image of Peter Tessier

Peter M. Tessier

Albert M. Mattocks Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemical Engineering


(734) 763-1486


Chemical Engineering
Pharmaceutical Sciences

B10-A179 NCRC2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800

Primary Website

Related websites:


Research Interests

The Tessier lab aims to develop best-in-class therapeutic antibodies and apply them to address multiple key biomedical challenges:

1. Conformational antibodies that selectively recognize protein aggregates for detecting and treating neurodegenerative disorders
2. Brain-targeted bispecific antibodies for detecting and treating neurological disorders
3. Agonist antibodies that activate T cells for treating cancer
4. Neutralizing antibodies for treating COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
5. Potent antibody-drug conjugates for treating cancer

To accomplish this, we develop next-generation technologies for designing, discovering, engineering, characterizing, formulating and delivering therapeutic antibodies. Our technology development efforts are focused in three main areas:

1. Protein engineering and directed evolution
2. Biomolecular screening and high-throughput characterization
3. Machine learning and computational predictions

Our interdisciplinary research program uses experimental and computational approaches for generating new fundamental insights into protein structure and function, molecular origins of protein-protein interactions, and molecular determinants of key antibody properties (stability, solubility, specificity and affinity). Our development of novel high-throughput screening and machine learning methods is focused on discovering therapeutic antibody candidates with drug-like properties.


Professional Experience

Albert M. Mattocks (Endowed) Professor
Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering and Biointerfaces Institute
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2017-present

Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development (Endowed) Professor 
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2016-2017

Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development (Endowed) Associate Professor
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2014-2016

Alexander von Humboldt Fellow
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Martinsried, Germany, 2014-2015

Associate Professor 
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2013-2016

Assistant Professor 
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 2007-2013

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (MIT), Cambridge, MA, 2003-2007
Advisor: Susan Lindquist


Academic Honors

Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2018

Young Investigator Award, Biochemical Engineering Journal, 2016

Young Investigator Award, Division of Biochemical Technology, American Chemical Society, 2015

Young Scientist Award, World Economic Forum (Tianjin, China), 2014

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, 2014-2015

National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2010-2015

Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences,  2010-2014

Rensselaer Dept. of Chemical & Biological Engineering Teaching Award, 2014

Rensselaer School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, 2013

Rensselaer Early Career Award, 2012

Rensselaer School of Engineering Research Excellence Award, 2012

Allan P. Colburn Lectureship, Univ. of Delaware, 2012

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004-2007

NASA Graduate Fellowship, 1999-2002

Co-Valedictorian, Univ. of Maine, 1998

For a more complete list of Professor Tessier’s honors and awards and for additional information, please see his CV.


Select Journal Publications

Starr, C.G., Makowski, E.K., Wu, L., Berg, B., Kingsbury, J.S., Gokarn, Y.R., Tessier, P.M., “Ultra-dilute measurements of self-association for the identification of antibodies with favorable high concentration solution properties”, Mol Pharm, 18, 2744 (2021). [link]

Zupancic, J.M., Desai, A.A., Schardt, J.S., Pornnoppadol, G., Makowski, E.M., Smith, M.D., Kennedy, A.A., Barbosa, M.G.M, Cascalho, M., Lanigan, T.M.,  Tai, A.W., Tessier, P.M., “Rapid directed evolution of potent neutralizing nanobodies against SARS-CoV-2 using CDR-swapping mutagenesis”, Cell Chem Biol28, 1 (2021). [link]

Desai, A.A., Smith, M.D., Zheng, Y., Makowski, E.K., Gerson, J.E., Ionescu, E., Starr, C.G., Zupancic, J.M., Moore, S.J., Sutter, A.B., Ivanova, M.I., Murphy, G.G., Paulson, H.L., Tessier, P.M., “Rational affinity maturation of anti-amyloid antibodies with high conformational and sequence specificity”, J Biol Chem, 296, 100508 (2021). [link]

Zhang, Y., Wu, L., Gupta, P., Desai, A.A., Smith, M.D., Rabia, L.A., Ludwig, S.D., Tessier, P.M.,“Physicochemical rules for identifying monoclonal antibodies with drug-like specificity”, Mol Pharm17, 7 (2020). [link]

Julian, M.C., Rabia, L.A., Desai, A.A., Arsiwala, A., Gerson, J.E., Paulson, H.L., Kane, R.S., Tessier, P.M.,“Nature-inspired design and evolution of anti-amyloid antibodies”, J Biol Chem, 294, 8438 (2019). [link]

Rabia, L.A. Zhang, Y., Ludwig, S.D., Julian, M.C., Tessier, P.M., “Net charge of the complementarity-determining regions is a key predictor of antibody specificity”, Protein Eng Des Sel, 31, 409 (2018). [link]

Julian, M.C., Li, L., Garde, S., Wilen, R., Tessier, P.M., “Efficient affinity maturation of antibody variable domains requires co-selection of compensatory mutations to maintain thermodynamic stability”, Sci Rep7, 45259 (2017). [link]

Wu, J, Schultz, J.S., Weldon, C.L., Sule, S.V., Chai, Q., Dickinson, C.D., Tessier, P.M., “Discovery of highly soluble antibodies prior to purification using affinity-capture self-interaction nanoparticle spectroscopy”, Protein Eng Des Sel28, 403 (2015). [link]

Sule, S.V., Dickinson, C.G., Lu, J., Chow, C.-K., Tessier, P.M., “Rapid analysis of antibody self-association in complex mixtures using immunogold conjugates”, Mol Pharm10, 1322 (2013). [link]

Perchiacca, J.M., Ladiwala, A.R.A., Bhattacharya, M., Tessier, P.M., “Aggregation-resistant domain antibodies engineered with charged mutations near the edges of the complementarity-determining regions”, Protein Eng Des Sel12, 591 (2012). [link]

Perchiacca, J.M., Ladiwala, A.R.A, Bhattacharya, M.B., Tessier, P.M., “Structure-based design of conformation- and sequence-specific antibodies against amyloid b“, P Natl Acad Sci U S A109, 84 (2012). [link]

Perchiacca, J.M., Bhattacharya, M., Tessier, P.M., “Mutational analysis of domain antibodies reveals aggregation hotspots within and near the complementarity determining regions”, Proteins79, 2637 (2011). [link]