Maynard, Jennifer

Jennifer A Maynard

Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering

The Laurence E. McMakin, Jr. Centennial Fellow in Chemical Engineering

Phone: 512-471-9188

Office Location
CPE 5.466

Professor Jennifer Maynard develops protein vaccines and therapeutics to address unmet medical needs in infectious diseases. This involves identifying or designing a candidate protein, as well as determining its mechanism of action at the molecular level, using in vitro and in vivo experiments. While this work relies heavily upon protein biochemistry skills, it also uses biotechnology, microbiology, immunology and cellular biology skills. 

She earned B.A. in human biology from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UT Austin and completed post-doctoral studies at Stanford.  She has developed two separate antibody therapeutics to treat infectious disease from initial engineering and biochemical characterization through animal studies, including non-human primates.  One of these recently received FDA approval for use in humans (Anthim). Her students often pursue careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries directly after graduation.

We develop protein therapeutics and vaccines to address unmet medical needs in infectious diseases. These proteins aim to directly interfere in disease progression or augment essential immune system activities. This work involves design of proteins with therapeutic potential, production in recombinant expression systems, biophysical and biochemical analyses to elucidate the molecular basis of activity and, ultimately, in vitro and in vivo experiments to evaluate a protein's therapeutic potential in the context of a complex organism.

Our specific research goals are to:

  • Understand mechanisms of protective immunity to Bordetella pertussis, focusing on the pertussis toxin and the adenylate cyclase toxin,  and use this information to engineer more effective vaccines and therapeutics.
  • Reverse engineer pathogenic strategies used by bacterial pathogens for biomedical and biotechnological applications.
  • Control cellular immunity through manipulation of T cell receptor-peptide MHC interactions.
  • Apply protein engineering approaches to issues in structural biology.




Entzminger KC*, Hyun JM*, Pantazes RJ*, Patterson-Orazem AC, Qerqez AN, Frye ZP, Hughes RA, Ellington AD, Lieberman RL, Maranas CD, Maynard JA. De novo design of antibody complementarity determining regions binding a FLAG tetra-peptide. Scientific Reports 7: 10295 (2017).

Wagner EK, Wang X, Bui A, Maynard JA. Synergistic neutralization of pertussis toxin by a bispecific antibody in vitro and in vivo. Clinical & Vaccine Immunology, 23 (11): 851-862 (2016). 

Khan TA, Wang X and Maynard JA. Inclusion of an RGD motif alters invasin-integrin binding specificity. Biochemistry, 55 (14): 2078-90 (2016).

Nguyen AW, Wagner EK, Laber JR, Goodfield L, Smallridge WE, Padlan EA, Bristol A, Harvill ET, Papin JF, Wolf RF, Kaleko M, Maynard JA. A cocktail of humanized anti-pertussis toxin antibodies limits disease in murine and baboon models of whooping cough. Science Translational Medicine, 7(316): 316ra195 (2015)

Entzminger KC, Johnson JL, Hyun JM, Lieberman  RL, and Maynard JA. Increased Fab thermoresistance via VH-targeted directed evolution. Protein Engineering, Design & Selection, 28(10): 365-77 (2015). 

Wang XZ, Gray MC, Hewlett EL and Maynard JA. The Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin RTX domain is immunodominant and elicits neutralizing antibodies. J Biological Chemistry 290(6): 3576-91 (2015). 

Wang, ZX, Coljee, VW and Maynard, JA. Back to the future: recombinant polyclonal antibody therapeutics. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 2 (4): 405-415 (2013),

Entzminger, KC, Chang, C, Myhre RO, McCallum KC, Maynard JA. The Skp chaperone helps fold soluble proteins in vitro by inhibiting aggregation. Biochemistry, 51: 4822-4834 (2012).  

Johnston KP, Maynard JA, Truskett, TM, Borwankar AU, Miller MA, Wilson BK, Dinen AK, Khan TA and Kaczorowski KJ. Concentrated dispersions of equilibrium protein nanoclusters that reversibly dissociate into active monomers. ACS Nano, 6(2): 1357-69 (2012)

Maynard, JA, Petersson, KP, Wilson, DH, Adams, EJ, Blondelle, SJ, Boulanger, MJ, Wilson, D., and Garcia, KC. Structure of an autoimmune T cell receptor complexed with class II peptide-MHC: insights into MHC bias and antigen specificity. Immunity, 22: 81-92 (2005). 

Maynard, JA, Maassen, CBM, Leppla, SH, Brasky, K, Patterson, JL, Iverson, BL, and Georgiou, G.  Protection against anthrax toxin by recombinant antibody fragments correlates with antigen affinity.   Nature Biotechnology, 20(6): 597-602 (2002). 

Inaugural University of Texas “Emerging Inventor of the Year” Award (2015)

Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenge Awards (2009, 2016)

Texas Exes Teaching Award for the Cockrell School of Engineering (2012)

Student Engineering Council Teaching Excellence Award for Chemical Engineering (2010)

Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering

Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award

NIH F32 National Research Service Award

ChE 317, Intorduction to Material & Energy Balances

ChE 322, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

ChE 363, Mass Transfer & Separations

ChE 337/ 384/ Bio 337; Quantitative analysis of Molecular & Cellular Biology

ChE 379, Engineering Global Health

Graduate Students:

  • Leonard, Elissa (BME)
  • Stephens, Chris (ChE)
  • Yimin Huang (CMB)
  • Andrea diVenere (ChE)
  • Ahlam Qerqez (ChE)
  • Rui Silva (ICMB)

Senior Staff:

  • Dr. Annalee Nguyen (ChE PhD, UCSB)
  • Dr. Edith Acquaye (Biochem PhD, UT Austin)