Jason McLellan

  • Professor
  • Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry
  • Molecular Biosciences
Profile image of Jason McLellan

Contact Information

Room Number:4.342


Jason McLellan is a professor of molecular biosciences and the Welch Chair in Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. He researches viral and bacterial proteins, and his work to understand how these proteins are structured and how they function has factored into the development of vaccines and potential treatments for deadly pathogens that have impacted the lives of billions of people. As an inventor of a method for engineering key proteins in coronaviruses and respiratory viruses for use in vaccines, McLellan has been key in the development of technologies found in many leading vaccines against COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus especially dangerous for young children and seniors. He is the winner of multiple scientific awards, including the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the Park MahnHoon Award, the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine, the Golden Goose Award, the William Prusoff Memorial Award and the Viruses Young Investigator in Virology Prize. His research and expertise have been featured in multiple media outlets including CNN, Fox News, USA Today, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and National Geographic. Dr. McLellan earned a B.S. in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry from Wayne State University and his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He conducted his postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center. He previously served on the faculty at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.


The human body is under constant attack from bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, all of which express proteins that are needed to establish infection and evade the human immune system. The McLellan Lab seeks to obtain structural information on these proteins and their interactions with host macromolecules and translate this knowledge into the rational development of therapeutic interventions such as small-molecule inhibitors, protective antibodies and stabilized vaccine immunogens. These efforts are highly collaborative and involve domestic and international investigators from academia, government, and industry.

Research Areas

  • Vaccines and/or Therapeutics
  • Biophysics or Structural Biology
  • Infectious Disease, Immunology and Microbiology

Fields of Interest

  • Structural Biology and Biophysics
  • Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Centers and Institutes

  • John Ring LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease


  • Postdoctoral research, National Institutes of Health's Vaccine Research Center
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • B.S., Wayne State University


  • Select recent publications:

    Structural basis of synergistic neutralization of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus by human antibodies.
    Mishra AK, Hellert J, Freitas N, Guardado-Calvo P, Haouz A, Fels JM, Maurer DP, Abelson DM, Bornholdt ZA, Walker LM, Chandran K, Cosset FL, McLellan JS, Rey FA.
    Science. 2022 Jan 7;375(6576):104-109. doi: 10.1126/science.abl6502.

    Stabilized coronavirus spike stem elicits a broadly protective antibody.
    Hsieh CL, Werner AP, Leist SR, Stevens LJ, Falconer E, Goldsmith JA, Chou CW, Abiona OM, West A, Westendorf K, Muthuraman K, Fritch EJ, Dinnon KH 3rd, Schäfer A, Denison MR, Chappell JD, Baric RS, Graham BS, Corbett KS, McLellan JS.
    Cell Rep. 2021 Nov 2;37(5):109929. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109929.

    Vaccination with prefusion-stabilized respiratory syncytial virus fusion protein induces genetically and antigenically diverse antibody responses.
    Mukhamedova M, Wrapp D, Shen CH, Gilman MSA, Ruckwardt TJ, Schramm CA, Ault L, Chang L, Derrien-Colemyn A, Lucas SAM, Ransier A, Darko S, Phung E, Wang L, Zhang Y, Rush SA, Madan B, Stewart-Jones GBE, Costner PJ, Holman LA, Hickman SP, Berkowitz NM, Doria-Rose NA, Morabito KM, DeKosky BJ, Gaudinski MR, Chen GL, Crank MC, Misasi J, Sullivan NJ, Douek DC, Kwong PD, Graham BS, McLellan JS, Mascola JR.
    Immunity. 2021 Apr 13;54(4):769-780.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2021.03.004

    Structure-based design of prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spikes.
    Hsieh CL, Goldsmith JA, Schaub JM, DiVenere AM, Kuo HC, Javanmardi K, Le KC, Wrapp D, Lee AG, Liu Y, Chou CW, Byrne PO, Hjorth CK, Johnson NV, Ludes-Meyers J, Nguyen AW, Park J, Wang N, Amengor D, Lavinder JJ, Ippolito GC, Maynard JA, Finkelstein IJ, McLellan JS.
    Science. 2020; 369(6510):1501-1505.

    Structural Basis for Potent Neutralization of Betacoronaviruses by Single-domain Camelid Antibodies.
    Wrapp D, De Vlieger D, Corbett KS, Torres GM, Wang, N, Van Breedam W, Roose K, van Schie L, VIB-CMB COVID-19 Response Team, Hoffmann M, Pöhlmann S, Graham BS, Callewaert N, Schepens B, Saelens X, McLellan JS
    Cell. 2020; 181(5):1004-1015.

    Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation.
    Wrapp D, Wang N, Corbett KS, Goldsmith JA, Hsieh CL, Abiona O, Graham BS, McLellan JS.
    Science. 2020; 367(6483):1260-1263.

    Structure of the respiratory syncytial virus polymerase complex.
    Gilman MSA, Liu C, Fung A, Behera I, Jordan P, Rigaux P, Ysebaert N, Tcherniuk S, Sourimant J, Eléouët J-F, Sutto-Ortiz P, Decroly E, Roymans D, Jin Z, McLellan JS.
    Cell. 2019; 179(1):193-204.e114.

    Transient opening of trimeric prefusion RSV F proteins.
    Gilman MSA, Furmanova-Hollenstein P, Pascual G, van ‘t Wout AB, Langedijk JPM, McLellan JS.
    Nat Commun. 2019 May 8;10(1):2105.

    Structural basis for recognition of the central conserved region of RSV G by neutralizing human antibodies.
    Jones HG, Ritschel T, Pascual G, Brakenhoff JPJ, Keogh E, Furmanova-Hollenstein P, Lanckacker E, Wadia JS, Gilman MSA, Williamson RA, Roymans D, van 't Wout AB, Langedijk JP, McLellan JS.
    PLoS Pathog. 2018 14(3):e1006935.

    Infants infected with respiratory syncytial virus generate potent neutralizing antibodies that lack somatic hypermutation.
    Goodwin E, Gilman MSA, Wrapp D, Chen M, Ngwuta JO, Moin SM, Bai P, Sivasubramanian A, Connor RI, Wright PF, Graham BS, McLellan JS, Walker LM.
    Immunity 2018; 48(2):339-349.e5.

  • View Publications on PubMed


  • 2022 National Finalist for Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists
  • 2022 Edith and Peter O’Donell Award by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas
  • 2022 McGuire Family Prize for Societal Impact
  • 2021 Shirley Bird Perry Longhorn Citizenship Award
  • 2021 Texas Inventor of the Year, State Bar of Texas
  • 2020 AAAS Golden Goose Award
  • 2020 International Society for Antiviral Research William Prusoff Young Investigator Award
  • 2019 Viruses Young Investigator in Virology Prize
  • 2018 American Crystallographic Association Etter Early Career Award
  • 2015 Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Award
  • 2012 Norman P. Salzman Memorial Award in Virology