Margaret E. Ackerman

Associate Partner (USA)


Margie Ackerman, PhD is an Associate Professor of Engineering at the Thayer School of Engineering. Following receipt of a PhD in Molecular Engineering from MIT, she spent a year as a Harvard University Center for AIDS Research Fellow before moving to Dartmouth, where she now also holds appointments in Microbiology and Immunology, Chemistry, and the Program in Quantitative Biological Sciences. 



Research Group Activity 

The Ackerman laboratory conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of biomedical and engineering sciences: developing high throughput tools to evaluate the antibody response in disease states ranging from infection to cancer in order to aid in therapeutic antibody and vaccine design and development. We aim to understand the protective mechanism of antibodies using approaches grounded in fundamental engineering principles utilizing protein evolution, molecular biology, mathematical modeling and machine learning.

CYMAF project

The Ackerman group is assisting the Marchant lab in both data analysis and in establishing the systems serology platform to analyze structural and functional characteristics of antibodies induced by CMV infection in pregnant women. This work aims to: 1) determine the dynamics of the antibody response to primary CMV infection during pregnancy; 2) compare the quality of the antibody response to CMV envelope glycoproteins and tegument proteins; 3) compare the quality of the antibody response to primary infection in pregnant and non-pregnant women; 4) compare the quality of the antibody response to primary and chronic infection. Key features of the antibody response to envelope glycoproteins following primary infection during pregnancy will be identified using traditional statistical and machine learning approaches. To support exploration of the biological validity of antibody signatures observed in cohort studies, the Ackerman group will use antibody engineering approaches to contribute to targeted investigation of the ability of specific antibody types to influence infection in the placental model. 

Selected Publications

Route of immunization defines multiple mechanisms of vaccine-mediated protection against SIV.

Ackerman ME, Das J, Pittala S, Broge T, Linde C, Suscovich TJ, Brown EP, Bradley T, Natarajan H, Lin S, Sassic JK, O'Keefe S, Mehta N, Goodman D, Sips M, Weiner JA, Tomaras GD, Haynes BF, Lauffenburger DA, Bailey-Kellogg C, Roederer M, Alter G.
Nat Med. 2018 Sep 3. doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0161-0. [Epub ahead of print]


Noncanonical placental Fc receptors: What is their role in modulating transplacental transfer of maternal IgG?

Martinez DR, Fouda GG, Peng X, Ackerman ME, Permar SR.
PLoS Pathog. 2018 Aug 30;14(8):e1007161. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007161. eCollection 2018 Aug.


High-resolution definition of humoral immune response correlates of effective immunity against HIV.

Alter G, Dowell KG, Brown EP, Suscovich TJ, Mikhailova A, Mahan AE, Walker BD, Nimmerjahn F, Bailey-Kellogg C, Ackerman ME.
Mol Syst Biol. 2018 Mar 26;14(3):e7881. doi: 10.15252/msb.20177881.


Fine epitope signature of antibody neutralization breadth at the HIV-1 envelope CD4-binding site.

Cheng HD, Grimm SK, Gilman MS, Gwom LC, Sok D, Sundling C, Donofrio G, Hedestam GBK, Bonsignori M, Haynes BF, Lahey TP, Maro I, von Reyn CF, Gorny MK, Zolla-Pazner S, Walker BD, Alter G, Burton DR, Robb ML, Krebs SJ, Seaman MS, Bailey-Kellogg C, Ackerman ME.
JCI Insight. 2018 Mar 8;3(5). pii: 97018. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.97018. [Epub ahead of print]


Optimization and qualification of an Fc Array assay for assessments of antibodies against HIV-1/SIV.

Brown EP, Weiner JA, Lin S, Natarajan H, Normandin E, Barouch DH, Alter G, Sarzotti-Kelsoe M, Ackerman ME.
J Immunol Methods. 2018 Jan 29. pii: S0022-1759(17)30302-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2018.01.013. [Epub ahead of print]


Multiplexed Fc array for evaluation of antigen-specific antibody effector profiles.

Brown EP, Dowell KG, Boesch AW, Normandin E, Mahan AE, Chu T, Barouch DH, Bailey-Kellogg C, Alter G,Ackerman ME.
J Immunol Methods. 2017 Feb 2. pii: S0022-1759(16)30386-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2017.01.010.


Systems serology for evaluation of HIV vaccine trials.

Ackerman ME, Barouch DH, Alter G.
Immunol Rev. 2017 Jan;275(1):262-270. doi: 10.1111/imr.12503. Review.