Coast to Coast Seminar Series: "What's in your Blood? Molecular-level Deconvolution of Human Serological and B Cell Responses"

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
11:30 - 12:30

Dr George Georgiou
Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Texas, Austin


Antibodies comprise the effector arm of humoral immunity in humans and thus play a central and essential role in protection against disease. It is straightforward to detect whether an individual has developed a (polyclonal) antibody response to a pathogen or disease agent. However, until now, more than 100 years since the discovery of antibodies, it had not been possible to determine the identities, relative concentrations and functional characteristics of the individual antibodies that comprise the polyclonal response in serum and secretions.

We recently developed a suite of: (i) proteomic, (ii) informatic, (iii) single cell sequencing and (iv) high throughput protein structure-function analysis technologies that has now enabled the deconvolution of the polyclonal antibody pool in biological fluids. These technologies are helping delineate the relationships between steady state antibody production (serological memory) and B cell stimulation/differentiation processes in human health and disease. Novel insights on how vaccines (e.g. tetanus, seasonal flu etc) induce long term protection against pathogen challenge will be discussed.