EMBO Workshop on Complex Systems in Immunology

The mammalian immune system is an enormously complex system, understanding of which is crucial to human health. This EMBO Workshop aims to gather together scientists who share a broad interest in investigating the immune system by applying systems biology approaches. It also aims to promote innovative ideas and collaborative efforts in unraveling the system-wide properties that enable the robust functioning of the immune system.

Homeostasis is crucial to proper immune function. The mammalian immune system is constantly challenged and requires continuing adjustments to its regulatory mechanisms in order to maintain its balance. Challenges to this homeostatic state may come from the external milieu (e.g. microbes) or from the internal milieu (e.g. metabolites), causing disruption of immune function and leading to a variety of diseases, such as autoimmunity, allergy, metabolic syndromes and cancer.

The robust functioning of the immune system is thought to rely on a highly complex multi-level interaction network, linking intracellular biochemical networks, intercellular communication networks and inter-organ cellular trafficking networks through space and time. Understanding, modeling and predicting the behavior of such a complex system presents a scientific challenge that is going to have profound implications on human health and the prevention of disease. It also represents an intriguing paradigm for how complexity can achieve diversity (e.g. antibody repertoire) and yet maintain specificity (e.g. antigen specificity). Thus, deciphering the complexity of how the immune system works not only requires biochemical, cellular and molecular approaches, but also 'omics', computational and modelling approaches.

Recent years have seen the emergence of 'systems biology' approaches that are now applicable to human studies. This will represent a necessary step to advance our basic understanding of the human immune system, its de-regulation in human diseases and to enable future translational applications based on these basic findings. Keeping this in perspective, the present workshop aims at discussing the state-of-the-art knowledge on the complexity of the human immune system as a whole, as well as catalyzing new ideas on how best to address this problem using a combination of systems biology, immunology and computational techniques.

Topics presented will span from modeling of the interactions that take place within and between immune cells that lead to the emergence of polarized and effective immune responses, to the interaction of the immune system with both commensal and pathogenic microbes, which determine the balance between immune homeostasis and infectious disease. Mathematical, statistical and computational methods to analyze and model systems-level data and make inferences and predictions about emerging properties of these complex systems will also be discussed.

We foresee this EMBO Workshop to provide excellent opportunity for cross-disciplinary collaboration and to expose scientists to the latest experimental approaches and computational techniques in the field. We believe that this workshop will encourage and provide a strong impetus towards the development of "human systems immunology" as a major theme in biomedical research. Junior scientists are especially encouraged to apply, as this will likely represent a unique networking opportunity to foster early-stage careers in this exciting new field.

+ show speakers and program
Monday, 2 December
Plenary Session 1
09:00 - 09:10 LIM Chuan Poh
Chairman, A*STAR
Opening Address
09:10 - 09:20 Philippe KOURILSKY
Chairman, SIgN
Welcome Address
09:20 - 09:30 Maria LEPTIN
Director, EMBO
EMBO – Singapore cooperation
09:30 - 09:55 Jan VASBINDER
Director Center Complexity Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
09:55 - 10:10 Discussion
10:10 - 10:35 Andre LEVCHENKO
Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
10:35 - 10:50 Discussion
10:50 - 11:20 Coffee Break
11:20 - 11:45 Nikolaus RAJEWSKY
Professor, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
11:45-12:00 Discussion
12:00 - 12:40 Garry NOLAN
Professor, Stanford University
KEYNOTE TALK
12:40 - 13:00 Discussion
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Poster Session 1
15:30 - 15:55 Giulio SUPERTI-FURGA
Scientific Director, CeMM Research Centre for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Science
15:55 - 16:10 Discussion
16:10 - 16:40 Coffee Break
16:40 - 17:05 Matthias MANN
Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
17:05 - 17:20 Discussion
17:20 - 17:45 Jean-Pierre ABASTADO
Principal Investigator, SIgN
17:45 - 18:00 Discussion
Tuesday, 3 December
Plenary Session 2
09:00 - 9:25 Maria LEPTIN
Professor, Univeristy of Cologne and Directors' Research Unit, EMBL
09:25 - 09:40 Discussion
09:40 - 10:05 Arturo CASADEVALL
Chair of Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
10:05 - 10:20 Discussion
10:20 - 10:30 Selected talk 1
10:30 - 10:35 Discussion
10:35 -10:45 Selected talk 2
10:45 - 10:50 Discussion
10:50 - 11:00 Selected talk 3
11:00 - 11:05 Discussion
11:05 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 11:55 Edda KLIPP
Head of Department of Theoretical Biophysics, Humboldt University of Berlin
11:55 - 12:10 Discussion
12:10 - 12:35 Norman PAVELKA
Principal Investigator, SIgN
12:35 - 12:50 Discussion
12:50 - 13:50 Lunch
13.50 - 14.15 Irina UDALOVA
Head Genomics of Inflammation laboratory, Imperial College London
14:15 - 14:30 Discussion
14:30 - 16:00 Poster Session 2
16:00 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 16:55 Fabio STELLA
Associate Professor, University of Milan - Bicocca
16:55 - 17:10 Discussion
17:10 - 17:35 Daniela RHODES
Professor, Nanyang Technological University
17:35 - 17:50 Discussion
Wednesday, 4 December
Plenary Session 3
09:00 - 09:25 Subhra BISWAS
Principal Investigator, SIgN
09:25 - 09:40 Discussion
09:40 - 10:05

Peer BORK
Joint Head of Unit and Strategic Head of Bioinformatics, EMBL
10:05 - 10:20 Discussion
10:20 - 10:45 Coffee Break
10:45 - 10:55 Selected talk 4
10:55 - 11:00 Discussion
11:00 - 11:10 Selected talk 5
11:10 - 11:15 Discussion
11:15 - 11:25 Selected talk 6
11:25 - 11:30 Discussion
11:35 - 12:15 Alan ADEREM
Keynote Talk
President, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
12:15 - 12:35 Discussion
12:35 - 12:40 Closing remarks
12:40 - 13:40 Lunch
Visit to Biopolis

2 Dec - 4 Dec 2013
Singapore
Singapore
meeting website