BLACKSBURG, Va., July 11, 2012 – Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP) team members recently attended the 2012 Symposium on Modeling Immune Responses from Complex Data. The symposium was held at the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, NY.  This center, along with MIEP and two others, form the Modeling Immunity for Biodefense program funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Ph.D., the Center Director and a Professor of Immunology at Virginia Tech, gave an invited talk about MIEP’s work. About the symposium, he said: “Modeling gives us a valuable tool for understanding the mechanisms of action underlying immune responses to enteric pathogens.  It leads us to new hypotheses, targets our lab work more effectively and is helping us to discover and develop novel immunotherapeutics. We have made great progress, and it is exciting to share it with others.”

Events such as this symposium provide researchers a vital opportunity to exchange research ideas on computational immunology. 

A multi-day summer school held immediately preceding the event also offered fifty students, post-docs, and other researchers a hands-on introduction to methods, technologies, and best practices for modeling immunological processes.  Adria Carbo, a PhD student in the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) at VBI, won first place for a poster entitled “Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g activation drives Th17 cells into a Treg phenotype” highlighting his work with the MIEP team.

MIEP will host its own summer school and symposium on modeling immunity at Virginia Tech in June 2014.

Please visit the MIEP Web Portal at

MIEP is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the NIH, under Contract No. HHSN272201000056C to VBI. PI: Josep Bassaganya-Riera.

About the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory
The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory conducts translational research aimed at developing novel therapeutic and preventive 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

July 11, 2012