An expert in protein engineering, Tessier was selected as a 2014 Young Scientist for his contributions to advance the frontiers of science, engineering, and technology in areas of high societal impact, according to the World Economic Forum.
Tessier, the Richard Baruch M.D. Career Development Professor at Rensselaer, was one of 30 researchers under the age of 40 to be honored with the distinction at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions last month in China.
The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
Tessier is an associate professor in the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and a member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer. He joined the Rensselaer faculty as an assistant professor in 2007 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He was named an associate professor in 2013, and the Baruch Professor in 2014.
Tessier’s research focuses on designing, developing, and optimizing a class of large therapeutic proteins, or antibodies, that hold great potential for detecting and treating human disorders ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. His research interests include designing antibodies for detecting and treating Parkinson’s and others diseases, redesigning therapeutic antibodies to increase their stability and efficacy, and identifying and optimizing small molecule compounds to inhibit toxic protein aggregation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
This work has been recognized with a number of awards. In 2010, Tessier received the Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences, as well as a Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation. In 2012, he received a Rensselaer Early Career Award and the Rensselaer School of Engineering Research Excellence Award. In 2014, he received an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to support his research at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.
Tessier received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maine, and his doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.