Jim Huston was a co-founder and Chairman of The Antibody Society, for which he served as Founding President (2007) and member of its Board. He was Director of Huston BioConsulting LLC and President of Synergy BioTherapeutics, Inc. in Boston. He served as a key scientific advisor for the Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics meetings from its inception until his death in March 2020.
Undergraduate work in Chemistry at the University of Michigan was followed by graduate study with Professor Charles Tanford at Duke on the Fd fragment and its domains. Postdoctoral work at the Stanford and Harvard Medical Schools, followed by research in his own academic lab, led to a unique opportunity to enter biotechnology at Creative BioMolecules (outside Boston) in 1983, where he and his team described the first single-chain Fv in 1988 and invented single-chain Fv fusion proteins. These are often the basis for naiive human phage antibody libraries and continue to be exploited for medical research that includes our demonstration of the first scFv intrabody immunotherapy treatment of neurodegenerative disease (Huntington’s Disease), now being developed at NIH for Parkinson’s Disease. Our scFv format provided the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) in the first two gene therapies approved by the FDA (2017) for anti-CD19 CAR T-cells (Yescarta and Kymriah).