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Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics Series

John Desjarlais, PhD
SVP and Chief Scientific Officer at Xencor, Inc.


Dr. Desjarlais is the Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Xencor, Inc. Since joining Xencor in 2001, Dr. Desjarlais has overseen the company’s engineering, discovery, and preclinical work on antibodies and other proteins. With his coworkers, Dr. Desjarlais has developed several novel technologies for the optimization of antibodies and other proteins, including a platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, and has led the discovery of multiple novel antibody drug candidates for treatment of a variety of diseases. Dr. Desjarlais oversees all of Xencor’s discovery research and preclinical activities, from project conception and candidate generation through preclinical proof-of-concept and early development. Prior to Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University (1997-2001), where he developed and tested methods for the de novo design of protein sequences. He began his work in the field of protein design as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Desjarlais holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.