Aaron Schmidt

Aaron Schmidt, PhD

Principal Investigator

Core Member

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Associate Professor in Microbiology

Harvard Medical School

Assistant in Immunology

Massachusetts General Hospital



Office #954

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Protein Engineering, Therapeutic Development, Viral Evolution

Research Overview

Our research focuses on the development of adaptive immune responses, protein evolution and the interactions between host and pathogen using a combination of biophysical, biochemical and molecular virology techniques.

We are structural biologists who bring mechanistic and quantitative approaches to address fundamental problems in virology and immunology. We primarily study orthomyxo- and flaviviruses but our interests extend to emerging viruses (e.g. alpha-, arena-, bunya- and filoviruses) and other pathogens. We are strong believers in collaboration and are always open to pursuing new directions and pathogens!


Dr. Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Emmanuel College and a PhD in virology from Harvard University with Stephen C. Harrison. Postdoctoral training was done at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, also with Stephen C. Harrison.

Selected Publications

Preconfiguration of the antigen-binding site during affinity maturation of a broadly neutralizing influenza antibody

Schmidt AG, Xu H, Khan AR, O’Donnell T, Khurana S, King LR, Manischewitz J, Golding H, P. Suphaphiphat P,CarfiA, Settembre EC, Dormitzer PR, Kepler TB, Zhang R-J, Moody MA, Haynes BF, Liao HX, Shaw DE and Harrison SC.

PNAS 110, 2013. (1) 264-269

Viral receptor-binding site antibodies from diverse germline origins

Schmidt AG, Therkelsen MD, Stewart S, Moody MA, Haynes BF, Liao HX, Harrison SC

Cell, 2015. 161, 1026-1034. PMCID: PMC4441819

Immunogenic stimulus for germline precursors of influenza-specific antibodies

Schmidt AG, Khoi KT, McCarthy KR, Kepler TB, Liao HX, Moody MA, Haynes BF and Harrison SC

Cell Reports, 2015. 13 2842-50

Affinity maturation in a human humoral response to influenza hemagglutinin

McCarthy, KR, Raymond, DD, Do, K.T., Schmidt, AG, Harrison, SC.

PNAS, 2019 116 (52): 26745-51

Influenza Antigen Engineering Focuses Immune Responses to a Subdominant but Broadly Protective Viral Epitope

Bajic G, Maron MJ, Adachi Y, Onodera T, McCarthy KR, McGee CE, Sempowski GD, Takahashi Y, Kelsoe G, Kuraoka M, Schmidt AG.

Cell Host Microbe, 2019. 12;25(6):827-835. PMCID: PMC6748655

Structure-Guided Molecular Grafting of a Complex Broadly Neutralizing Viral Epitope

Bajic G, Maron MJ, Caradonna TM, Tian M, Mermelstein A, Fera D, Kelsoe G, Kuraoka M, Schmidt AG.

ACS Infect Dis. 2020 May 8;6(5):1182-1191. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00008. Epub 2020 Apr 20. PubMed PMID: 32267676

Lab Team

Timothy Caradonna

Graduate Student

Agnes Cheng

Research Technician I

Jared Feldman

Graduate Student

Emerson Glassey

Research Fellow

Blake Hauser

Graduate Student

Rochel Hecht

Catherine Jacob-Dolan

Graduate Student

Ty Kannegieter

Research Laboratory Assistant

Gabrielle Law

Graduate Student

Daniel Maurer

Graduate Student

Anne Roffler

Graduate Research Assistant

Estefania Reyes Sepulveda

Graduate Student

Dana Thornlow

Research Fellow

Mya Vu

Graduate Research Assistant

Ian Windsor

Postdoctoral Fellow

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Our people are our greatest asset. We are committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment that is welcoming for all.

Leadership: Faculty

The Ragon’s faculty includes many of the world’s most creative scientists, engineers, and clinicians.


The Ragon’s research creates knowledge from our collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach, breaking down the silos of academia.