PEGS-The Chain Episode 62

This special episode of The Chain features a panel of industry experts who discussed AI and ML in antibody discovery and engineering at this year’s PEGS Boston event. Peter Tessier, professor at the University of Michigan; Andrew Bradbury, CSO at Specifica; Andrew Waight, Senior Director of Machine Learning, Discovery Biologics & Protein Sciences at Merck Research Labs; Peyton Greenside, Co-Founder & CSO of BigHat Biosciences; and Paolo Marcatili, Director of Antibody Design at Novo Nordisk take on where AI/ML has the biggest impact, what the hype is in the use of AI/ML in antibody discovery, how new AI/ML methods are being benchmarked against traditional discovery methods, and what controls should be used in an AI/ML discovery or optimization campaign.


Andrew R.M. Bradbury, MD, PhD, CSO, Specifica, Inc., a Q2 Solutions Company 
Andrew Bradbury is Chief Scientific Officer of Specifica. He trained in medicine at the universities of Oxford and London and received his PhD from the university of Cambridge at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology under the guidance of Nobel Laureate, Cesar Milstein. He has worked in the fields of phage and yeast display, library generation, antibody engineering and Next Generation Sequencing for over thirty years. He was a Group Leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory before founding Specifica. Specifica's mission is to enable companies developing therapeutic antibodies with the world’s best antibody discovery platform.

Andrew B. Waight, PhD, Senior Director, Machine Learning, Discovery Biologics & Protein Sciences, Merck Research Labs
Andrew Waight is a Senior Director at Merck and Co. and is the team lead on the MRL Discovery Biologics AI/ML initiative to develop and deploy computational tools to help scientists make informed decisions and deliver better clinical candidates faster.

Peyton Greenside, PhD, Co-Founder & CSO, BigHat Biosciences 
Peyton Greenside is the co-founder and CSO of BigHat Biosciences, an early-stage Bay Area startup developing an AI-first experimental platform to radically reduce the difficulty of designing antibodies and other therapeutic proteins. Before BigHat, Peyton was an inaugural Schmidt Science Fellow, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute, a scientific founder of Valis, and holds a PhD from Stanford University, an MPhil in Computational Biology from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Math from Harvard.

Paolo Marcatili, PhD, Director, Antibody Design, Novo Nordisk 
Paolo Marcatili is an associate professor at the Technical University of Denmark, where he leads the "AI for immunological molecules" group. He has developed many state-of-the-art tools for characterising the structure and function of molecules of immunological relevance, in particular antibodies and T cell receptors, by applying deep learning tools to integrate sequence and structural data.


Peter M. Tessier, PhD, Albert M. Mattocks Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
Peter Tessier is the Albert M. Mattocks (Endowed) Professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware (2003, NASA Graduate Fellow) and performed his postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT (2003-2007, American Cancer Society Fellow). Tessier started his independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007, and he was an endowed full professor at Rensselaer prior to moving to the University of Michigan in 2017. Tessier’s research focuses on designing, optimizing, characterizing and formulating a class of large therapeutic proteins (antibodies) that hold great potential for detecting and treating human disorders ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. He has received a number of awards and fellowships in recognition of his pioneering work: Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences (2010-2014), Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2014-2015), Young Scientist Award from the World Economic Forum (2014), Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society (2015) and NSF CAREER Award (2010-2015).

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