The TRIAD Toolkit Core will offer the TRIAD team expertly guided access to a wide range of publically available and proprietary tools for genome screening and protein characterization. The TRIAD toolkit team will: establish a consultancy relationship with program team leaders and staff;provide awareness, education and support services for program designers and team leaders;provide hands-on training and support to the TRIAD program teams in the use of publically available and proprietary tools related to the fields of Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology;and provide education, training and support related to the interpretation of analytical results produced through the use of the TRIAD Toolkit. All of the tools that have been developed by EpiVax for the purposes of vaccine design will be available to the TRIAD investigators for the purposes of this RFA. For example, the EpiMatrix algorithm will be available to screen genomic sequences from TRIAD project genomes for T-cell epitope content. The ClustiMer algorithm will be used to identify clusters of Class II T-helper epitopes contained in short protein segments. The Conservatrix algorithm will be used to select putative epitopes that are conserved across a range of variant protein isolates for even the most mutable of protein targets. Conserved sequences will be knit together into highly immunogenic consensus sequences, using an algorithm known as EpiAssembler. In order to be able to find the minimal set of epitopes that "covers" the maximum number of HLA-types and observed strains of the target pathogen, Aggregatrix will be available. VaccineCAD will be used to convert any epitope set as input material and create an optimized string-of-beads while minimizing deleterious "junctional" epitopes. The TRIAD Toolkit team will also provide access to high throughput HLA binding assays. By the end of the fiveyear program, the TRIAD toolkit team will have created a selected set .of user-friendly vaccine design tools on the TRIAD Toolkit website, which will be made available (following registration, to enable tracking) for public use. TRIAD investigators will have become informed users of the TRIAD toolkit, and researchers who are new to the field of human immunology will be engaged in discovery projects using the toolkit.
The Toolkit core will enable TRIAD to accelerate the development of vaccines for emerging and biowarfare pathogens and educate new generations of vaccine researchers, leading to significant improvements in global health and a radical transformation in the approach to vaccine design around the world.
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