Twelve years ago, biologists developed the repertoire sequencing technology (Rep-seq) that samples millions out of a billion constantly changing antibodies (or immunoglobulins) circulating in each of us. Repertoire sequencing represented a paradigm shift as compared to the previous “one-antibody-at-a-time” approaches, raised novel algorithmic, statistical, information theory, and machine learning challenges, and led to the emergence of computational immunogenomics. In addition to that, recent improvements of whole genome sequencing (WGS) technologies and assembly methods have resulted in nearly complete assemblies of germline immunoglobulin loci for various vertebrate species. Together, Rep-Seq and WGS opened new avenues for studying adaptive immune systems. In this talk, I will describe recent immunogenomics work on finding disease-specific features of antibody repertoires in humans and non-human species using Rep-Seq and WGS data.
Yana Safonova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests cover open problems in computational immunology that include studying adaptive immune systems, understanding successes and failures of immune responses, and comparative immunology.
Yana Safonova received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the Nizhny Novgorod State University in 2012 and the Ph.D. degree in bioinformatics from the Saint Petersburg State University in 2017. In 2017, she joined the Computer Science and Engineering Department at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as a Postdoctoral Scholar. In 2019-2020, she was also affiliated with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine as a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow.
Dr. Safonova was awarded with Data Science Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017) by UCSD and Intersect Fellowship for Computational Scientists and Immunologists (2019) by the American Associations of Immunologists. She is also a member of the IMGT Nomenclature-Reports Review Committee.