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Prof Max Crispin


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Max Crispin is Professor of Glycobiology at the University of Southampton. Max read Biochemistry at Oriel as an undergraduate and, after doctoral studies at Oxford and Scripps Research, went on to run the Glycoprotein Therapeutics Laboratory within Oxford’s Department of Biochemistry. At Oriel College, he held a variety of roles including as a Tutorial Fellow in Biochemistry, Against Breast Cancer Senior Research Fellow, Senior Dean, and is currently a Supernumerary Fellow. He has also been a Lecturer in Biochemistry at Corpus Christi College.

Max’s laboratory currently operates at the nexus of glycoprotein engineering and glycan analytics and is mainly focussed on the design of antibody therapeutics against breast cancer and in supporting the development of vaccine candidates against viral pathogens, especially HIV.

Max’s laboratory is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Collaboration for AIDS/Vaccine Discovery, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the US National Institute of Health, the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, and by Against Breast Cancer. He is Professor Adjunct in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, California, USA, and was listed by Web of Science as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers for 2019.

Landmark publications: 

de la Peña AT, Sliepen K, Eshun-Wilson L, Newby ML, Allen JD, Zon I, Koekkoek S, Chumbe A, Crispin M, Schinkel J, Lander GC, Sanders RW, Ward AB. Structure of the hepatitis C virus E1E2 glycoprotein complex. Science (2022) 378(6617):263-269

Watanabe Y, Allen JD, Wrapp D, McLellan JS, Crispin M. Site-specific glycan analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 spike. Science. (2020) 369(6501):330-333.

Watanabe Y, Berndsen ZT, Raghwani J, Seabright GE, Allen JD, Pybus OG, McLellan JS, Wilson IA, Bowden TA, Ward AB, Crispin M. Vulnerabilities in coronavirus glycan shields despite extensive glycosylation. Nat Commun.(2020) 11(1):2688.

Watanabe Y, Raghwani J, Allen JD, Seabright GE, Li S, Moser F, Huiskonen J, Strecker T, Bowden TA, Crispin M. Structure of the Lassa Virus glycan shield provides a model for immunological resistance. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA. (2018). 201803990.

Seabright GE, Cottrell CA, van Gils MJ, D'addabbo A, Harvey DJ, Behrens AJ, Allen JD, Watanabe Y, Scaringi N, Polveroni TM, Maker A, Vasiljevic S, de Val N, Sanders RW, Ward AB, Crispin M. Networks of HIV-1 envelope glycans maintain antibody epitopes in the face of glycan additions and deletions. Structure (2020) S0969-2126(20)30168-4.

Struwe WB, Chertova E, Allen JD, Seabright GE, Watanabe Y, Harvey DJ, Medina-Ramirez M, Roser JD, Smith R, Westcott D, Keele BF, Bess Jr JW, Sanders RW, Lifson JD, Moore JP, Crispin M. Site-specific glycosylation of virion-derived HIV-1 Env is mimicked by a soluble trimeric immunogen. Cell Reports (2018) 24(8):1958-1966.

Järnum S, Runström A, Bockermann R, Winstedt L, Crispin M, Kjellmam C. Enzymatic inactivation of endogenous IgG by IdeS enhances therapeutic antibody efficacy. Mol. Cancer Ther. (2017) 16(9):1887-1897.

Behrens AJ, Vasiljevic S, Pritchard LK, Harvey DJ, Andev RS, Krumm SA, Struwe WB, Cupo A, Kumar A, Zitzmann N, Seabright GE, Kramer HB, Spencer DIR, Royle L, Lee JH, Klasse PJ, Burton DR, Wilson IA, Ward AB, Sanders RW, Moore JP, Doores KJ, Crispin M. Composition and antigenic effects of individual glycan sites of a trimeric HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. Cell Reports. (2016) 14(11):2695-706.

Pritchard LK, Spencer DIR, Royle L, Bonomelli C, Seabright GE, Behrens AJ, Kulp D, Menis S, Krumm SA, Dunlop DC, Crispin DJ, Bowden TA, Scanlan CN, Ward AB, Schief WR, Doores KJ, Crispin M. Glycan clustering stabilizes the mannose patch of HIV-1 and preserves vulnerability to broadly neutralizing antibodies. Nature Comms. (2015) 6:7479.

Pritchard LK, Vasiljevic S, Ozorowski G, Seabright GE, Cupo A, Ringe R, Kim HJ, Sanders RW, Doores KJ, Burton DR, Wilson IA, Ward AB, Moore JP, Crispin M. Structural constraints determine the glycosylation of HIV-1 envelope trimers. Cell Reports. (2015) 11(10):1604-13.

Major grants: 

Defining the role and impact of HIV glycosylation on antigenicity, immunogenicity and vaccine strategies

Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Collaboration for AIDS/Vaccine Discovery

Against Breast Cancer programme grant in Therapeutic Antibodies

Sponsor: Against Breast Cancer

Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development

Sponsor: US National Institute of Health

Dissecting the mechanisms of HIV resistance in vivo to broadly neutralizing antibodies

Sponsor: US National Institute of Health

Impact example: 

Max co-founded Immago Biosystems Ltd with Dr Chris Scanlan. Immago Biosystems was subsequently acquired by Hansa Biopharma. Their technology uses enzymes to enhance the activity of therapeutic antibodies is currently in pre-clinical development by Hansa Biopharma.

Max was an Expert witness at the High Court of Justice in the case of TAKEDA UK LIMITED vs F. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE AG. (Claim No. HP-2018-000008 BUSINESS AND PROPERTY; June 2019).

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