Molecular Biotechnology @ Tessier lab

Our mission

The Tessier lab aims to develop best-in-class therapeutic antibodies and apply them to address multiple key biomedical challenges:

1. Conformational antibodies for detecting and treating neurodegenerative disorders

2. Brain-targeted bispecific antibodies for detecting and treating neurological disorders

3. Agonist antibodies that activate T cells for treating cancer

4. Potent antibody-drug conjugates for treating cancer

5. Neutralizing antibodies for treating COVID-19 and other infectious diseases

To accomplish this, we develop next-generation technologies for designing, discovering, engineering, characterizing, formulating and delivering therapeutic antibodies. Our technology development efforts are focused in three main areas:

1. Protein engineering and directed evolution

2. Biomolecular screening and high-throughput characterization

3. Machine learning and computational predictions

Our interdisciplinary research program uses experimental and computational approaches for generating new fundamental insights into protein structure and function, molecular origins of protein-protein interactions, and molecular determinants of key antibody properties (stability, solubility, specificity and affinity). Our development of novel high-throughput screening and machine learning methods is focused on discovering therapeutic antibody candidates with drug-like properties.

Recent Highlights

Lab has two open postdoc positions related to antibody drug development, biophysical analysis of antibody therapeutic candidates, high-throughput antibody screening, antibody formulation and stability, and computational predictions of antibody developability properties (self-association, viscosity and aggregation). Interested candidates with expertise in one or more areas related to protein biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, protein expression and purification, and/or computational methods should contact Dr. Tessier ( for more information.

Discovery of monoclonal antibodies that potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 using single B cell screening (Sci Rep, Oct 2021) [link]

Engineered multivalent nanobodies potently and broadly neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants (Adv Ther, Aug 2021) [link]

Novel protein engineering method for generating potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing nanobodies (Cell Chem Biol, Jun 2021) [link] [news story]

Lab member Emily Makowski receives an NIH Pharmacological Sciences (T32) Fellowship (June 2021) [link]

Ultradilute measurements of antibody self-association are predictive of formulation properties (viscosity and opalescence) at high concentrations (Mol Pharm, May 2021) [link]

Discovery of Alzheimer's antibodies with better combinations of binding properties than multiple clinical-stage antibodies (aducanumab and crenezumab; J Biol Chem, Mar 2021) [link]

Lab receives Department of Defense grant to engineer next-generation antibody-drug conjugates (Jan 2021)

Discovery of conformational antibodies for detecting peptide aggregates in therapeutic drug formulations (Biotech Bioeng, Oct 2020) [link]

Lab publishes a review paper on drug-like multispecific antibodies (Int J Mol Sci, Oct 2020). [link]

First computational method for identifying antibodies with drug-like specificity and low risk for non-specific and self-interactions (Mol Pharm, Jun 2020) [link]

Discovery of a nature-inspired approach for designing conformational antibodies specific for pathological protein aggregates is featured in a special issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry on antibody engineering (Mar 2020) [link]

Lab reports (in collaboration with the Georgiou lab at UT Austin) an engineered Fc domain for ultra-long circulation persistence (Nat Commun, Nov 2019) [link]

Lab discovers unique impacts of different chemical modifications (oxidation and deamidation) on antibody physical stability (J Pharm Sci, Oct 2019) [link]

Lab publishes a review paper on protein activity/stability trade-offs in a special issue of AIChE Journal honoring Frances Arnold's Nobel Prize (Oct 2019) [link]

Lab member Lina Wu receives an NIH Cellular Biotechnology (T32) Fellowship (July 2019)

Lab reports novel conformational antibodies that are highly sensitive for detecting aggregates in peptide drug formulations (Biotech Bioeng, April 2019) [link]

Lab member Matthew Smith receives an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (Apr 2019) [link]

Lab discovers a nature-inspired approach for designing conformational antibodies specific for pathological protein aggregates (J Biol Chem, March 2019) [link]

Lab identifies important impacts of a common chemical modification (deamidation) on antibody stability and aggregation (Mol Pharm, March 2019) [link]

Lab reports key physicochemical determinants of drug-like antibodies with high specificity (Protein Eng Des Sel, Feb 2019) [link]

Lab publishes a review paper on selecting and engineering antibodies with drug-like specificity (Curr Opin Biotechnol, Feb 2019) [link]

Tessier named vice-chair for 2nd Gordon Conference on Biotherapeutics and Vaccines Development that is expected in 2021 (Jan 2019)

Lab publishes a review paper on trade-offs between antibody affinity and other physicochemical properties (Biochem Eng J, Sept 2018) [link]

Lab awarded an NSF grant (in collaboration with the Underhill lab at RPI) to develop experimental and computational methods for improving therapeutic antibody discovery, processing and formulation (Aug 2018)

Lab awarded an NIH R01 grant (in collaboration with the Kane lab at Georgia Tech and the Kayed lab at Univ. Texas Medical Branch) to develop antibodies specific for pathological forms of the tau protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies (Aug 2018)