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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Many of the world’s leading vaccine researchers met last week as part of the Immunogencity: Determinants and Correlates conference hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics, also known as iCubed. The conference was held at Hotel Providence.
ICubed applies cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to accelerate the development of treatments and cures for a wide range of diseases. It is headed by Dr. Anne De Groot and Denice Spero.
De Groot is the principal investigator of the $13 million Translational Immunology Research and Accelerated Vaccine Development program, which created iCubed.
The conference focused on immunogenicity, the body’s ability to produce an immune response to disease-causing agents. Vaccine experts, immunologists and protein therapeutics developers met and discussed the drivers of immunogenicity and applied research on how to improve protein therapeutics and vaccines.
In addition, the conference also explored Tregitopes, the term for the combination of T-cells and epitopes, which are central components of the body’s defense system. As part of the conference, a workshop was held at URI’s Feinstein Providence campus to train students in vaccine design using immunoinformatics and immunological techniques.