Funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the mission of the Advanced Protein Therapeutics Core (APT) is to leverage Texas’ historic strengths in cancer research by catalyzing the translation of scientific discoveries into novel protein therapies.

catalyzing the translation of scientific discoveries into novel therapies

How We Work with Researchers

The APT team has vast expertise in all aspects of protein therapeutics discovery and development, including a large suite of protein discovery and engineering technologies and a track record of advancing protein therapies into the clinic. We partner with cancer researchers to translate disease insights into new therapeutics of various modalities, leveraging our protein discovery and protein engineering technologies.

Research Highlight

Targeting pancreatic cancer with Dr. Matsui at Dell Med

The lab of William Matsui, M.D. Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School) has identified cancer stem cells in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), which are rare self-renewing cells that give rise to the bulk of pancreatic tumor cells. They found that these PDA stem cells are regulated by interactions between α2β1 integrins and type I collagen in the tumor microenvironment. In collaboration with the Matsui lab, the APT will use humanized mouse immunization to identify monoclonal antibodies binding α2β1 and capable of blocking this interaction. These antibodies will then be utilized in a bispecific α2β1 integrin x CD3 monoclonal antibody to redirect cytotoxic T cell immunity against PDA stem cells. Notably, these molecules would be among the first to target cancer stem cells in any disease. The APT will generate the monoclonal and bispecific antibodies, thoroughly characterize them in vitro, then turn them over to the Matsui lab for testing in their pre-clinical PDA models. Data from testing in the disease model will drive further optimization of the therapeutic candidates in the APT core. 

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Core Capabilities

Biologics production & characterization

  • Antibody IgG production with different isotypes and designer Fc domains to tailor effector functions
  • Design and production of various bispecific antibody formats
  • Generate protein-drug conjugates
  • Enzyme production and activity analyses
  • CHO, HEK and bacterial expression capabilities

Biologics discovery & engineering

  • Cloning & humanization of established hybridomas
  • Generation of antibody panels from nanomice, humanized mice and human PBMCs
  • Engineering via three display platforms (phage, yeast, mammalian)
  • Engineering of TCRs and TCR-like antibodies
  • Engineer enzymes to reduce immunogenicity, increase activity and selectivity

Cellular assays & mouse models

  • In vitro antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and phagocytosis assays
  • Pharmacokinetics in FcRn-humanized mice
  • Murine tumor models

Outreach & training

  • Summer workshops on antibody display technologies for discovery and engineering
  • Undergraduate and high school internships

APT Leadership

Jennifer Maynard

Jennifer Maynard, Ph.D.

APT Principal Investigator and Texas Biologics Executive Committee Member

Annalee Nguyen

Annalee W. Nguyen, Ph.D.

APT Director

Kevin Dalby

Kevin N. Dalby, Ph.D.

APT Co-Investigator

Everett Stone

Everett Stone, Ph.D.

APT Co-Investigator and Texas Biologics Executive Committee Member


Our Partner Network

  • Gulf Coast Consortia for Innovative Drug Discovery and Development (GCC)
  • NSF AI Institute for the Foundations of Machine Learning (IFML)
  • Targeted Therapeutic Drug Discovery & Development Program (TTP)
  • Texas Biologics
  • Researchers and physicians at the University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Connect with Us

Contact Jennifer Maynard This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Annalee Nguyen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how we can partner.


Please acknowledge use of core services and equipment using our RRID # SCR_023740 and send us citations. These citations will affect funding for the facility.