BLACKSBURG, Va., August 4, 2011 – The Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP) at VBI has launched an interactive new website that will provide users with a unique opportunity to view gut pathogen and immune cell response interactions online. MIEP Web Portal 2.0 provides an enhanced web-based experimental environment to disseminate MIEP’s new modeling tools, data, models and publications.

The new website will make immune regulatory networks available in CellPublisher, a dynamic interface that enables viewing of inter- and intracellular interactions at various levels of complexity via a Google maps-like interface. Researchers can include useful links to information at higher levels of complexity, which can be viewed at various nodes by simple mouse rollover.  Each node is annotated and can be found both on the map and on the right-hand sidebar. In addition, each node displays a JMOL 3D protein animation with direct links to PubMed and PDB that enhance MIEP’s publication search capabilities.

Reactions (i.e., the edges connecting each node) are critical components of MIEP’s modeling efforts because they link molecules together and help create a functional network. The MIEP team has extended CellPublisher’s original capabilities by facilitating reaction annotation. The new MIEP website release provides an online interactive user-friendly representation of immunological models with:

1. Easy navigation through species and reactions with zoom-in, zoom-out, drag-and-move functions;
2. Easy knowledge discovery through rich annotations of species and reactions placed on the models; and
3. Easy remote collaborations through web browsers that are supported by PCs, Macs, Smart phones, and many other devices.

“Since the project's initiation in October 2010, MIEP has made a significant amount of progress in the creation of a user-friendly web-based experimental environment that allows immunologists and infectious disease experts to navigate easily through models, real-time learning and research collaboration. The environment provided by the new MIEP Web Portal is consistent with the Center’s mission of understanding mechanisms underlying host responses. Future website upgrades will include developing user interfaces for MIEP’s modeling tools (COPASI and ENISI), which will further accelerate immunological research and discovery such as modeling CD4+ T cell differentiation,” said Dr. Bassaganya-Riera, an Associate Professor at VBI, Principal Investigator of MIEP, and Director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory.

Please visit the new MIEP Web Portal at

MIEP is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN272201000056C to VBI.

About the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory
The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory conducts translational research aimed at developing novel therapeutic and prophylactic approaches for modulating immune and inflammatory responses. The Laboratory combines computational modeling, bioinformatics approaches, immunology experimentation, and pre-clinical and clinical studies to better understand the mechanisms of immune regulation at mucosal surfaces and ultimately accelerate the development of novel treatments for inflammatory, infectious and immune-mediated diseases.

About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech is a premier bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology research facility that uses transdisciplinary approaches to science, combining information technology, biology, and medicine. These approaches are used to interpret and apply vast amounts of biological data generated from basic research to some of today’s key challenges in the biomedical, environmental, and agricultural sciences. With more than 240 highly trained multidisciplinary, international personnel, research at the institute involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry, systems biology, statistics, economics, synthetic biology, and medicine. The large amounts of data generated by this approach are analyzed and interpreted to create new knowledge that is disseminated to the world’s scientific, governmental, and wider communities.



Tiffany Trent

Published by Tiffany Trent, August 04, 2011