Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Chakraborty, Arup K.
Location Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Primary Field Biophysics and Computational Biology
Secondary Field Immunology and Inflammation
 Election Citation
Chakraborty leads a major new thrust in immunology that combines physical theory and computation with experiments and clinical data. He has made important contributions to basic immunology and infectious diseases, especially to T cell signaling and pathogen specificity, prediction of the immunological vulnerabilities of HIV, and vaccine design.
 Research Interests
The central focus of Chakraborty's lab is to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of the adaptive immune response to pathogens, and then to harness this understanding to help design better vaccines and therapies. The work represents a crossroad of the physical and life sciences. Lab members work on developing and applying theoretical and computational approaches (rooted in statistical physics) to study the collective, dynamic, and stochastic processes that underlie a systemic immune response. A hallmark of Chakraborty's research is the close synergy and collaboration between his lab's theoretical/computational studies and investigations led by experimental and clinical immunologists. Current interests can be divided into three broad categories: understanding the network of biochemical interactions that enable T cells to translate engagement of membrane receptors to cognate ligands in to functional responses, how T cell development results in T cells that are specific for unknown and emerging pathogens, and the human immune response to HIV. The goal of the last effort is to guide the rational design of vaccines and therapies against infectious disease causing agents, like HIV, that have plagued humanity since antiquity.

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