Center for Human Antibody Therapeutics (CHAT)

Program Leader:  Wayne A. Marasco, MD, PhD

Advances in the field of human antibody engineering have resulted in steady improvements in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of human diseases including cancer, auto-immune, cardiovascular, inflammatory, neurologic and infectious diseases. The Center for Human Antibody Therapeutics (CHAT) was established in response to the great need for a comprehensive discovery and clinical development program for human antibodies within HSCI and the broader Harvard community. CHAT, as a unique academic research center based at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, will provide a mechanism to facilitate collaborative research interactions among CHAT research scientists and members of the HSCI community to discover new research reagents and novel diagnostic and therapeutic human mAbs for basic, translational and/or clinical studies in human stem cell biology, including discovery of human mAbs against novel stem cell surface proteins as well as elucidation of stem cell development and differentiation pathways both in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Marasco and his team are leaders in the field of human antibody engineering and have been involved in many of the seminal discoveries in the field over past decades. We are experts in phage, yeast and lentivirus display platforms and panning procedures, human antibody library constructions, antibody humanization and affinity maturation, Fc engineering, intrabody technology, and targeted gene/siRNA delivery. We have constructed one of the largest human antibody libraries with tens of billions of members and have successfully isolated therapeutic human antibodies against over two-dozen targets. We have also developed and are utilizing antibody expression systems in bacteria, mammalian, and insect cells for antibody production. The addition of state of the art technology has enabled us to expand our expertise with high throughput automation.

With proven technology and a wealth of experience, CHAT has the capability to provide collaborators with access to high efficiency human Mab engineering platforms that may be used for discovery of mAbs against novel stem cell markers and/or cell targeting/signaling pathways.

Articles of interest:
1) Nelson AL et al. Development trends for Human monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Oct;9(10):767-74 PMID: 20811384
2) Webb DR et al. Opportunities for functional selectivity in GPCR antibodies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 Sep 10 pii: S0006-2952(12)00577-1 PMID: 22975405

For more information, please visit our website at or contact:

Quan Karen Zhu, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Department of Cancer Immunology & AIDS
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-2067