Research Insights - February 01, 2016

Fitness Landscape: A Computational Approach to Combatting Diseases

The IAS Focused Program on Computational and Experimental Immunology held in 2014 was the first IAS program focused on computational immunology. IAS Visiting Professor Arup CHAKRABORTY was one of the speakers and delivered a lecture on "How to Hit HIV Where It Hurts".
Construction of the viral fitness landscape

IAS Visiting Professor Arup CHAKRABORTY from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has recently pioneered an approach which performs statistical analysis of HIV sequence data in order to find key vulnerabilities in the virus. This involves applying sophisticated statistical methods to construct a so-called “fitness landscape”. This landscape maps each RNA sequence to a fitness value, which represents how deadly the particular HIV virus sequence variant is. This fitness landscape can then be used for the rational design of a vaccine. The key idea is to design a vaccine which will induce an immune response to force the virus to mutate into areas of low fitness.

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