James A. Van Deventer
Van Deventer Lab
4 Colby Street, Room 154
Medford, MA 02155
James A. Van Deventer was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley near Los Angeles, California. He moved north to attend Stanford University as an undergraduate, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and pursued semiconductor surface functionalization research in the laboratory of Stacey F. Bent. James then returned to southern California for graduate studies in chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, completing both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. His thesis research in the laboratory of David A. Tirrell employed noncanonical amino acids in applications of protein engineering and biophysics. To complete his training, James pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of K. Dane Wittrup in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. James's work there included antibody-based targeting of cancer-associated fibroblasts and the use of noncanonical amino acids to enhance the capabilities of yeast display. James is currently interested in applications of genetic code manipulation and high throughput screening that enable new opportunities in therapeutic engineering and biocatalysis.
Michelle is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from Northeastern University. She received her Masters degree in Biotechnology at Brown University. She is pursuing graduate work on incorporating alternative chemistries into therapeutic proteins at the Van Deventer lab while also working at Merck in the Biologics Discovery group.
Rebecca is originally from New York, and received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at UMass she researched protein encapsulation using complex coacervation for vaccine stability. Currently she is interested in studying intracellular delivery of antibodies and chemical functionality in proteins in the Van Deventer Lab.
Manjie is from Nanjing, China. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry at Colgate University and her Master of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. She is interested in therapeutic protein engineering and is currently working on using yeast display method to identify protein-small molecule hybrids that target serine hydrolases.
Mariha is originally from Tangail, Bangladesh. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a second major in Chemistry from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE. Whilst at AUS, Mariha did research on cellulose-based heavy metal waste treatment as well as in-situ preparation of oxygen for Martian atmospheric conditions. In the Van Deventer Lab, Mariha is interested in identifying potent, specific hybrid inhibitors of metalloproteinases.
Briana is originally from Somerville, Massachusetts and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry from Wellesley College. She pursued undergraduate research in the Little Devices Lab at MIT where she focused on developing medical diagnostics and synthesizing just-in-time antibiotics using paper-based microfluidic techniques. Her current research interests include enhancing biologics and small molecules to increase therapeutic efficacy.
Arlinda was born and raised in Fier, Albania. She attended Colby College, Maine, where she earned a double major in Biology and Mathematics. She also attended Dartmouth College, where her research was primarily focused on material properties of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene in joint replacement implants. Her interests have taken Arlinda around the globe, and recently she joined the ChBE department at Tufts university as a PhD student. Here, Arlinda will work on selective disruption of metalloproteinases using yeast display. Her ambition is to contribute to research that will have impactful healthcare applications.
Sean is from north of Boston and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. During his undergraduate years, Sean completed two research-based co-ops at Moderna, Inc. and Surface Oncology in the biophysical characterization and upstream process development groups, respectively. His current research interests include high-throughput hybrid discovery using yeast display.
Alexa Gilbert is a Freshman from Natick, Massachusetts studying biology and biotechnology. She is interested in how increased antibody specificity can help to expand access to very potent therapies. Alexa also enjoys food photography, skiing, and dancing.
David is from Northborough, Massachusetts. He is a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. His work attempts to increase noncanonical amino acid incorporation in yeast through gene overexpression. David is also involved with Engineers Without Borders and the Tufts University Social Collective, and enjoys film photography and hiking.
Ivy is a sophomore from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam majoring in Chemical Engineering. She is interested in exploring the topology of yeast surface to mitigate its impacts on the binding between antibodies and therapeutically relevant proteins. Outside of the lab, Ivy enjoys reading, cooking, and baking.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Top Row: Matthew Zackin, Mariha Islam, Briana Lino, Manjie Huang, Alexa Gilbert, Ming Lei
Bottom Row: Sean Williams, Arlinda Rezhdo, Rebecca Hershman, Priyanka Lahiri, James A Van Deventer
(Current members not pictured: David Gillingham and Ivy Le)