Meet the Hosts


Brandon DeKosky: Dr. Brandon DeKosky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and a Core Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, Harvard, and MIT. Research efforts at the DeKosky lab have developed a suite of high-throughput single-cell platforms for comprehensive analyses of adaptive immunity. These efforts are advancing new approaches in biologic drug discovery, and for the comprehensive analyses of genetic and functional diversity in adaptive immune cells. The group seeks to reveal the quantitative principles that govern effective adaptive immunity and provide molecular design strategies for vaccines and biologics to combat global infectious agents including HIV-1, malaria, and SARS-CoV-2. The DeKosky lab is also investigating quantitative principles of immune regulation and establishing new approaches for targeted and personalized cancer therapies. Dr. DeKosky has been awarded several honors for his research program. His PhD research was supported by a Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Fellowship, and a Donald. D. Harrington Graduate Fellowship. In 2016, DeKosky was awarded a K99 Pathway to Independence Award and an NIH Early Independence Award and began a joint faculty appointment at the University of Kansas Departments of Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He has also received the Department of Defense Career Development Award, the Biomedical Engineering Society Rising Star Award, and the AIChE Young Faculty Futures award. In 2021, Dr. DeKosky began as an Assistant Professor in a joint appointment at MIT Chemical Engineering and The Ragon Institute.


Nimish Gera: Nimish Gera is the Vice President of Biologics at Mythic Therapeutics leading multiple projects to engineer and develop novel antibody and antibody-based drugs in oncology and immuno-oncology. Prior to Mythic, Nimish has over fifteen years of experience in antibody and protein engineering with five years leading bispecific antibody programs in several disease areas such as rare diseases, oncology, and immunology at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Oncobiologics. Nimish received his PhD degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

Tariq Ghayur: Dr. Ghayur retired from AbbVie (July 2021) and works as an independent consultant. He has 30+ years’ experience leading multi-disciplinary and cross-therapeutic area Biologics discovery programs and developing novel Biologics platforms. Several biologics programs resulted in clinical development candidates. Dr. Ghayur led the team that pioneered the discovery and development of the Dual – variable – Domain -Ig (DVD-Ig) and other multi-specific platforms. Three DVD-Ig molecules entered clinical development. Dr. Ghayur also led the team that defined the uptake, intracellular trafficking, and lysosomal degradation of anti-TNF mAbs/DVD-Ig, resulting in the concept of anti-TNF-ADC (next-Gen anti-TNF). Two anti-TNF-ADC molecules entered clinical development. In addition, Dr. Ghayur initiated/supervised several programs (mAbs, bi-specifics & ADC) that are in various stages of AbbVie’s discovery pipeline. In addition, Dr. Ghayur proposed and helped implement several corporate-wide (Abbott & AbbVie) initiatives to foster cross-functions/cross-TA collaborations to bring forward innovative concepts/programs.

Ben Hackel: Ben Hackel is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He earned degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin (B.S., advised by Eric Shusta) and MIT (PhD, advised by Dane Wittrup) and performed postdoctoral research in the radiology department at Stanford University (Sam Gambhir). Since its inception, the Hackel lab has applied protein engineering technologies to develop physiological molecular targeting agents for molecular diagnostics and targeted therapy, with a focus on oncology and infectious disease.