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HudsonAlpha hosts international Immunogenomics Conference Oct. 2-4

People attending the 2017 Immunogenomics Conference share ideas on different topics and concepts presented. (Photo: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

More than 150 leading researchers from around the world convened at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology on Oct. 2-4, 2017 for the fifth annual Immunogenomics conference.

Immunogenomics lies at the intersection of immunology and genomics and explores the ways in which the human genome interacts with disease. The conference provided attendees the opportunity to engage in science discussions, network with experts and discover what’s next in the field of immunogenomics and how it will help shape the future of human health.

Atul Butte, PhD was one of the keynote speakers at the 2017 Immunogenomics Conference. (Photo: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

Topics of discussion included the microbiome, autoimmunity, immunotherapy, viral threats and more.

Conference speakers included Jian Han, MD, PhD, a HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and founder of associate company and conference sponsor iRepertoire; along with keynote speakers Harlan Robins, PhD, of Adaptive Biotechnologies, and Atul Butte, MD, PhD, of University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Han presented on Tuesday, Oct. 3 during the Technology, Bioinformatics and Challenges session and discussed the immune repertoire, a theoretical record or “logbook” of all current and past infections someone has experienced.

Jian Han, MD, PhD organized the 2017 Immunogenomics Conference. (Photo: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

“Immune repertoire is the best biomarker because our adaptive immune system uses these receptors as disease sensors in response to disease specific antigens,” said Han. “However, current repertoire analysis methods are not inclusive enough, not sensitive enough, not quantitative enough, and not comprehensive enough. I discussed how my lab is working to solve this problem.”

Han and HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Devin Absher, PhD, were conference organizers; along with Seth Thomas Scanlon, PhD, and Laura Zahn, PhD, of Science magazine.

“This is the fifth year we’ve hosted Immunogenomics and it keeps getting better and better,” said Absher. “Attendees enjoyed memorable keynote sessions, informative scientific talks and collaborative meeting facilities on HudsonAlpha’s unique campus.”

Rick Myers, PhD, is HudsonAlpha’s President and Science Director. He speaks to people attending the 2017 Immunogenomics Conference. (Photo: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology)

“Our faculty and researchers are actively contributing to the body of knowledge in the field of immunogenomics,” said Rick Myers, PhD, HudsonAlpha president and science director, “and it was exciting to have conversations among all of the thought leaders who gathered here in Huntsville.”

The next Immunogenomics conference will take place Oct. 1-3, 2018. To learn more, visit hudsonalpha.org/immunogenomicsconference/.