Wednesday, April 17, 2024 03:30PM
Pete Tessier

Pete Tessier, Professor, University of Michigan


"Antibodies by design: from drug development to brain drug delivery"




The biotech industry has seen an explosion in the development of therapeutic antibodies in the last two decades, and today most of the best-selling drugs are monoclonal antibodies. The advantages of antibodies as therapeutics – namely their high affinity, specificity, potency, stability, manufacturability, and low toxicity – are compelling. Nevertheless, there are many fundamental challenges associated with co-optimizing their key properties due to strong inherent tradeoffs, such as affinity/specificity, affinity/stability, and species cross-reactivity tradeoffs, which greatly impede their development. I will discuss our progress in addressing these challenges in a rational and predictive manner using machine learning, including several examples of multi-objective optimization ranging from antibody drug development to efficient and long-lived brain delivery of IgGs and other biologics using bispecific antibodies.   




Peter Tessier is the Albert M. Mattocks (Endowed) Professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the Biointerfaces Institute and Chemical Biology Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware (2003, NASA Graduate Fellow) and performed his postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT (2003-2007, American Cancer Society Fellow).


Tessier started his independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007, and he was an endowed full professor at Rensselaer prior to moving to the University of Michigan in 2017. His research focuses on therapeutic antibody engineering, biophysical characterization, and brain drug delivery using novel experimental and computational methods with the long-term goal of improving the treatment of human disorders ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases. He has received several awards and fellowships in recognition of his pioneering work: Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences (2010-2014), Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2014-2015), Young Scientist Award from the World Economic Forum (2014), Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society (2015) and a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (2010-2015).