Honors & Awards

  • BioX Bowes Fellow, Stanford BioX (2014-current)
  • SPARK Award, Stanford University - SPARK Translational Research Program (2015-current)

Education & Certifications

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, BIOE-MS (2015)
  • SB, MIT, Biological Engineering (2013)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Role of innate and adaptive immunity in obesity-associated metabolic disease JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION McLaughlin, T., Ackerman, S. E., Shen, L., Engleman, E. 2017; 127 (1): 5-13


    Chronic inflammation in adipose tissue, possibly related to adipose cell hypertrophy, hypoxia, and/or intestinal leakage of bacteria and their metabolic products, likely plays a critical role in the development of obesity-associated insulin resistance (IR). Cells of both the innate and adaptive immune system residing in adipose tissues, as well as in the intestine, participate in this process. Thus, M1 macrophages, IFN-γ-secreting Th1 cells, CD8+ T cells, and B cells promote IR, in part through secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. Conversely, eosinophils, Th2 T cells, type 2 innate lymphoid cells, and possibly Foxp3+ Tregs protect against IR through local control of inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI88876

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392271300002

    View details for PubMedID 28045397

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5199693

  • Targeted Drug Delivery with an Integrin-Binding Knottin-Fc-MMAF Conjugate Produced by Cell-Free Protein Synthesis MOLECULAR CANCER THERAPEUTICS Currier, N. V., Ackerman, S. E., Kintzing, J. R., Chen, R., Interrante, M. F., Steiner, A., Sato, A. K., Cochran, J. R. 2016; 15 (6): 1291-1300
  • Targeted Drug Delivery with an Integrin-Binding Knottin-Fc-MMAF Conjugate Produced by Cell-Free Protein Synthesis. Molecular cancer therapeutics Currier, N. V., Ackerman, S. E., Kintzing, J. R., Chen, R., Filsinger Interrante, M., Steiner, A., Sato, A. K., Cochran, J. R. 2016; 15 (6): 1291-1300


    Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) have generated significant interest as targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment, demonstrating improved clinical efficacy and safety compared with systemic chemotherapy. To extend this concept to other tumor-targeting proteins, we conjugated the tubulin inhibitor monomethyl-auristatin-F (MMAF) to 2.5F-Fc, a fusion protein composed of a human Fc domain and a cystine knot (knottin) miniprotein engineered to bind with high affinity to tumor-associated integrin receptors. The broad expression of integrins (including αvβ3, αvβ5, and α5β1) on tumor cells and their vasculature makes 2.5F-Fc an attractive tumor-targeting protein for drug delivery. We show that 2.5F-Fc can be expressed by cell-free protein synthesis, during which a non-natural amino acid was introduced into the Fc domain and subsequently used for site-specific conjugation of MMAF through a noncleavable linker. The resulting knottin-Fc-drug conjugate (KFDC), termed 2.5F-Fc-MMAF, had approximately 2 drugs attached per KFDC. 2.5F-Fc-MMAF inhibited proliferation in human glioblastoma (U87MG), ovarian (A2780), and breast (MB-468) cancer cells to a greater extent than 2.5F-Fc or MMAF alone or added in combination. As a single agent, 2.5F-Fc-MMAF was effective at inducing regression and prolonged survival in U87MG tumor xenograft models when administered at 10 mg/kg two times per week. In comparison, tumors treated with 2.5F-Fc or MMAF were nonresponsive, and treatment with a nontargeted control, CTRL-Fc-MMAF, showed a modest but not significant therapeutic effect. These studies provide proof-of-concept for further development of KFDCs as alternatives to ADCs for tumor targeting and drug delivery applications. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(6); 1291-300. ©2016 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0881

    View details for PubMedID 27197305

  • Cystine-knot peptides: emerging tools for cancer imaging and therapy EXPERT REVIEW OF PROTEOMICS Ackerman, S. E., Currier, N. V., Bergen, J. M., Cochran, J. R. 2014; 11 (5): 561-572


    Cystine-knot miniproteins, also known as knottins, constitute a large family of structurally related peptides with diverse amino acid sequences and biological functions. Knottins have emerged as attractive candidates for drug development as they potentially fill a niche between small molecules and protein biologics, offering drug-like properties and the ability to bind to clinical targets with high affinity and selectivity. Due to their extremely high stability and unique structural features, knottins also demonstrate promise in addressing challenging drug development goals, including the potential for oral delivery and the ability to access intracellular drug targets. Several naturally-occurring knottins have recently received approval for treating chronic pain and irritable bowel syndrome, while others are under development for tumor imaging applications. To expand beyond nature's repertoire, rational and combinatorial protein engineering methods are generating tumor-targeting knottins for use as cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

    View details for DOI 10.1586/14789450.2014.932251

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342232200004

  • A Bioengineered Peptide that Localizes to and Illuminates Medulloblastoma: A New Tool with Potential for Fluorescence-Guided Surgical Resection Cureus Ackerman, S. E., Wilson, C. M., Kahn, S. A., Kintzing, J. R., Jindal, D. A., Cheshier, S. H., Grant, G. A., Cochran, J. R. 2014

    View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.207