2024 Investiture Information

Margie Ackerman

Professor of Engineering

Research Interests

Protein engineering; biotherapeutics; vaccine technology; engineering immune responses


  • BS, MS, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Brandeis University 2003
  • PhD, Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2010

Research Projects

  • Immunogenicity prediction

    Immunogenicity prediction

    Immunogenicity prediction is an important means to control the safety of protein drugs, which can be recognized by the patient's immune system as foreign, inducing an adaptive immune response that can cause significant toxicity. We are developing approaches in which the immunogenicity of proteins can be assessed in vitro using protein engineering tools.

  • Vaccine design

    Vaccine design

    Vaccine design to steer the immune response toward highly specific epitopes that are critical to pathogenic function represents a way to induce more effective antibodies. We are evaluating means to mask irrelevant, while stabilizing critical epitopes in order to direct the antibody response toward critical sites on viral and bacterial targets using yeast display technology.

  • Protein engineering tools in immunology

    Protein engineering tools in immunology

    Protein engineering tools in immunology can be used as an unbiased and systematic means of identifying new targets, generating diagnostic and therapeutic reagents, and characterizing the basic biology of infectious disease.

Selected Publications

  • Polyfunctional Fc-Effector Profiles Mediated by IgG Subclass Selection Distinguish RV144 and VAX003 Vaccines. Chung AW, Ghebremichael M, Robinson H, Brown E, Choi I, Lane S, Dugast AS, Schoen MK, Rolland M, Suscovich TJ, Mahan AE, Liao L, Streeck H, Andrews C, Rerks-Ngarm S, Nitayaphan S, de Souza MS, Kaewkungwal J, Pitisuttithum P, Francis D, Michael NL, Kim JH, Bailey-Kellogg C, Ackerman ME, Alter G. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Mar 19;6(228):228ra38. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3007736. PMID: 24648341 [PubMed - in process]
  • Divergent antibody subclass and specificity profiles but not protective HLA-B alleles are associated with variable antibody effector function among HIV-1 controllers. Lai JI, Licht AF, Dugast AS, Suscovich T, Choi I, Bailey-Kellogg C, Alter G, Ackerman ME. J Virol. 2013 Dec 18. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24352471 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Antibody Fc: Linking Adaptive and Innate Immunity. Margaret Ackerman, Falk Nimmerjahn (Editors). Academic Press, Elsevier, 2013 Oct 4. ISBN-10: 0123948029 | ISBN-13: 978-0123948021
  • Mapping the journey to an HIV vaccine. Ackerman M, Alter G. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jul 25;369(4):389-91. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcibr1304437. No abstract available. PMID: 23883384 [PubMed - in process]
  • Natural variation in Fc glycosylation of HIV-specific antibodies impacts antiviral activity. Ackerman ME, Crispin M, Yu X, Baruah K, Boesch AW, Harvey DJ, Dugast AS, Heizen EL, Ercan A, Choi I, Streeck H, Nigrovic PA, Bailey-Kellogg C, Scanlan C, Alter G. J Clin Invest. 2013 Apr 8. doi:pii: 65708. 10.1172/JCI65708. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23563315
  • What mAbs Tell Us about Shapes: Multiple Roads Lead to Rome. Alter G, Ackerman ME. Immunity. 2013 Jan 24;38(1):8-9. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.01.003. PMID: 23352219
  • High-throughput, multiplexed IgG subclassing of antigen-specific antibodies from clinical samples Brown EP, Licht AF, Dugast AS, Choi I, Bailey-Kellogg C, Alter G, Ackerman ME. J Immunol Methods. 2012 Sep 27. pii: S0022-1759(12)00289-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2012.09.007.
  • Vaccine design: emerging concepts and renewed optimism. Grimm SK, Ackerman ME. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013 Mar 6. doi: pii: S0958-1669(13)00029-3. 10.1016/j.copbio.2013.02.015. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23474232



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