Marc Ostermeier, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is known for his work in protein engineering, synthetic biology, and protein evolution. A former vice-chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the graduate program, Ostermeier is a faculty member of Johns Hopkins’ Chemistry-Biology Interface Program and the Program in Molecular Biophysics.
His research group seeks insight into the principles of natural evolution and the ability to design novel proteins and cells using directed evolution. His innovations in directed evolution technologies have led to novel proteins such as protein switches that instructs cancer cells to produce their own anti-cancer drug and proteins that precisely modify the DNA of live cells.
Ostermeier’s lab was an early developer of deep mutational scanning, the quantification of the effects of thousands of mutations in a single experiment. Using this approach, his studies have enriched our understanding of how mutations shape protein evolution.
He was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2021) and fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2014). Ostermeier is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He holds seven patents for his work.
Ostermeier received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1990, and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. He then was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department at Pennsylvania State University before joining the Whiting School of Engineering faculty in 2000.