Alessandro Sette
La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology

Bioinformatic and Immunological Approaches to Map Immune Reactivity in Humans


Our group has been developing approaches to the unbiased, non-hypothesis driven, analysis of immune signatures associated with human disease. According to a first approach, we developed the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis resource "(IEDB). The IEDB is a freely accessible repository of all published epitope related information, derived from infectious agents, autoantigens, allergens and transplantation antigens. In addition, the IEDB analysis resource contains bioinformatics tools that allow predicting epitopes for any protein of interest, and analyzing epitope data generated from the user. In a second approach, we experimentally determine immune signatures of human responses to a particular infectious disease or allergen indication, by a combination of T cell mapping studies, coupled with phenotyping and RNA profiling. We have applied this strategy to the study of CD4 and CD8 memory T cells associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and dengue virus (DENV) in the context of 1) natural immunity and/or control of infection, 2) active and severe disease and 3) administration of licensed or experimental vaccines.

Short Bio

Dr. Sette started at LIAI in 2002 as the Head of the Initiative for Emerging Diseases and Biodefense. In 2003 he became the Head of the Division of Translational Immunology. At LIAI, Dr. Sette's research focuses on the identification of epitopes, working to understand how vaccines should be constructed. The team's work is heavily focused on emerging disease threats or bioterror threats, such as SARS, arena viruses, smallpox and flu viruses. Dr. Sette's group is also leading an effort to bring a premier collaboration resource to the scientific community. The NIAID has awarded Dr. Sette a long-term contract to design and produce a national Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) to aide in the acceleration of vaccine-development on a global scale.

Dr. Sette received his degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Roma, Laboratory of Pathology in 1984. In 1984, Dr. Sette was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the same laboratory. From 1986-1988, he joined The National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, in the USA as a post-doctoral fellow.

In 2002, Dr. Sette was named Adjunct Professor in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute, where he is also Scientific Director of the Rheumatic Diseases Core Center since 2004. In 2003 he was named Adjunct Professor in the department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Sette is a member of numerous grant review panels and a reviewer for many scientific publications. He is also a member of the editorial advisory board for Immunogenetics, Human Immunology, Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Current Drugs, and Tissue Antigens.

Panos Pardalos
University of Florida

Computational Models and Challenging Optimization Problems


Most of the conventional computer models are based on the von Neumann computer architecture and the Turing machine model. However, quantum computers (several versions!), analog computers, dna computers, and several other exotic models have been proposed in an attempt to deal with intractable problems. We are going to give a brief overview of different computing models and discuss several classes of optimization problems that remain very difficult to solve. Such problems include graph problems, nonlinear assignment problems, and global optimization problems. We will start with a historical development and then we will address several complexity and computational issues. Then we are going to discuss heuristics and techniques for their evaluation.

Short Bio

Professor Panos M. Pardalos serves as Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida. Additionally, he is the Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor in Industrial & Systems Engineering. He is also an affiliated faculty member of the Computer and Information Science Department, the Hellenic Studies Center, and the Biomedical Engineering Department. He is the Director of the Center for Applied Optimization. Dr. Pardalos is a world leading expert in global and combinatorial optimization. His recent research interests include network design problems, optimization in telecommunications, e-commerce, data mining, biomedical applications, and massive computing.

Professor Pardalos has received numerous awards and honors, which include Constantin Carathéodory Prize; 2013 EURO Gold Medal (EGM); Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, Wilfrid Laurier University; 2007 Senior Fulbright Specialist Award; Honorary Member of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences; Degree of Honorary Doctor, N.I. Lobachevski State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia; Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science);

Fellow of INFORMS (Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences); Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Foreign Member “Petrovskaya Academy of Sciences and Arts”, Russia; and Foreign Member “Lithuanian Academy of Sciences”. Professor Pardalos was the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Global Optimization, Optimization Letters, and the Journal of “Computational Management Science“. Currently he is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of “Energy Systems“ and SpringrerPlus. He also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of numerous internationally highly reputable scholarly journals.