Andrew McShan

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Research Interests

The McShan research group focuses on biophysical and structural characterization of proteins required for the proper functioning of the immune system, including the antigen presenting major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and T cell receptors (TCRs). Understanding the structure and function of these proteins is crucial, given they are at the heart of immune recognition and targeting of all types of diseases spanning pathogen infection, cancer, and autoimmunity. The major goals of our lab are to i. understand how antigens are selected and loaded onto MHC molecules in various cellular compartments, ii. solve macromolecular structures of MHC complexes with different disease-associated antigens, iii. characterize how TCRs engage antigen/MHC molecules towards activation of the immune response, iv. design proteins to modulate immune system function, and v. engineer TCRs and chimeric antigen receptors with enhanced affinity and specificity for antigen/MHC complexes to eliminate diseased cells. With structure, function, and design principles in hand, we become uniquely situated to develop novel immunotherapies targeting antigen associated with tumor cells, pathogen infected cells, or autoreactive cells.

Area of Specialization

Protein Structure/Function, Immunology, De Novo Protein Design/Engineering, NMR Spectroscopy, Biophysics