Jennifer Maynard

Headshot of Dr. Jennifer MaynardDr. Jennifer Maynard is an Associate Professor - Laurence E. McMakin Jr. Centennial Faculty Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  She received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, followed by a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas atAustin, and post-doctoral studies as an NIH NRSA fellow in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University.

As faculty at UT, her research group aims to develop therapeutics to treat and vaccines to prevent infectious diseases, using biological and engineering principles. One therapeutic antibody she developed, which neutralizes anthrax toxin, has successfully completed Phase I and Phase II clinical trials and received fast-track status from the FDA under the guidance of its liscensee, Elusys. It is currently being stockpiled by the federal government with the support of several $100 millions in federal grants. A second antibody, which neutralizes the pertussis toxin is being developed to treat whooping cough in conjunction with Synthetic Biologics.

In  more fundamental work, she crystallized the first structure of an autoimmune T cell receptor-peptide-major histocompatibility complex, revealing the molecular details of this inappropriate interaction which initiates autoimmunity in the mouse model of multiple sclerosis. This structure is being used to understand the basis of autoimmunity and to design new therapeutic approaches to treat MS.

In recognition of her work, she has received prestigious grants from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus, the Gates and the Packard Foundations, in additional to numerous federal grants and invitations to participate in national and international symposia. She has received the the Student Engineering Council Teaching Excellence Award for Chemical Engineering (2009) and the Texes Exes Teaching Award for the Cockrell School of Engineering (2012).

Dr. Maynard is also a member of the Women in Engineering Program Faculty Committee.