Edward Schrom

Graham & Levin labs
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
304 Guyot Hall

To defend against diverse, evolving, and devious parasitic invaders, host immunity must be agile (fast, flexible, and dynamically updated) and robust (able to overcome internal failures). I study the design principles of immune systems that are responsible for agility and robustness, and how these design principles evolve. Relevant insights can be gathered from a wide variety of scientific subfields and techniques. Currently, I am developing an analogy between insect swarms engaged in collective decision-making and mammalian T-helper cells engaged in directing immune effector choice. Combining dynamical systems modeling and laboratory immunology experiments, I am investigating how cytokine expression variability among individual T-helper cells impacts the agility and robustness of the organism-level immune output. Could random variability among immune cells actually improve overall immune capability? Discerning such non-intuitive features of biological immune systems could inspire new designs for man-made systems that also combat coevolving adversaries, such as cybersecurity and national defense.

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