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Recent News

Summer 2011

Our paper, entitled "Selective T cell expansion during aging of CD8 memory repertoires to influenza revealed by modeling" in the June 1st issue is featured in "In This Issue" of The Journal of Immunology. "In This Issue" highlights articles that are among the top 10% of articles published in the journal. The research presented in this paper employs a mathematical modeling to predict the behavior of immune system in response to influenza virus and how such behavior might change with age. We simulated representative immune responses for middle-aged and older healthy donors using agent-based modeling. Interestingly, simple age-related immunosenescence was insufficient to explain the immune repertoires of older donors. Rather, a selective clonotype expansion associated with periodic exposure to influenza virus must be included to achieve the best fit. We concluded that seasonal exposure to flu may drive such expansion, ensuring that the immune response is optimized for continued protection.

We have launched a new project A FRAMEWORK FOR WATER AND HEALTH PARTNERSHIPS sponsored by the Tufts Provost Office Projram: TuftsCollaborate! The primary goal of this project is to create a framework for developing an Interdisciplinary Doctoral training program with a focus on Water & Health. Tufts has already demonstrated the ability to create very successful interdisciplinary graduate programs in the context of existing graduate program in Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS). Team members (Elena N. Naumova, Richard Vogel, Jeff Griffiths, Richard Cooper, Honorine Ward, and Paul Kirshen) have received numerous interdisciplinary federal grants from NIAID, NIEHS, NSF, EPA, Fogarty, and the Indo-US consortium. This new Water and Health initiative capitalizes on Tufts unique strengths in the interdisciplinary aspects of water (see http://www.tufts.edu/water) and water-borne infections. Karen Kosinski, CEE recent graduate will coordinate the project activities.

Elena Naumova had presented an invited talk entitled "Seasonality of waterborne diseases: from epi-curve to visual analytics", in which she introduced the notion of seasonality and novel methods for assessing seasonality and demonstrated the synchronization of seasonal oscillations in infection with environmental factors using dynamic mapping. The talk was a part of the Water Day theme at the 58th World Statistic Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland. This is a first time at the World Statistic Congress that a whole day has been devoted to one topic. The Minister for Social Protection of Ireland, loan Burton TD in her opening speech emphasized the significance of this event.