Throughout history, purely empirical approaches have proven to be successful in finding cures and prevention mechanisms against a number of diseases. Yet, for many of the pathogens and diseases of today, a trial-and-error approach may not be sufficient, and more “rational” strategies may be required. There are two major requirements for such strategies to work: (i) a deep understanding of the biological processes underlying the interactions between host organisms and disease agents, and (ii) efficient and accurate ways to manipulate these processes. To assist with both these tasks, computation, through its innate ability to analyze data of incredible sizes and dimensions and to uncover patterns within these data not fathomable to the human eye, has been playing an increasingly important role in many areas of biology and medicine.
A major goal of the Program in Computational Microbiology and Immunology is to support research, educational, and strategic efforts that aim to employ the power of computation toward the development and application of innovative approaches for treatment and prevention of disease and for enhancement of human health.