Modeling Viral Infections and Immunity

Viral infection modeling has provided insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV, HCV, HSV-2, CMV and other viruses. It has had impact in revealing the lifespan of infected cells, how rapidly virus is produced and cleared from the circulation, and the means for evaluating the effectiveness of antiviral treatments. HIV remains a global health threat and there is great interest in revealing features of the main HIV reservoir, latently infected cells and mechanisms of reducing the size of this reservoir by pharmacological means. Other important gaps in knowledge revolve around the cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to HIV, important for generating vaccines and broadly neutralizing antibodies as therapeutics, topics that will be discussed. Further, viral infections generally occur in tissues and thus the meeting will discuss imaging techniques and methods of modeling and analyzing spatial infection data, the role of tissue-resident memory cells, and important features of immune regulation, such as immune exhaustion, cytokine signaling between cells, and viral subversion of innate responses and escape from adaptive responses. The meeting will highlight what we believe are significant hurdles to curing viral infections and will bring together experimental virologists, physician scientists and modelers of various types and experience, groups that do not normally meet. It should foster new collaborations between experimentalists and theoreticians, and between theoreticians working on different viral infections or different aspects of viral infections, as well as help young scientists formulate new research directions and make connections with established senior scientists.


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