015
Thursday,
May 7
Anmar Khadra -- 3:15 pm in Math 126
Dept of Physiology, MacGill U.
The biophysics of T-cells: From molecular interactions to population dynamics
Abstract
One major scientific challenge in human health is developing effective vaccines to block T-cell responses in spontaneous autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes (T1D). The ability of these T cells to recognize host cells (e.g., insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells in T1D) and to exert cytotoxicity on self-tissue is dictated by the binding affinity (avidity) of T-cell receptors (TCR) with surface molecules on host cells, called peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (pMHC). Recent findings have shown that in T1D, and other autoimmune disorders, low-avidity autoreactive T cells spontaneously differentiate into memory autoregulatory T-cells that can blunt autoimmunity. These autoregulatory T cells can be selectively expanded using nanovaccines, or nanoparticles (NPs) coated with pMHC, in a PMHC-density- and dose-dependent manner. By using multistep Markov models and continuum avidity model of T cells, one can optimize the efficacy of NPs and identify the causes of abnormalities exhibited by this system. In this talk, we will present our recent work deciphering the kinetics of TCR-interaction with pMHC-coated NPs, and elucidate the role of immunomodulation in altering disease dynamics.

Seminar series sponsored by PIMS.

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