Using my knowledge of microbiology, immunology and drug development I work with scientists, physicians and engineers to discover and develop medicines to prevent and treat diseases. As vice president of Microbial Sciences, I oversee microbiome discovery and early infectious disease R&D programs from concept through phase 2 clinical trials.  I also serve as the global product development lead for a long-acting antibody combination being evaluated for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Over my 20 year career I have enjoyed pushing the boundaries of science to discover and deliver life-saving medicines. My role sees me collaborate closely with both AstraZeneca staff and external partners in academia and government to address medical and scientific needs. I am fortunate to have participated in several drug approvals, have 5 patents and have authored 85 peer-reviewed articles.

I started my career as a  scientist in vaccine R&D at Merck after gaining my PhD in Microbiology from the University of Virginia and completing my fellowship at the AIDS Vaccine Program at the NIH.

I also enjoy serving on the Gaithersburg site leadership team ensuring we have state of the art laboratories and that we are a great place to work.

It's been astonishing to see how everyone at AstraZeneca has risen to the challenge to fight COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and antibody development is not for the faint of heart but clearly we are in this COVID-19 fight to the finish.

Mark T. Esser Vice President and Head of Microbial Sciences, BioPharmaceuticals R&D

2020 AstraZeneca CEO Award

Contribution to defeating COVID-19

2020 AstraZeneca R&D Award

Scientific Breakthrough – Discovery of long-acting antibody combination for treatment of COVID-19

2010 Most notable people

Recognized by R&D Directions Magazine for contribution to vaccine development


CURRENT ROLE

Vice President and Head of Microbial Sciences, BioPharmaceuticals R&D

2021

Contribution to defeating COVID-19 on the vaccine and antibody programs

2020

First significant advancement in the prevention of RSV disease in more than 25 years

2015

MedImmune Shark Tank Winner for CytoMop

Featured publications


Global Molecular Epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus from the 2017-2018 INFORM-RSV Study

Tabor DE, Fernandes F, Langedijk AC, Wilkins D, Lebbink RJ, Tovchigrechko A, Ruzin A, Kragten-Tabatabaie L, Jin H, Esser MT, Bont LJ, Abram ME; INFORM-RSV Study Group. Global Molecular Epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus from the 2017-2018 INFORM-RSV Study. J Clin Microbiol. 2020 Dec 17;59(1):e01828-20.

https://jcm.asm.org/content/59/1/e01828-20

Single-Dose Nirsevimab for Prevention of RSV in Preterm Infants

Griffin MP, Yuan Y, Takas T, Domachowske JB, Madhi SA, Manzoni P, Simões EAF, Esser MT, Khan AA, Dubovsky F, Villafana T, DeVincenzo JP; Nirsevimab Study Group. Single-Dose Nirsevimab for Prevention of RSV in Preterm Infants. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jul 30;383(5):415-425.

Efficacy and safety of suvratoxumab for prevention of Staphylococcus aureus ventilator-associated pneumonia (SAATELLITE): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 2 pilot trial

Bruno François, Hasan S Jafri, Jean Chastre, Miguel Sánchez-García, Philippe Eggimann, Pierre-François Dequin, Vincent Huberlant, Lucia Viña Soria, Thierry Boulain, Cédric Bretonnière, Jérôme Pugin, Josep Trenado, Ana Catalina Hernandez Padilla, Omar Ali, Kathryn Shoemaker, Pin Ren, Frank E Coenjaerts, Alexey Ruzin, Olivier Barraud, Leen Timbermont, Christine Lammens , Vadryn Pierre, Yuling Wu, Julie Vignaud, Susan Colbert, Terramika Bellamy, Mark T Esser, Filip Dubovsky, Marc J Bonten, Herman Goossens , Pierre-François Laterre, COMBACTE Consortium and the SAATELLITE Study Group

Characterization of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) isolated from HIV-exposed-uninfected and HIV-unexposed infants in South Africa during 2015-2017

Liu H, Lu B, Tabor DE, Tovchigrechko A, Wilkins D, Jin H, Madhi SA, Soofie N, Esser MT, Nunes MC. Characterization of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) isolated from HIV-exposed-uninfected and HIV-unexposed infants in South Africa during 2015-2017. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2020 Jul;14(4):403-411

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32126161/

Microbial burden and viral exacerbations in a longitudinal multicenter COPD cohort.

Bouquet J, Tabor DE, Silver JS, Nair V, Tovchigrechko A, Griffin MP, Esser MT, Sellman BR, Jin H. Microbial burden and viral exacerbations in a longitudinal multicenter COPD cohort. Respir Res. 2020 Mar 30;21(1):77

https://respiratory-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12931-020-01340-0

Antibody and B cell responses to an investigational adjuvanted RSV vaccine for older adults.

Weinberg A, Lambert SL, Canniff J, Yu L, Lang N, Esser MT, Falloon J, Levin MJ. Antibody and B cell responses to an investigational adjuvanted RSV vaccine for older adults. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2019 Mar 9.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30852939/#:~:text=Conclusions%3A%20This%20adjuvanted%20vaccine%20generated,immunogenicity%20of%20the%20adjuvanted%20vaccine