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Daniela Fera

Assistant Professor

On leave 2020-2021



  2. Phone: (610) 690-3308
  3. Science Center 290
Daniela Fera, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry,  Swarthmore College


B.A., Chemistry (Honors) and Mathematics, New York University

Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Molecular Medicine,
Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School


CHEM 048: Biological Chemistry II

CHEM 058: Advanced Experimental Biological Chemistry

CHEM 094: Research Project

CHEM 118: Special Topics in Biochemistry and Its Applications



Research in the Fera lab focuses on understanding the development of antibodies and their interactions with other macromolecules. Antibodies play an important role in the immune system by identifying and fighting off pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, however, deregulated pathways can result in antibodies that target a host’s own tissues, resulting in disease. Thus, the long-term goal of our research is to merge biochemical studies and three-dimensional structures to create models for guiding the development of vaccines and therapies. Towards this goal, students will employ a variety of biochemical techniques, including X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, to investigate these molecules and their complexes.

Recent Publications (undergraduate students are italicized)

Fera, D., Lee, M.S., Wiehe, K., Meyerhoff, R.R., Piai, A., Bonsignori, M., Aussedat, B.,Walkowicz, W.E., Ton, T., Zhou, J.O., Danishefsky, S., Haynes, B.F., and Harrison, S.C. (2018) HIV Envelope V3 Region Mimic Embodies Key Features of a Broadly Neutralizing Antibody Lineage Epitope. Nature Communications. 9(1111). doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03565-6

Williams*, W.B., Han*, Q., Jiang*, C., Zhang*, J., Nicely*, N., Fera*, D., Luo, K., Moody, M.A., Liao, H.X., Alam, S.A., Kepler, T., Wiehe, K., Ramesh, A., Bradley, T., Saunders, K., Parks, R., Foulger, A., Shen, S., Tomaras, G., Xia, S.M., Montefiori, D.C., Louder, M., Santra, S., Scearce, R., Sutherland, L., Newman, A., Bouton-Verville, H., Bowman, C., Marshall, D.J., Whitesides, J.F., Reed, S., Fox, C., Clary, K., Koutsoukos, M., Franco, D., Mascola, J.R., Harrison, S.C., Haynes, B.F. and Verkozy, L. (2017) Initiation of Neutralizing B Cell Lineages with Sequential Envelope Immunizations. Nature Communications. Nov 23;8(1):1732. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01336-3 (*equal contribution)

Horwitz*, J.A., Bar-On*, Y., Lu*, C.L., Fera, D., Lockhart, A.A.K., Lorenzi, J., Nogueira, L., Golijanin, J., Scheid, J.F., Seaman, M.S., Gazumyan, A., Zolla-Pazner, S. and Nussenzweig, M.C. (2017) Non-Neutralizing Antibodies Alter the Course of HIV-1 Infection in vivo. Cell. 170(4):637-648. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.06.048. (*equal contribution)

Bonsignori*, M., Kreider*, E.F., Fera*, D., Meyerhoff*, R.R., Bradley*, T., Wiehe, K., Alam, S. A., Aussedat, B., Walkowicz, W.E., Hwang, K.K., Saunders, K.O., Zhang, R., Gladden, M.A., Monroe, A., Kumar, A., Xia, S.M., Cooper, M., Louder, M.K., McKee, K., Bailer, R.T., Pier, B.W., Jette, C.A., Kelsoe, G., Williams, W.B., Morris, L., Kappes, J., Wagh, K., Kamanga, G., Cohen, M.S., Hraber, P.T., Montefiori, D.C., Trama, A., Liao, H.X., Kepler, T.B., Moody, M.A., Gao, F., Danishefsky, S.J., Mascola, J.R., Shaw, G.M., Hahn, B.H., Harrison, S.C., Korber, B.T., Haynes, B.F. (2017) Staged induction of HIV-1 glycan-dependent broadly neutralizing antibodies. Science Translational Medicine. 9(381). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai7514. (*equal contribution)

Easterhoff, R., Moody, M. A., Fera, D., Cheng, H., Ackerman, M., Wiehe, K., Saunders, K.O., Vandergrift, N., Parks, R., Kim, J., Michael, N.L., O’Connell, R.J., Excler, J.L., Robb, M.L., Vasan, S., Rerks-Ngarm, S., Kaewkungwal, J., Pitisuttithum, P., Nitayaphan, S., Sinangil, F., Tartaglia, J., Phogat, S., Kepler, T.B., Alam, S.M., Liao, H.X., Ferrari, G., Seaman, M.S., Montefiori, D.C., Tomaras, G.D., Harrison, S.C. and Haynes, B.F. (2017) HIV envelope CD4 binding site antibodies with long variable heavy third complementarity determining region boosted with a HIV vaccine. PLoS Pathogens. 13(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006182.

Bradley*, T., Fera*, D., Bhiman, J., Eslamizar, L., Lu, X., Anasti, K., Zhang, R., Sutherland, L.L., Scearce, R.M., Stolarchuk, C., Lloyd, K.E., Parks, R., Martelli, A., Foulger, A., Abdool-Karim, S.S., Barnett, S., Kepler, T.B., Alam, S.M., Montefiori, D.C., Moody, M.A., Liao, H.X., Morris, L., Santra, S., Harrison, S.C., and Haynes, B.F. (2016) Structural Constraints of Vaccine-Induced Tier-2 Autologous HIV Neutralizing Antibodies Targeting the Receptor Binding Site. Cell Reports, 14; 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.017. (*equal contribution)

Fera, D., Schmidt, A.G, Haynes, B.F., Gao, F., Liao, H.X., Kepler, T.B., and Harrison, S.C. (2014) Affinity Maturation in an HIV Broadly Neutralizing B-cell Lineage Through Reorientation of Variable Domains. PNAS, 111; 10275-10280. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409954111.​