Breakout 2.1

8/31 11:00 - 1:00, Annenberg Auditorium

A systems approach to dissecting immunity

Alan A. Aderem

Co-founder and Director, Institute for Systems Biology.

Macrophages represent one of the cornerstones of the innate immune system. They detect infectious organisms via a plethora of receptors; they phagocytose them, and then orchestrate an appropriate host response to them. In order to precisely define the nature of the threat the immune cell uses pattern recognition receptors to read a molecular bar-code that is displayed on the specific pathogen. This precise recognition triggers a specific, highly regulated, response to the pathogen by the host. I will present data that uses the tools of Systems Biology to identify the molecular programs that lead to appropriate responses in macrophages.

Alan A. AderemAlan Aderem has studied the interface between the innate and adaptive immune system for more than twenty five years. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Aderem rose through the ranks at The Rockefeller University, becoming head of the Laboratory of Signal Transduction in 1991. In 1996, he accepted a position as Professor of Immunology and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2000, Dr. Aderem co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) with Drs. Leroy Hood and Ruedi Aebersold. The ISB is an interdisciplinary institute that focuses on the biology of complex systems including the immune system.