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Office Location: CPE 5.402

Annalee Nguyen

Research Assistant Professor

Department Research Areas: 

Research Website

Educational Qualifications

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara (2006)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2000)


Development and optimization of potent and tolerable protein therapeutics


While therapeutic advances over the last century can dramatically extend life after terrible diagnoses, even the most modern disease treatments may have brutal and painful side effects. Physicians have been moving toward a “whole patient” focus that places a high value on quality-of-life during treatment, but this effort is limited by the available therapies for many diseases. Building on a background in protein engineering, I focus on the development of antibody therapies for infectious disease and cancer that potently prevent or treat disease with minimal adverse events. Specifically, we are interested in reducing on-target off-tumor side effects of anti-cancer antibodies by leveraging the relative acidity of the tumor microenvironment. By engineering environmental selectivity into both the antigen binding surface and the antibody’s activation of immune effectors, we aim to reduce side effects that interrupt treatment and impact patient quality-of-life. I am also the Director of the CPRIT-funded Advanced Protein Therapeutics core (under the leadership of Principal Investigator Jennifer Maynard) focusing on developing therapies for pancreatic, brain, breast, and other cancers.

Selected Publications

  • Silva R, Huang Y, Nguyen AW, Hsieh C-L, Olaluwoye OS, Kaoud TS, Wilen RE, Qerqez AN, Park J-G, Khalil AM, Azouz LR, Le KC, Bohanon AL, DiVenere AM, Liu Y, Lee AG, Amengor D, Shoemaker SR, Costello SM, Padlan EA, Marqusee S, Martinez-Sobrido L, Dalby KN, D’Arcy S, McLellan JS, Maynard JA. “Identification of a conserved S2 epitope present on spike proteins from all highly pathogenic coronaviruses.” eLife 12:e83710 (2023). doi: 10.7554/eLife.83710
  • Liu Y, Nguyen AW, Maynard JA. “Engineering antibodies for conditional activity in the solid tumor microenvironment.” Current Opinion in Biotechnology 78:102809 (2022). doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2022.102809.
  • Liu Y, Lee AG, Nguyen AW and Maynard JA. “An antibody Fc engineered for conditional ADCC at the low tumor microenvironment pH.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 298:101798 (2022). doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101798.
  • Nguyen AW & Maynard JA. “Engineering antibody-based therapeutics: progress and opportunities.” Invited chapter in Protein Engineering: Tools and Applications, edited by Zhao H, Lee SY, Nielsen J, Stephanopoulos G (2021). doi: 10.1002/9783527815128.ch13.
  • Nguyen AW, DiVenere AM, Papin JF, Connelly S, Kaleko M, Maynard JA. “Neutralization of pertussis toxin by a single antibody prevents clinical pertussis in neonatal baboons.” Science Advances 6(6) eaay9258 (2020). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay9258.
  • Nguyen AW, Le KC & Maynard JA. “Engineering antibodies on the surface of CHO cells.” Invited chapter for Methods in Molecular Biology – Genotype Phenotype Coupling 270: 397-422 (2020). doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9853-1_22.
  • Nguyen AW, Le KC, Maynard JA. “Identification of high affinity HER2 binding antibodies using CHO Fab surface display.” Protein Engineering, Design & Selection 31: 91-101 (2018). doi: 10.1093/protein/gzy004.
  • Nguyen AW, Wagner EK, Laber JR, Goodfield LL, Smallridge WE, Harvill ET, Papin JF, Wolf RF, Padlan EA, Bristol A, 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). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad0966.
  • You X, Nguyen AW, Jabaiah AM, Sheff, MA, Thorn, KS, & Daugherty PS. “Intracellular protein interaction mapping with FRET hybrids.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103: 18458-18463 (2006). doi: 10.1073/pnas.0605422103.
  • Nguyen AW & Daugherty PS. “Evolutionary optimization of fluorescent proteins for intracellular FRET.” Nature Biotechnology 23: 355-360 (2005). doi: 10.1038/nbt1066.