Thursday 5 December 2013

ICM Research Seminar, Friday 6 December 2013, 12noon



Institute Guest Seminar


Guest Speaker: Dr John Connolly

[Director, A-Star Programme in Translational Research on Infectious Disease]

[Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Proteos, Singapore]


Venue: Lecture theatre E, ground floor, Dental School

Date and time:  Friday 6 December 2013 at 12noon


Dr Connolly will discuss:


“Systems Based Approach to Monitoring Vaccine Responses.”


Following vaccination, cellular communication, trafficking and polarization contribute to the development of the complex adaptive immune phenomenon we call protection.  As with any complex behaviour, early perturbations in the innate immune response to vaccination lead to substantial differences in the development of adaptive immune memory.  The ability to simultaneously monitor changes in multiple functional parameters holds both greater discriminatory and instructive power when compared to monitoring a single event. We have established an integrated, systems-based approach for high throughput monitoring of cellular responses (B-cell and T-cell) before and after vaccination.  Preclinical analysis of a model pandemic influenza vaccine, demonstrates that the magnitude, quality and breadth of cellular responses are determined, in large part, by the nature of TLR and NLR signalling during vaccination.  In addition to highlighting the important role of innate immune recognition in vaccination, these studies underscore the power of this systems based approach in rational vaccine design.



Dr. Connolly is a Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB).  Additionally, Dr. Connolly serves as Program Director for the A*Star Program in Translational Research in Infectious Disease, a multi-disciplinary centre focused on vaccine development.  An Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University, he serves on the Board of Governors for the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School and studied human dendritic cell biology under Dr. Michael Fanger.  During this time he was involved in the development of immunotherapeutic preclinical models and clinical trials for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). He moved to the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, a fully translational research institute focused on rationally designed vaccines against cancer and infectious disease.  Dr. Connolly served as the Director of Research Initiatives for the Baylor Research Institute, leading a large integrated translational research resource and multi-institutional programs that involved a number of international sites.  During his tenure at Baylor, Dr. Connolly was the central core facility director of the NIAID Centres for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense, an NIH funded consortium of basic, translational research and clinical trials focused on vaccine design.  Dr. Connolly is the past President of the Board of Directors of The American Cancer Society in N. Texas


Key words:  translational immunology, systems immunology, vaccine development


Chair:  Professor John Isaacs








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