February 2023 Spotlight
Dr. Catherine H. Schein
Dr. Schein received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biochemistry with several minors, her MSc from MIT in biochemical engineering, and a PhD in Industrial Microbiology/Biotechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
Zürich Switzerland (ETHZ). She continued from postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zürich into interferon/ cytokine research and development at Biogen, where she ran large scale production of IFN-α2 for preclinical trials
and wrote project proposals for the scientific board. After becoming an Oberassistentin at the ETHZ, she worked in T7-RNA polymerase crystallography and studying the interaction of IFNs with ribonucleases (in work funded by the Zürcher Krebsliga).
She joined the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 2006 and is currently an Adjunct professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as a Faculty in the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity
at the UTMB.
Dr. Schein’s research has focused on clarifying the structural and sequence relationships between epitopes of allergenic proteins (especially through the Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins, SDAP) and designing physicochemical property consensus
(PCPcon) antigens for flaviviruses (Dengue), enteroviruses (Polio and Coxsackie A/B), and alphaviruses (Venezuelan and eastern Equine Encephalitis, Chikungunya). Her work has shown that PCPcon proteins fold like the wild type proteins they are based
on, retain function and can be designed to stimulate serotype specific or broad-spectrum protective antibodies. She has also published on protein solubility for structure determination and therapy and docking and repurposing of molecular libraries
in drug design. Her work, published in over 100 peer reviewed papers and book chapters (H-factor= 42; I10=89), has been funded by grants from NIAID, USDA, EPA, US-FDA, UTMB-Mitchell Center, UK-US Bioscience Initiative, Sealy Center
for Vaccine Development and other internal and external sources.