The Ivelin Georgiev Lab
At the interface of immunology and virology, recent computational advances have allowed us to better understand the interactions between antibodies and antigen, to design immunogens capable of eliciting target antibody specificities, and to optimize antibodies as clinical products. Research efforts in the Georgiev laboratory aim to utilize the power of computation to increase our understanding of fundamental questions in immunology and virology and to develop novel ways of using this understanding to fight diseases. For the translational component of our research, we apply structure-based protein design approaches to the development of new vaccine and antibody product candidates against a number of viruses of biomedical interest.
Suggested Learning activities
Qi (Kathy) Liu
As a student majoring in Molecular & Cell Biology, Kathy Liu (A&S '23) also regards art as a part of her life. She has developed her interest in both biology and art since her junior high school. She started using sketches to take notes for her biology classes: objects, such as the structures of human joints and the anatomy of a flower or a seed, could all be visualized through her sketches. She keeps this habit to her college, dealing with more complex biological concepts and processes. Also, different digital images of microworld interest Kathy a lot, so she made some attempts to draw those images using watercolors. In her opinion, the combination of biology and art is not impossible, even though these two areas seem irrelevant to some people. Biology is actually artistic! AiR (Artist-in-Residence) program is such an amazing program that combines current biological research and art together and is so compelling for Kathy.
Anjali Kumari is a junior Biology Pre-Medical student and a Cheatham-White Scholar at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Anjali aspires to pursue a dual degree and become a surgical oncologist. She believes that having interdisciplinary experiences and diverse skillsets will allow her to become a better physician scientist.
She chose this program for its interdisciplinary aspects which enabled her to combine her passion for both, art and research, into one project. She deemed this experience as a crucial refinement of her skills along with understanding the significance of visual communication to convey complex scientific advancements.
Her participation not only led to an artistic creation, but it also afforded her the opportunity to explore new illustration techniques, understand complex research topics, and experiment with mediums that are outside of her comfort zone.
She applied the newly discovered skillsets to compose an art piece which effectively communicated HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus) and HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) co-infection along with simplifying and condensing prior research done in this field. Anjali worked with Kelsey Pilewski, a PhD student in the Georgiev Lab at Vanderbilt University, to understand the project and its progression. The guidance allowed to design and execute a project representing most concepts conveyed through the research.
Anjali started her project by meeting with Kelsey and discussing the project, its progression, and its applications. She later took this knowledge to create a preliminary draft of the concept. Finally, her draft was critiqued by Kelsey and the program participants for further considerations. During the process, she performed several literature searches to understand the spread of HIV/HCV co-infection and the technology used to study this disease. After multiple rounds of draft production and critiques, Anjali finally came up with a product that demonstrated the spread of the disease, the distinction of the viruses, the awareness of its spread, and the evolution of antibodies that can lead to a potential cure for this co-infection. This project was made possible due to the support that she got from the Lab and the program.
Through this program, Anjali understood the importance of visual communication and discovered techniques to present data to a broader audience. Most importantly, she learned that every skillset matters and gained the confidence that the diversity of her skills can be applied to projects to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and make research more accessible.