The excitement surrounding immune repertoire sequencing has resulted in a huge increase in the generation of such data. General purpose sequence databases are of limited use here, as they do not implement functionality specific to the structure of immune receptors. We are interested in methods of storing and querying very large databases of immune receptors and tracking the annotations and metadata needed to enable immunological discovery.
The computational analysis of immune receptors and receptor repertoires is a new and developing field. Progress on this front will require sufficient data to develop and evaluate methods and tune their parameters. Our informatic endeavors position us to contribute significantly in this area.
Most of our work has focused on holistically examining the B cell repertoire from peripheral blood. We are extending this in several directions: other immune cells types, other tissues, antigen-specific cells, and to single-cell sequencing assays.
Cases where the immune system responds inappropriately or insufficiently can provide fundamental insights into the system. Our work in Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) has uncovered surprisingly consistent immune alterations in this very heterogeneous disease. We are interested in understanding how far these commonalities extend in acquired or innate immune diseases and how that might be used to improve patient care.
CVID is unusual in that it exhibits feathers of both an immune deficiency and autoimmunity.
Vaccinations are a safe and controlled immune perturbation, and as such they are ideal experiments to explore the human antibody response. We are interested in how and when different people raise similar or convergent antibody responses to the same immunogen and how this evolutionary process might be directed to produce better protection.
Antigen specific plasmablast response in the blood peaks 7 days after vaccination.
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