Math-Bio seminar: "Quantitative methods for comparing T cell repertoires"

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 16:00 - 17:00
Philip Johnson, Univesity of Maryland

The vertebrate T cell adaptive immune response has the challenging task of recognizing all possible pathogens while not attacking "self." Evolution's solution to this challenge has been to generate a repertoire of T cells within a single individual via a process of recombination and intra-individual selection that creates a vast diversity of distinct T cell receptors (TCRs). The subset of this repertoire that respond to any particular infection can be qualitatively described as broad or narrow and public or private. We have developed methods for analyzing TCR repertoire sequencing data and quantitatively evaluating the statistical significance of differences between samples. These T cell data are equivalent to population genetic sequencing of pooled individuals with mixed frequencies. We use summary statistics as well as the full frequency spectrum, which incorporates TCR frequencies in addition to binary presence/absence data. We apply these methods to experiments examining mouse naive repertoires and mouse antigen-specific (post-LCMV) repertoires.

Carolyn Lynch Laboratory, 318