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The Third Immunoinformatics and Computational Immunology Workshop will be held in conjunction with the ACM International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in Orlando, FL on October 7-10 2012.

The main theme of this meeting is “Bridging Immunology and Computer Science“. Nowadays computational methods are integral to virtually every research and development project in every discipline. Immunology is not an exception and the need for sophisticated computational methods for research and development in immunology is increasing. At the same time, because of the extreme domain complexity of immunology, the lag between availability of sophisticated computational methods and their implementation in this field is increasing. The ICIW 2012 will include presentations that describe theoretical advances and practical applications that will help bridge this gap and, as a consequence, accelerate the development of immunology.

EpiVax’s Anne De Groot, Bill Martin, and Frances Terry will be presenting workshop tutorials on both iVAX and ISPRI.

iVAX: Interactive Vaccine Design Toolkit

This workshop will begin with an introduction to the basic principles of T cell epitope mapping and epitope based vaccine design, followed by a hands-on tutorial in which participants follow an interactive worksheet to explore the tools on the iVAX website. Here’s a preview:

A genomes-to-vaccine strategy for rational vaccine design requires the identification of T cell epitopes, short peptide sequences displayed by antigen presenting cells to T cells, to create immunogenic and protective vaccines from whole genomes. iVAX consists of a suite of immunoinformatics tools for the design of genome-derived, epitope-driven vaccines generated from protein sequences.  The iVAX toolkit has been used to create vaccine constructs against HCV and H. pylori, as well as a multi-pathogen prophylactic vaccine based on defined epitopes for F. tularensis and new epitopes for three variants of Burkholderia. The effect of collecting these immunoinformatics tools, applying them to high-profile vaccine projects, and putting them in the hands of vaccine researchers will accelerate the development of critically important vaccines for human health and biodefense. Participants in this tutorial will learn the basic steps to analyzing pathogenic protein sequences using the iVAX toolkit, from file formatting and upload through epitope discovery, analysis, and arrangement into string-of-beads vaccines.

Interactive Screening and Protein Re-engineering Interface (ISPRI)

This workshop will begin with an introduction to the basic principles of T cell epitope mapping and protein immunogenicity scoring, followed by a hands-on tutorial in which participants follow an interactive worksheet to explore the tools on the ISPRI website. Here’s a preview:

Epitope discovery technology and related in silico immunogenicity screening tools are rapidly becoming invaluable components of the biologic product pipeline. The ISPRI interactive biologics screening and optimizing work environment provides a portal to in silico tools used for unlimited, high throughput screening of partial and complete sequences of biological (protein therapeutic) candidates. The toolkit can be used to identify within each protein sequence potentially immunogenic regions and to fine map those individual amino acids which contribute most to the immunogenic potential of the product. Participants in this tutorial will learn the basic steps to analyzing therapeutic protein sequences using the ISPRI toolkit, from file formatting and upload through epitope discovery and analysis.