The T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of the adaptive immune system needs broad diversity to recognize any possible pathogen yet must have strategic gaps so as
The T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of the adaptive immune system needs broad diversity to recognize any possible pathogen yet must have strategic gaps so as not to attack self. The potential diversity is so high that a naive model would predict two individuals should have essentially no TCRs in common. Yet shared (“public”) TCRs exist! I will present analysis of repertoire sequencing data showing that these shared sequences are due, in part, to somatic selection. I will also discuss how somatic selection may play a role in the aging of the naive TCR repertoire, in a process analogous to the development of cancer.
Bio: Philip Johnson began his academic career at Harvard College, where he earned an A.B. in Biology and Computer Science with his senior thesis advised by George Church. After working at NCBI for several years, he studied theoretical population genetics at UC Berkeley with Monty Slatkin where he earned his PhD in 2009. From Berkeley, he went to Emory University for a postdoc modeling immune system dynamics with Rustom Antia in collaboration with Rafi Ahmed. In 2015, he started his own group in the Biology Department at the University of Maryland where he merged his interests to study the evolutionary genetics of adaptive immune systems.
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(Monday) 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
CDSLNCI CCR Cancer Data Science Lab