iReceptor Plus to hold a virtual general assembly meeting


By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich

No one will drink coffee together, be able to sit in a hotel lounge to chat or attend an impressive closing dinner, but the next meeting of iReceptor Plus Project – while it has to be virtual using Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic – will be informative and exciting nevertheless.

More than 60 experts from 11 countries have already registered and are due to participate. During the event, nine early career scientists will give five-minute scientific lightning talks and four technical brainstorming sessions will discuss the latest cyber infrastructure approaches to sharing genomic data.

The iReceptor Plus project is dedicated to sharing and analyzing antibody and T-cell receptor data from the immune system to accelerate vaccine discovery against pathogens such as the novel coronavirus, monoclonal antibody engineering for treatment of autoimmune disease and novel immunotherapies against cancer.

Highlighted accomplishments for this year include: development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems that could predict which patients will respond to novel immunotherapies, improved security for data repositories required by hospitals and biopharmaceutical companies. And new data models designed for profiling immune responses at the single cell level, such as those available from iReceptor Plus’ partner 10X Genomics. Such single cell approaches have been used in many of the recent studies of the immune responses in COVID-19 patients.

The iReceptor Consortium works closely with the AIRR Community, a grassroots group of immunologists, immunogeneticists and computer scientists who are dedicated to developing protocols and standards to facilitate sharing of these data.

On June 1, 2020 the AIRR Community released v1.3 of the AIRR Standards, including v1.0 of the AIRR Data Commons API (ADC API) to query AIRR compliant data repositories.

In conjunction, the iReceptor Plus project has implemented these new AIRR standards in release v3.0 of the iReceptor Gateway, which will greatly expand the potential of the associated data repositories to quickly share data in support of biomedical research and improving patient care.