Lincoln Laboratory 70th Anniversary Virtual Distinguished Lecturer Series: Professor Arup K. Chakraborty
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 1:00pm to 2:00pmVirtual Event
Viruses, Immunity, and Vaccines
Lincoln Laboratory 70th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series: Viruses, Immunity, and Vaccines
Join us via Zoom on 20 October at 1:00 pm for a 70th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture titled “Viruses, Immunity, and Vaccines,” presented by Professor Arup K. Chakraborty.
Pathogens that cause infectious disease have plagued humanity since antiquity, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a vivid reminder of this perpetual existential threat. Vaccination has saved more lives than any other medical procedure and effective vaccines now promise to end the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we do not have effective vaccines against rapidly mutating viruses such as HIV, nor do we have a universal vaccine against seasonal variants of influenza. The ability to develop effective vaccines that protect us from highly mutable viruses will help create a more pandemic-resilient world. In this lecture, Dr. Chakraborty will describe how, by bringing together approaches from engineering and the life and physical sciences, progress is being made to address this challenge. Specifically, he will describe approaches that aim to define the mutational vulnerabilities of mutable viruses and design vaccines that elicit immune responses that can target these vulnerabilities. The application of these approaches toward the development of effective HIV and influenza vaccines will be discussed.
Chakraborty is one of the 12 Institute Professors at MIT, the highest rank and honor awarded to a MIT faculty member. He is also a professor of Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry at MIT. He served as the founding director of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and he is a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, MGH, and Harvard. For over two decades, Dr. Chakraborty’s work has largely focused on bringing together approaches from immunology, physics, and engineering. His interests span T-cell signaling, T cell development and repertoire, and a mechanistic understanding of virus evolution, antibody responses, and vaccine design. Since 2016, Chakraborty has also been deeply interested in the role of phase separation in gene regulation.
Chakraborty is one of only 25 individuals who are members of all three branches of the U.S. National Academies. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received many other honors including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the E. O. Lawrence Medal, and the Colburn, Professional Progress, and Prausnitz Institute Lectureship from the AIChE. Chakraborty has received six teaching awards for his classroom teaching, and 24 of his former lab members are now faculty members at Universities around the world. He is a co-author of the recent book “Viruses, Pandemics, and Immunity.” Chakraborty served on the U.S. Defense Science Board and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust.
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