URI Welcomes Vaccine Researchers to Providence for First Meeting on Immunogenicity

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — May 10, 2011 – This week the University of Rhode Island’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics will again play host to the world’s vaccine researchers during its Immunogenicity: Determinants and Correlates conference.

The Institute, also known as iCubed, applies cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to accelerate the development of treatments and cures for a wide range of diseases. iCubed also holds an annual Vaccine Renaissance Conference to discuss the latest trends in vaccine research. The conference kicked off yesterday and runs through Wednesday at the Hotel Providence, located at 139 Mathewson Street in Providence.

The meeting will focus on immunogenicity, the body’s ability to produce an immune response to disease-causing agents. The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss the drivers of immunogenicity and the application of scientific research to improving protein therapeutics and vaccines. Vaccine experts, immunologists and protein therapeutics developers will come together for discussions of the latest determinants, correlates and models for predicting immunogenicity.

Monday and Tuesday will revolve around the determinants and correlates of immunogenicity. Wednesday the focus will be on Tregitopes, the term for the combination of T-cells and epitopes, which are central components of the body’s defense system. A TRIAD Toolkit Training Workshop will also take place on Wednesday at URI’s Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington Street.

Students will have the opportunity to be trained in vaccine design using immunoinformatics and immunological techniques. The program will feature presentations about vaccine development, epitope mapping, and immunoassays given by experts in their fields.

The conference is organized by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds including industry, academics and regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and the Nation Institute of Health Sciences.

iCubed is headed by Dr. Annie De Groot and Dr. Denice Spero. De Groot is the principal investigator of the $13 million Translational Immunology Research and Accelerated Vaccine Development (TRIAD) program, which created iCubed. Dr. Spero, the Institute’s co-director, brings her extensive career in pharmaceuticals to the mission of iCubed.

For more information on the conference or iCubed, please visit Immunome.org.