Education Profile

  • Postdoc at Rockefeller University, USA, 2014 - 2019
  • Ph.D. Virology, Cambridge University, UK, 2014
  • German Diplom in Biology, Universität Bielefeld, Germany, 2007

Research Interests

Prof. Fabian Schmidt is fascinated by the power of viral adaptation and view 'Virus Learning' as a biological analogue to 'Machine Learning'. Moreover, he is certain that by synergizing these two approaches in automatic processing pipelines, revolutionary improvements can be made at the intersection of synthetic biology and biomedical sciences. At KAUST, his team will start by tackling a major bottleneck that flaws the manufacturing of viral gene therapy vector productions. These vectors are key to accessing cell types and organs in the human body for medical interventions. Yet, manufacturing remains difficult and inefficient even for the most commonly used vector format: Adeno-associated virus vectors (AAVs). Using synthetic biology approaches, they will work on innovative and scalable platforms that address these shortcomings.

Selected Publications

  • ​Schmidt F, Muecksch F, Weisblum Y, Da Silva J, Bednarski E, Cho A, Wang Z, Gaebler C, Caskey M, Nussenzweig MC, Hatziioannou T, Bieniasz PD. Plasma neutralization of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. New England Journal of Medicine 2021 Schmidt F, Weisblum Y, Rutkowska M, Poston D, Da Silva J, Zhang F, Bednarski E, Cho A, Schaefer-Babajew DJ, Gaebler C, Caskey M, Nussenzweig MC, Hatziioannou T, Bieniasz PD. High genetic barrier to SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal neutralizing antibody escape. Nature 2021 Wang Z, Schmidt F, Weisblum Y, Muecksch F, Barnes CO, Finkin S, Schaefer-Babajew D, Cipolla M, Gaebler C, Lieberman JA, Oliveira TY, Yang Z, Abernathy ME, Huey-Tubman KE, Hurley A, Turroja M, West KA, Gordon K, Millard KG, Ramos V, Da Silva J, Xu J, Colbert RA, Patel R, Dizon J, Unson-O'Brien C, Shimeliovich I, Gazumyan A, Caskey M, Bjorkman PJ, Casellas R, Hatziioannou T, Bieniasz PD, Nussenzweig MC. mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and circulating variants. Nature 2021 Schmidt F., Weisblum Y., Muecksch F., Hoffmann H.-H., Michailidis E., Lorenzi J. C. C., Mendoza P., Rutkowska M., Bednarski E., Gaebler C., Agudelo M., Cho A., Wang Z., Gazumyan A., Cipolla M., Caskey M., Robbiani D. F., Nussenzweig M. C., Rice C. M., Hatziioannou T., & Bieniasz P. D.. Measuring SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody activity using pseudotyped and chimeric viruses. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2020 Weisblum Y., Schmidt F., Zhang F., DaSilva J., Poston D., Lorenzi J. C., Muecksch F., Rutkowska M., Hoffmann H.-H., Michailidis E., Gaebler C., Agudelo M., Cho A., Wang Z., Gazumyan A., Cipolla M., Luchsinger L., Hillyer C. D., Caskey M., Robbiani D. F., Rice C. M., Nussenzweig M. C., Hatziioannou T., & Bieniasz P. D.. Escape from neutralizing antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variants. eLife 2020