Postgraduate Seminar – Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Theme hosted by Sophia Davidson, Stephen Nutt, Dylan Sheerin
Professor Bali Pulendran
Violetta L. Horton Professor, Stanford University
Human immunity to infection and vaccination
Virtual seminar only
Including Q&A session
Although the development of effective vaccines has saved countless lives from infectious diseases, the basic workings of the human immune system are complex and have required the development of animal models, such as inbred mice, to define mechanisms of immunity. However, past results are not necessarily a reliable guide to the future, and a notable limitation of animal models has been their failure to accurately model some human diseases and their inability to predict human immune responses in many cases. In the past decade there has been an explosion of new approaches and technologies to explore the human immune system with unprecedented precision. Insights into the human immune response to vaccination, cancers, and viral infections such as COVID-19 have come from high-throughput “omics” technologies that measure the behavior of genes, mRNA, proteins, metabolites, cells, and epigenetic modifications, coupled with computational approaches. I will discuss how these approaches are advancing our mechanistic understanding of the human system and its response to vaccines and infections and facilitating the development of vaccines against infectious diseases.