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This article is part of the supplement: Selected Articles on Computational Vaccinology

Open Access Introduction

Computational vaccinology and the ICoVax 2012 workshop

Yongqun He1*, Zhiwei Cao2, Anne S De Groot34, Vladimir Brusic5, Christian Schönbach67 and Nikolai Petrovsky8

Author Affiliations

1 Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, College Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China

3 EpiVax, Inc., Providence, RI 02903, USA

4 Institute for Immunology and Informatics, University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI 02903, USA

5 Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA

6 Department of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan

7 Biomedical Informatics Research and Development Center (BMIRC), Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan

8 Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia

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BMC Bioinformatics 2013, 14(Suppl 4):I1  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-S4-I1

Published: 8 March 2013

Abstract

Computational vaccinology or vaccine informatics is an interdisciplinary field that addresses scientific and clinical questions in vaccinology using computational and informatics approaches. Computational vaccinology overlaps with many other fields such as immunoinformatics, reverse vaccinology, postlicensure vaccine research, vaccinomics, literature mining, and systems vaccinology. The second ISV Pre-conference Computational Vaccinology Workshop (ICoVax 2012) was held on October 13, 2013 in Shanghai, China. A number of topics were presented in the workshop, including allergen predictions, prediction of linear T cell epitopes and functional conformational epitopes, prediction of protein-ligand binding regions, vaccine design using reverse vaccinology, and case studies in computational vaccinology. Although a significant progress has been made to date, a number of challenges still exist in the field. This Editorial provides a list of major challenges for the future of computational vaccinology and identifies developing themes that will expand and evolve over the next few years.