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Maynard, Jennifer

Jennifer A Maynard

Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering

Henry Beckman Professorship in Chemical Engineering


maynard@che.utexas.edu

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.  Her students often pursue careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries directly after graduation.

The Maynard lab develops protein therapeutics and vaccines to address unmet medical needs in infectious diseases, with a focus on Bordetella pertussis and cytomegalovirus as target pathogens. These proteins aim to directly interfere in disease progression or augment essential immune system activities. This work involves discovery of antibodies binding target molecules to exert a therapeutic effect, design of proteins able to exert novel therapetuci mechanisms, protein 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:

  • Engineer advanced antibody therapeutics, for instance, pathogen-resistant antibodies and antibodies able to localize to the site of disease. 
  • Harness and redirect cellular immune responses towards virally-infected cells through manipulation of T cell receptor-peptide MHC interactions.
  • Reverse engineer pathogenic strategies used by bacterial pathogens for biomedical and biotechnological applications.
  • 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.

 

 

Nguyen AW, DiVenere AM, Papin JF, Connelly S, Kaleko M and Maynard JA, Neutralization of pertussis toxin by a single antibody prevents clinical pertussis in neonatal baboons. Science Advances 6,eaay9258 (2020). 

Wagner EK*, Qerqez AN*, Stevens CA, Nguyen AW, Delidakis G and Maynard JA. Human cytomegalovirus-specific T cell receptor engineered for high affinity and soluble expression using mammalian cell display. J Biological Chemistry, 294(15): 5790-5804 (2019). *Selected as an Editor's Choice

Acquaye-Seedah E, Huang Y, Sutherland JN, DiVenere AM and Maynard JA. Humanized monoclonal antibodies neutralize pertussis toxin by receptor blockade and reduced retrograde trafficking. Cellular Microbiology, e12948. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12948 (2018). 

Nguyen AW, Le KC, Maynard JA. Identification of high affinity HER2 Fab antibodies using CHO surface display. Protein Engineering Design & Selection 31(3): 91-101 (2018).

Wagner EK and Maynard JA. Engineering therapeutic antibodies to combat infectious diseases, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, Issue on Immuno-Engineering19:131-141 (2018).

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). 

  • Elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineers (2017)
  • 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, Introduction to Material & Energy Balances 

ChE 322, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

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

ChE 338, Fundamentals of BioEngineering

ChE 363, Mass Transfer & Separations

ChE 379, Engineering Global Health

Graduate Students: 

  • Andrea DiVenere (ChE)
  • Yimin Huang (CMB)
  • Ahlam Qerqez (ChE)
  • Rui Silva (Biochem)
  • Yutong Liu (ChE)
  • Laura Azouz Yuan (ChE)
  • Dzifa Amengor (Micro)
  • Rebecca Wilen (ChE)

Staff:

  • Dr. Annalee Nguyen (ChE PhD, UCSB)
  • Kevin C. Le (research associate)