Throughout my PhD and postdoctoral studies I was trained in world-renowned laboratories and institutions in the United States of America (University of Washington and The Scripps Research Institute). My PhD studies evolved in the direction of immunogen design and vaccine engineering which sparked my interest in the many needs and opportunities in vaccinology and translational research. Much of the novelty from our approaches arises for the use of rational and structure-guided strategies to design immunogens with improved immunogenic potential. To address these problems, we developed a number of computational methodologies for structure-based design of immunogens during my PhD dissertation research at the University of Washington. My efforts resulted a piece of work where we showed for the first time that computationally designed immunogens can elicit potent neutralizing antibodies. During my postdoctoral studies I joined a chemical biology laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute. In this stage I became a proficient experimentalist and developed novel chemoproteomics methods for the identification of protein-small molecule interaction sites in complex proteomes. In March 2015 I joined the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) – Switzerland as a tenure track assistant professor. The focus of my research group is to keep developing computational tools for protein design with particular emphasis in applying these strategies to vaccine design, immunotherapy agents and CAR-T cell engineering. The activities in my laboratory focus on computational design methods development and on the biochemical and biophysical characterization of the designed proteins. I have been an inventor in multiple patent applications (provisional and granted), spanning technologies in drug profiling, vaccine development, computational protein design and T-cell engineering. Thus far we have secured several highly competitive grants including two ERC grants (Starting and Proof of Concept).
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne