Quan Karen Zhu, Ph.D., Deputy Director
Office: (617) 632-2067
From the Deputy Director
A molecular and cellular biologist by training, I have extensive corporate and academic research experience in antibody discovery and engineering in the area of infectious disease and cancer. I served as the Director of Molecular Biology at IntraImmune Therapies, Inc. (ITI) where I coordinated and supervised research projects utilizing phage display and intrabody technology for target validation and antibody engineering technology for targeted gene delivery. While at ITI, I gained experience in setting up and managing day-to-day operations of research facilities, and also coordinated, directed, and/or participated projects in collaboration between ITI and other biotech/pharmaceutical companies.
As the Deputy Director of the Marasco Lab, I am involved in multiple antibody discovery/engineering research projects, and have used my research and management background to assist in the supervision of research projects, training of postdoctoral fellows and research technicians, development of grant proposals, and oversight of lab operations.
Most recently, I have been involved in coordinating, supervising, and managing a federally contracted “7-day biodefense” research project supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This multimillion-dollar project consists of 7 teams from different academic, non-profit, and corporate institutions and is focused on developing medical countermeasures that can provide temporary protection against any pathogen within 7-14 days.
I was also actively involved in the establishment of the NFCR Center for Therapeutic Antibody Engineering (CTAE) at DFCI, and have served as the Research Director of the NFCR-CTAE for 7 years. In this capacity, I was involved in discovery and evaluation of antibodies against the glucocorticoid-induced tumor-necrosis factor receptor-related protein (GITR), and projects on establishing mouse models for renal cell carcinoma immune therapy as well as human immune system reconstituted mice for future human therapeutic antibody discovery.