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 that selectively recognize protein aggregates 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. Neutralizing antibodies for treating COVID-19 and other infectious diseases

5. Potent antibody-drug conjugates for treating cancer

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

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

Lab discovers 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]

Lab reports the first computational method for identifying antibodies with drug-like specificity and low risk for non-specific and self-interactions (Jun 2020) [link]

Lab's 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 has an open doctoral and postdoctoral positions in the area of antibody discovery, engineering and characterization (Feb 2020)

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, February 2019) [link]

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

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

Lab has multiple open PhD positions related to protein engineering, antibody discovery and high-throughput antibody characterization (January 2019)

Lab publishes a review paper on trade-offs between antibody affinity and other physicochemical properties (Biochem Eng J, September 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 (August 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 (August 2018)