Audrey  Vargas

Audrey Vargas

Scholar Title

Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center Funded Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Species Translation of Vaccine Response Using Deep Learning




Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Research Areas
  • Computational Biology

Sangeeta N. Bhatia


Non-human primates (NHPs) are used in the late stage vaccine development for many infectious diseases, including HIV. This is because of the similarities that NHPs have with humans; for example, NHPs do not experience sickness with HIV but rather with SIV (a similar but different virus). Vaccines stimulate the body to create antibodies. Antibodies, holding specific structure and features, are responsible for recognizing antigens. Antibody feature data may be leveraged from NHPs to make predictions for feature importance in humans. My project uses deep learning techniques to identify important antibody features that correlate with viral protection in non-human primates. Understanding antibody responses in NHPs may help us design future vaccines.


I am grateful to have been working with this project since my freshman year at MIT. I feel that doing a SuperUROP in this lab is a nice culmination to my experience in academia thus far. I also am looking forward to getting more experience with deep learning techniques throughout the school year with this project.

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