Navigation Links
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to model immune responses to gut pathogens

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $10.6 million grant to researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) and collaborators to determine how the human immune system responds to infection by pathogens of the gut. The funding will be used to apply mathematical modeling to the study of immune responses to gut pathogens.

"The Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens will generate new hypotheses based on computer simulations of the immune responses in the gut and perform pre-clinical and clinical experiments that will reveal how the immune system works when intestinal pathogens invade the human body," said Josep Bassaganya-Riera, principal investigator of the center, associate professor at VBI, and leader of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Group in VBI's CyberInfrastructure Division.

"We want to use powerful computer simulations to uncover the mechanisms of action underlying immune responses to intestinal pathogens and accelerate the discovery of drug targets suitable for the prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders caused by gut pathogens, such as persistent diarrhea, gastric cancer, inflammation, and ulcers," said Bassaganya-Riera.

The research project team will work with a wide range of collaborators and engage the infectious disease and immunology communities to disseminate user-friendly mathematical and computational models for the study of human immunity to infection or vaccination.

"Food- and water-borne illnesses that arise from infections with gastrointestinal pathogens cause an enormous health burden around the globe," said Richard Guerrant, director for the Center of Global Health in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. "Escalating medical costs, lost productivity, and premature death are linked to annual outbreaks of pathogens that target the intestinal tract of humans. This project sets out to address the need for more informed scientific research that translates into effective clinical solutions for gastrointestinal infections. It should open novel approaches to providing much needed health solutions to individuals in both developing and industrialized countries."

The Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens is organized into four major areas: computational/mathematical model development, immunological experimentation, bioinformatics, and education.

"Generations of life scientists have worked in a reductionist paradigm to provide crucial insight into the interactions between biological systems at scales ranging from organs, tissues, and cells to molecules," said Stephen Eubank, deputy director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at VBI. "What's been lacking is a holistic understanding of how all these pieces function together in a real organism with all its messy irregularity, heterogeneity, and complexity across scales."

Added Madhav Marathe, deputy director of the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at VBI: "Extremely detailed interaction-based modeling is a natural approach to understand these systems. This can only be achieved through high-performance computational modeling and simulation that will stretch the capabilities of even the most powerful machines a beautiful example of a petascale computing problem. This project is a first step in that direction, with a focused application on enteritis and well-integrated computational and laboratory research teams. An important goal is to allow biologists to use these sophisticated tools without becoming computing experts."

Bruno Sobral, director of the CyberInfrastructure Division at VBI, said: "I am delighted to see this project emerge both for the specific biology and infectious disease community that it will serve, but also because of its great strategic cohesion with all of the activities in the CyberInfrastructure Division. It ties with other crucial projects that we are engaged in, such as the Middle Atlantic Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and VBI's PathoSystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC). It is because of the integrated biology of host-pathogen-environment interactions that underpins infectious diseases in the real world that these projects also are coordinated through key leaders such as Dr. Bassaganya-Riera. The opportunities within and across projects are substantial, with benefits to all."

A better understanding of the mechanisms of action underlying immune responses to emerging and re-emerging gut pathogens promises to lead to the development of broad-spectrum vaccines and immunotherapeutics.


Contact: Barry Whyte
Virginia Tech

Related medicine news :

1. Virginia Tech professor discovers new TB pathogen
2. VCU first Virginia institution to join national network of academic research centers
3. Dr. Phillip Chang Introduces New Ways to Decrease Scars and Potential Complications For Breast Augmentations in Loudoun and Fairfax Virginia
4. Virginia Hospital Shared Services Corporation Selects Verified Credentials as its Exclusively Endorsed Provider of Background Screening Services
5. West Virginia EHR Collaborative Adds New Member
6. Internet Security Problems Solved - A New Internet Security Group Defeats CyberCrime in West Virginia
7. Virginia First State to Pass Health Care Freedom Act: 38 States Lining Up Against ObamaCare
8. Patient Advocates From Across Virginia Visit the State Capitol to Address State Budget Cuts to Medicaid
9. US21, Inc. is Granted a Wholesale Distributor Permit from the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Pharmacy
10. Virginia House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith Sponsors Legislation Enabling Mobile Solution for Health Care SALEM, Va.
11. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... In an age where the cost of energy is rising, Susquehanna ... in 2009. The Williamsport Regional Medical Center (WRMC) campus has grown 50 percent since ... , According to Facilities Management Administrative Director Dieter Reichmann, this is the result ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... NavaFit Inc. today announced the ... others to train with, participate in local fitness & sporting events, and stay ... , “As high medical costs drive us to get more serious about fitness and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec Products, Inc., ... Sponsorship of Synergy 2015. The annual WennSoft KEY2ACT user conference will take place ... will unite customers, partners, WennSoft team members and sponsors to facilitate the sharing ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth ... throughout Georgia, along with affiliate organizations, Alabama Partnership for Telehalth (ATP) and Florida ... for Fall 2015. , Each of the three conferences share this year’s ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, ... August 26. Berry, who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, ... Gyms in the United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), ... Therapy Catapult to advance development of large scale ... immunotherapy. Under the agreement, the Cell Therapy Catapult ... to support advanced clinical trials and eventual commercialization ... --> The Cell Therapy Catapult is a ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Former White House Spokesman, and Drug Czar Public Affair Director, ... Robert Weiner , and Policy Analyst Daniel Sordello ... this is now a potential bipartisan campaign and debate issue ... Carly Fiorina to Rand Paul and ... they call "a shocker: 23 million need but do not ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Ga. , Oct. 12, 2015  MiMedx Group, ... company utilizing human amniotic tissue and patent-protected processes to ... Wound Care, Surgical, Orthopedic, Spine, Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and ... revenue results for the third quarter of 2015, its ... the Company has secured a $50 million Senior Secured ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: