Colloquium on August 13, 2012

Phil Hodgkin
Immunology Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Ken Duffy
Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Reverse engineering the immune system

The body's immune system is responsible for protecting it against all forms of disease and is constituted by a sizable collection of distinct organs and cell systems. Despite their inherently decentralized nature, these systems act in concert to fight pathogens. This talk will explain fundamental elements of immunity, demonstrating that abstract reasoning has historically aided in reverse engineering its vast complexity. We will illustrate how, with the development of quantitative experimental technologies, methodologies from mathematics, statistics and theoretical physics are being brought to bear in order to aid our understanding, and to facilitate our manipulation, of this important system.