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K-State Today

April 10, 2018

Brian Baker to be featured speaker for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar April 11

By Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Brian Baker, Rev. John A. Zahm professor of structural biology and chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department at the University of Notre Dame, will present "Predictive immunology from structural biology: rationalizing receptor specificity and amino acid preferences in antigenic epitopes" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in 120 Ackert Hall as part of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar series.

Baker received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Iowa. He spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University before becoming a faculty member at Notre Dame. In 2005, he received an NSF Career Award and was a research scholar of the American Cancer Society. He also received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2014.

Presentation abstract: T cell receptors medicate the crucial antigen recognition event of cellular immunity. Although antigen specificity is a hallmark of T cell immune responses, T cell receptors themselves are not highly specific. Using principles garnered from structural and biophysical studies of T cell receptor binding interactions, we explore what is sometimes referred to as the "duality" of T cell receptor specificity and cross-reactivity, how it emerges, and how its understanding can be used to drive advances in immunotherapy.

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