Peter's research and interests are focused on applying engineering mindsets to solve complex immunological problems by utilizing interesting chemical approaches. He has always been interested in both engineering solutions and immunology ever since he was a kid growing up in Columbus, Ohio. Due to his severe peanut allergy, he has always been interested in immunology, but his penchant for engineering was fostered during his undergraduate experience at the University of Dayton, where he majored in chemical engineering. After this, he attended the University of Notre Dame, where he worked on developing novel diagnostics and targeted therapies for food and drug allergies. He joined the Esser-Kahn group to continue fostering and growing his love of immunology, chemistry and engineering by working on designing new systems for both vaccines and autoimmune diseases which utilize innate immunity.
Bioengineering, University of Notre Dame (2016)
Advisor: Dr. Basar Bilgicer
Dissertation: “Inhibitors for Allergic Reactions to Peanuts and Drugs: Epitope Analysis, Molecular Design and Characterization”
Chemical Engineering, University of Dayton (2012)
“The things that we love tell us what we are.”- St. Thomas Aquinas
First Responder Dendritic Cell Characterization: Dendritic cells are the initial cells to uptake and process pathogen material, but recent research has shown there is a substate of dendritic cells that has increases reactivity to pathogens. My research involves using microparticles to isolate these highly responsive cells, we call First Responder Cells (FRs) and characterize them. I have developed a successfully targeting system for FRs and shown that active targeting of FRs improves overall immune responses.
Determining Whether Agonist Density or Agonist Number Is More Important for Immune Activation via Micoparticle Based Assay
Deak P, Kimani F, Cassaidy B, Esser-Kahn A. Determining Whether Agonist Density or Agonist Number Is More Important for Immune Activation via Micoparticle Based Assay. Front Immunol. 2020;11:642. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00642. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 32328073; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7161694.