Systems biology of T-cells: clinical, experimental and theoretical approaches

The immune system can be viewed as a coordinated set of cells and
molecules that preserve the integrity of vertebrates’ tissues and physiology.
Thus, it defends against health-threatening microorganisms (such as
viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites) and tumours. In doing so, the immune
system must be able to distinguish between harmful antigens and nonharmful
self-antigens, which should be tolerated and/or not damaged. It
must also distinguish different pathogens from each other, and sufficiently
rapidly to mount an efficient response. These requirements have resulted in
a system with many hundreds of different signalling molecules impacting
and/or mediating the function of, at least, twenty different immune cell
Immunological processes span temporal and spatial scales from handfuls of
interacting molecules within a cell to huge populations of proliferating
lymphocytes. Thus, a profound physical and mathematical understanding
and a range of deterministic and stochastic modelling approaches are
required to describe them. Moreover, technical advances are providing
ever-more-refined tools with which to probe immune responses and
constrain the models. For example, recent advances in two-photon
microscopy and cell labelling have made it possible to directly observe
cells interacting in vivo, and are opening new perspectives in Immunology
by generating a wealth of quantitative data. Theoretical understanding of
these interactions and other processes is very much lacking, in some cases,
apparently, for deep mathematical reasons. The integration of mathematical
and computational models with immunological data poses a challenge that
cannot be successfully managed by immunologists, biologists, clinicians,
physicists or applied mathematicians on their own. An inter-disciplinary
approach is required to provide answers to the current challenges of basic
and clinical Immunology.
The workshop is intended to cover cutting edge topics of T lymphocyte
physiology, from thymic development and differentiation and T cell
repertoire generation to peripheral homeostasis, activation and regulation,
both in health and disease. The major focus of the workshop is to promote
and stimulate the combination of theoretical approaches, whether
mathematical or computational, with clinical and experimental ones. This
inter-disciplinary approach has the advantage of providing a novel and
quantitative insight to both basic and clinical immunology. The dual aspect
of T cell physiology, health and disease, will then be covered from
theoretical, clinical and experimental perspectives.
+ show speakers and program
Balbino Alarcón Departamento de Biología Celular e Inmunología,
Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”,
CSIC–Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Madrid,
Michael J. Bevan Department of Immunology and the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute, University of
Washington. Seattle, WA, USA.
Arup K. Chakraborty Departments of Chemical Engineering,
Chemistry, and Biological Engineering, MIT /
Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General
Hospital, MIT, and Harvard University.
Cambridge / Boston, MA, USA.
Rob J. de Boer Theoretical Biology, Utrecht University. Utrecht,
The Netherlands.
José Faro Departamento de Bioquimica, Xenética, e
Inmunoloxía, Universidade de Vigo. Vigo, Spain.
António A. Freitas Lymphocyte Population Biology Unit, CNRS,
URA 1961, Institut Pasteur. Paris, France.
Luis Graça Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Universidade de
Lisboa / Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia. Lisboa /
Oeiras, Portugal.
Zvi Grossman Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National
Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD, USA.
Thomas Höfer Division of Theoretical Systems Biology, German
Cancer Research Center and BioQuant Center.
Heidelberg, Germany.
Bruno Kyewski Division of Developmental Immunology, Tumor
Immunology Program, German Cancer Research
Center. Heidelberg, Germany.
Martin Meier-Schellersheim Laboratory of Systems Biology,
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Bethesda,
Carmen Molina-París Department of Applied Mathematics,
School of Mathematics, University of Leeds.
Leeds, UK.
Ed Palmer Laboratory of Transplantation Immunology and
Nephrology, Department of Biomedicine,
University Hospital Basel. Basel, Switzerland.
Ellen A. Robey Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,
University of California. Berkeley, CA, USA.
Alfred Singer Experimental Immunology Branch, National
Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Bethesda, MD, USA.
María L. Toribio Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”,
CSIC–Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Madrid,
Veronika I. Zarnitsyna Wallace H. Coulter Department of
Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of
Technology. Atlanta, GA, USA.

22 Oct - 24 Oct 2012
meeting website