Prof Daniel Christ

Prof Daniel Christ

Daniel Christ is Head of Antibody Therapeutics and Director of the Centre for Targeted Therapy at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. Christ was educated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and at Cambridge University, where he worked at the MRC Laboratory

Research Level

Senior Principal Research Fellow

Biography

Daniel Christ is Head of Antibody Therapeutics and Director of the Centre for Targeted Therapy at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia.

Christ was educated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and at Cambridge University, where he worked at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology with with Nobel Laureate Sir Gregory Winter, a pioneer of the British biotechnology industry. At Cambridge, Christ and Winter developed monoclonal antibody technology, in the field of phage display and single domain antibodies. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College (Cambridge University) at age 29 and was involved the foundation of Domantis Ltd (sold to GSK for £230 million in 2006). 

Professor Christ joined the Garvan in 2007 as Head of Antibody Therapeutics, to translate structural and genomic advances into drug candidates and treatments for cancer and inflammatory conditions. Christ is particularly well known for using both in vitro and in vivo selection strategies for generating antibodies with superior biophysical and targeting properties. His work has allowed the functional characterisation of important targets including A20, EBI2, the CD25/CD122/CD132 (IL2R) system, and has validated the existence of i-motif DNA in human cells. His contributions have been recognised by multiple prizes and appointments, including the NHMRC Excellence award, and by the award of more than 15 competitive research grants from the NHMRC and ARC in recent years. 

Christ and co-workers utilise high-troughput selection and sequencing approaches in combination with biochemical and X-ray crystallographic analyses to study and engineer the interaction between therapeutic antibodies and their targets. 

Professor Christ, in collaboration with UNSW Sydney's Kirby Institute, is currently developing antibodies designed to target the surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This antiviral therapy could provide ‘passive immunity’ to at-risk individuals including front-line health workers. Read more about this innovative project. 

Daniel Christ is Head of Antibody Therapeutics and Director of the Centre for Targeted Therapy at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia.

Christ was educated at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and at Cambridge University, where he worked at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology with with Nobel Laureate Sir Gregory Winter, a pioneer of the British biotechnology industry. At Cambridge, Christ and Winter developed monoclonal antibody technology, in the field of phage display and single domain antibodies. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College (Cambridge University) at age 29 and was involved the foundation of Domantis Ltd (sold to GSK for £230 million in 2006). 

Professor Christ joined the Garvan in 2007 as Head of Antibody Therapeutics, to translate structural and genomic advances into drug candidates and treatments for cancer and inflammatory conditions. Christ is particularly well known for using both in vitro and in vivo selection strategies for generating antibodies with superior biophysical and targeting properties. His work has allowed the functional characterisation of important targets including A20, EBI2, the CD25/CD122/CD132 (IL2R) system, and has validated the existence of i-motif DNA in human cells. His contributions have been recognised by multiple prizes and appointments, including the NHMRC Excellence award, and by the award of more than 15 competitive research grants from the NHMRC and ARC in recent years. 

Christ and co-workers utilise high-troughput selection and sequencing approaches in combination with biochemical and X-ray crystallographic analyses to study and engineer the interaction between therapeutic antibodies and their targets. 

Professor Christ, in collaboration with UNSW Sydney's Kirby Institute, is currently developing antibodies designed to target the surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This antiviral therapy could provide ‘passive immunity’ to at-risk individuals including front-line health workers. Read more about this innovative project. 

Awards and Honours

2013 - NHMRC Excellence Award (top ranked fellowship)
2002 - Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge University
1999 - ERS PhD Scholarship, Trinity College, Cambridge University
1999 - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Studer Award

Education

2003 - PhD, Cambridge University - UK
1999 - Dipl Natw (MSc), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) - Switzerland

Selected Publications

Nathan W. Zammit, Owen M. Siggs, Paul E. Gray, Keisuke Horikawa, David B. Langley, (...) Daniel Christ, Christopher C. Goodnow and Shane T. Grey (2019) Denisovan, modern human and mouse TNFAIP3 alleles tune A20 phosphorylation and immunity Nature Immunology 20: 1299-1310

Deborah L Burnett, David B Langley, Peter Schofield, Jana R Hermes, Tyani D Chan, Jennifer Jackson, Katherine Bourne, Joanne H Reed, Benjamin T Porebski, Robert Brink, Daniel Christ* and Christopher C Goodnow* (2018) [Joint senior and corresponding authors] Germinal center antibody mutation trajectories are determined by rapid self/foreign discrimination. Science Vol. 360, Issue 6385: 223-226

Mahdi Zeraati, David B. Langley, Peter Schofield, Aaron L. Moye, Romain Rouet, William E. Hughes, Tracy M. Bryan, Marcel E. Dinger* and Daniel Christ* (2018) I-motif DNA structures are formed in the nuclei of human cells. Nature Chemistry doi:10.1038/s41557-018-0046-3

Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi, Claudia Loetsch, Daniela Zinkl, Jenny Jackson, Peter Schofield, Elissa K. Deenick, Cecile King, Tri Giang Phan, Kylie E. Webster, Jonathan Sprent and Daniel Christ (2017) Potent antitumour activity of IL-2-Fc fusion proteins requires Fc-mediated depletion of regulatory T-cells. Nature Communications 8:15373

Romain Rouet, David B. Langley, Peter Schofield, Mary Christie, Brendan Roome, Benjamin T. Porebski, Ashley M. Buckle, Ben E. Clifton, Colin L. Jackson, Daniela Stock and Daniel Christ (2017) Structural reconstruction of protein ancestry. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 14(15):3897-3902

Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi, Damien Nevoltris, Ansha Luthra, Peter Schofield, Carsten Zimmermann and Daniel Christ (2017) Transient expression of human antibodies in mammalian cells. Nature Protocols 13, 99–117 

Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi, Tri Giang Phan, Carsten Zimmermann, David Lowe, Lutz Jermutus and Daniel Christ (2015) Challenges and opportunities for non-antibody scaffold drugs.  Drug Discovery Today 20 (10), 1271-1283

Andrew Bradbury et al. (2015) Reproducibility: Standardize antibodies used in research. Nature 518(7537): 27-29 [co-signatory]

Sabouri Z, Peter Schofield, Keisuke Horikawa, Emily Spierings, David Kipling, Katrina L Randall, David Langely, Brendan Roome, Rodrigo Vazquez-Lombardi, Romain Rouet, Jana Hermes, Tyani D Chan, Robert Brink, Deborah K Dunn-Walters, Daniel Christ* and Christopher C Goodnow* (2014) Redemption of autoantibodies on anergic B cells by V-region glycosylation and mutation away from self-reactivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(25): 2567-2575 [*joint senior and corresponding authors]

Romain Rouet and Daniel Christ (2014) Bispecific antibodies with native chain structure. Nature Biotechnology 32(2): 136-7

Domique Gatto, Katherine Wood, Caminschi I, Danielle Murphy-Durland, Peter Schofield, Daniel Christ, Karupiah G and Robert Brink. (2013) The chemotactic receptor EBI2 regulates the homeostasis, localization and immune function of splenic dendritic cells. Nature Immunology 14(5): 446-453

Kip Dudgeon, Romain Rouet, Iris Kokmeijer, Peter Schofield, Jessica Stolp, David Langely, Daniela Stock and Daniel Christ (2012) General strategy for the generation of human antibody variable domains with increased aggregation resistance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109: 10879-10884

Romain Rouet, Kip Dudgeon, Peter Schofield, David Lowe, Lutz Jermutus and Daniel Christ (2012) Expression of high affinity antibody fragments in bacteria. Nature Protocols 7: 364-373

Daniel Christ and Greg Winter (2003) Identification of functional similarities between proteins using directed evolution, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:13202-13206