A Taste of Mathematical & Computational Immunology

Tim Macuga Past Event

Speaker: Grant Lythe, University of Leeds, School of Mathematics

When: Friday, 2 September, 3-4 pm

Where: Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, E207

More than 1011 T cells circulate through a human body, using T-cell receptors (TCRs) to probe the surfaces of antigen-presenting cells they come into contact with. Any one T cell expresses only one type of TCR on its surface, on average about 30,000 per cell. How many diff erent types of T cells do you have? T-cell activation relies on encounters with dendritic cells in lymph nodes. How many dendritic cells are required to initiate a T-cell response?

We present a stochastic model of the T cell repertoire, based on competition between large numbers of clonotypes. We also present a simpli ed theoretical model, approximating the movement of cells in a lymph node by Brownian motion, that yields simple expressions for the rate of contacts between two types of immune cells that are compared with direct experimental measurements from Institut Pasteur.

Stochastic models of immune system dynamics, describing millions of cells that interact with each other and with their environment, are more realistic than deterministic ones. Fortunately, stochastic models are also practical because analytical and numerical methods, and open-source software, are available.

This talk is sponsored by ACEMS and the School of Mathematical Sciences at QUT.

Following the seminar, light refreshments will be served in the Mathematical Sciences School Sta Room (O614).