Tim Whitehead

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Tim Whitehead

We are a young lab that designs and engineers functional proteins. We are focused on the development of computational and experimental tools as well as two major areas for the application of these methods: (1) the microbial-mediated conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals that more closely approximate petroleum-derived feedstocks; and (2) development of antibody and antibody-like molecules for use as protein therapeutics against viral pathogens.

Research Interests:

Protein engineering

Design Biochemical Engineering

Biomolecular Engineering

Metabolic Engineering

Alternative Energy

Synthetic Biology

Postdoctoral Research, David Baker Lab, University of Washington, 2011
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2008
B.E., Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2001

2017               College of Engineering Nominee, MSU Teacher/Scholar Award

2017               Johansen Crosby Endowed Chair, CHEMS MSU

2017               Young Scientist Keynote, PEGS Meeting

2013                NSF Career




Whitehead TA*, (2017) “A peptide mimic of an antibody” Science, in press

Wrenbeck EE^, Azouz LR&, Whitehead TA* (2017), “Single-mutation fitness landscapes for an enzyme on multiple substrates reveal specificity is globally encoded”, Nature Communications in press

Klesmith JR^, Bacik JP, Wrenbeck EE^, Michalczyk R, Whitehead TA* (2017) “Trade-offs between enzyme fitness and solubility illuminated by deep mutational scanning”, PNAS 114:2265-2270 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1614437114

Wrenbeck EE^, Klesmith JR^, Adeniran A, Stapleton JA^, Tyo KJ, Whitehead TA*, (2016) “Plasmid-based single-pot saturation mutagenesis”, Nature Methods 13(11): 928-930 doi:10.1038/nmeth.4029

Whitehead TA+, Chevalier A+, Song Y et al. (2012) “Optimization of affinity, specificity, and function of designed Influenza inhibitors using deep sequencing”, Nature Biotechnology 30(6):543-8. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2214