My research group aims to develop protein therapeutics to treat and vaccines to prevent infectious diseases, using a combination of biological and engineering principles. This work primarily focuses on design of proteins, using evolutionary, structural and computational apporaches. The antibody which served as the focus of my doctoral work was subsequently licensed and developed as AthimTM, receiving FDA approval for use in humans in 2016. More recently, my group showed that a pair of antibodies engineered to prevent and treat pertussis were highly protective in adolescent and neonatal baboon models of disease. On-going work includes engineering of antigens for potential inclusion into a third-generation pertussis vaccine and emerging efforts to redirect T cells towards suppression of cytomegalovirus.

Awards and Achievements

  • Fellow of the American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineers (AIMBE)
  • University of Texas “Emerging Inventor of the Year” Award
  • Texas Exes Teaching Award for the College of Engineering
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Award
  • Dreyfus New Faculty Award