Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Tyler Starr, PhD

Dr. Starr focuses on the process of how the immune system produces antibodies that specifically recognize and bind to antigens on pathogens and cancer cells. He is combining computational analyses of antibody sequences with experimental methods to test the effects of possible mutations on antibody function. This iterative process, similar to what the body does naturally, will help identify the most effective antibodies for an infection. The results of this research may lead to HIV therapeutics that reduce the incidence of AIDS-related cancers and improve the development of antibody-based cancer immunotherapies. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Starr has extended these approaches to understand the natural evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and how it is targeted by antibodies, with implications for therapeutic antibody development, vaccine design, and preparation for future pandemic emergence from within this viral lineage.

Project title: "The sequence-function landscape of antibody and virus evolution"
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Named Award: HHMI Fellow
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Jesse D. Bloom, PhD, and Frederick Matsen, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Evolution