Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh

My research has been focused on developing cutting-edge mass spec/proteomics technologies and protein bioengineering. Recently, we developed a robust proteomics pipeline to revolutionize nanobody (Nb)-drug discovery, and identified a large repertoire (> 8,000) of high-affinity, multi-epitope Nbs that target SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein. Critically, we have demonstrated the outstanding preclinical efficacy of a stable, ultrapotent Nb for novel inhalation therapy of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a sensitive COVID-19 disease model. High-resolution cryoEM determination of Nb-bound structures reveals multiple potent neutralizing epitopes that target cryptic and conserved sites. Comparisons of neutralizing antibodies and Nbs provide insights into how Nbs target the spike to achieve high-affinity and broad activity. Structure-function analysis of Nbs indicates a variety of antiviral mechanisms. Our technologies will find broad utility in other devastating diseases including infectious diseases and cancer

Inhalation COVID Therapy by Ultrapotent Nanobodies

 Session Abstract – PMWC 2022 Silicon Valley

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving the unprecedented transformation of the global medical research ecosystem through the search for effective new therapeutics that can help ease symptoms and prevent death among COVID-19 patients.

  • SARS_CoV-2 Outbreak Surveillance (PANEL)
    Session Chair: Charles Chiu, UCSF
    - Bronwyn MacInnis, The Broad Institute - Duncan MacCannell, CDC
    - Christopher E. Mason, Weill Cornell Medicine
    - Joel Sevinsky, Theiagen
  • Experiences from the Front Lines of a National Viral Surveillance Organization
    Session Chair: James Lu, Helix
    - Rick Bright, Rockefeller Foundation
  • COVID-19 Testing: Who, When, What? The Challenges of Testing During the Pandemic (PANEL)
    Session Chair: Alan Wu, UCSF
    - Gary Pestano, Biodesix
    - John Barnes, CDC
    - Kathleen Jacobson, CA COVID Testing Task Force
  • Updates in COVID-19 Drug Development
    - Mark Dresser, Gilead Sciences
    - John Fahy, UCSF
    - Yi Shi, University of Pittsburgh
    - Wendy Yeh, Vir Biotechnology
  • Evolving SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines
    Alessandro Sette, La Jolla Institute for Immunology
    - Andrew Allen, Gritstone
  • Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions
    - Stacey Adam, FNIH
  • Past, Present, and Future: How will We Manage the Next Pandemic? (PANEL)
    Session Chair: Julianne McCall, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine
    - Lawrence Corey, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    - Yvonne A Maldonado, Stanford
    - Robert Wachter, UCSF
    - Tomás Aragón, CDPH