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Systems Biology: Quantitative Immunology

Friday 23 January 2009

Prof.dr. Rob de Boer

Understanding a complex system like the immune system requires more than experimental identification of all its components. Lymphocytes form populations with their own characteristic dynamics, cells have their behavioral rules when they migrate through the tissues, and molecules interact according to their biochemical properties.

Mathematical modeling and Bioinformatic analysis of immunological data is a "Systems Biology" approach providing quantitative insights in the functioning of the immune system. Our group has a rich history of theoretical research of the immune system, focussing on lymphocyte population dynamics during health and disease, acute and chronic immune responses to viruses, and predictions of peptides recognized by lymphocytes. The research has a strong emphasis on HIV because there is so much data available and because many of the key questions have a kinetic nature.

Projects vary from development of mathematical models to fit experimental data to help data interpretation, to computer simulation models of cells migrating to lymphoid tissues, or predicting which regions from particular pathogens will be immunogenic in a particular host. We are member of the Utrecht Center for Quantitative Immunology (http://tbb.bio.uu.nl/ucqi/), which is a unique center bringing together the expertise of immunologists, mathematical modelers and bioinformaticians.
Projects can be done by shared supervision of several members of the UCQI.

Mathematical modeling, computer simulation, Bioinformatics

6 or 9 months

Prof.dr. Rob J. de Boer, r.j.deboer@uu.nl

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