William Sisk, PhD

William Sisk completed his PhD at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1984 and entered a postdoctorate program at the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health in the lab of Don Court, where he studied the expression, production and structure/function of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs). After completing his postdoctorate, he gained valuable experience at various positions in the biotech community before accepting a position at Biogen in Cambridge, MA in 1995. At Biogen, he was the senior director and distinguished investigator of the lab of cellular and molecular engineering for over twenty years. The primary focus of the lab was the discovery, engineering and production of novel therapeutic Mabs directed to relevant neurodegenerative targets and the development of delivery methods to deep brain structures. Specifically, the lab explored the mechanism of receptor mediated transcytosis to deliver engineered Mabs and their derivatives to the brain. The ability to efficiently transport macromolecules across the blood brain barrier has been a significant biological and technical challenge since the primary function of the blood brain barrier is to tightly regulate transport of nutrients into the brain parenchyma and exclude potentially harmful molecules, such as viruses and pathogenic bacteria. In collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, which previously identified a unique antibody that recognizes a specific receptor complex located on the brain endothelium, the lab created a platform technology for the efficient transport of Mabs across the blood brain barrier. After over twenty years, Sisk has recently retired from Biogen and is currently serving as a consultant for the biotech community in addition to his teaching role at Harvard.


  • PhD Georgetown University School of Medicine