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Peter Deak

Peter Deak, PhD

Assistant Professor
Drexel University Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Office: CAT 480
Phone: 215.895.6694


Dr. Peter Deak is an assistant professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering who joined the department in August 2022. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH) and his MS in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Notre Dame working under Dr. Basar Bilgicer. His PhD work was designing novel diagnostics and therapeutics for food allergies. After his PhD, Dr. Deak worked in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago working under Dr. Aaron Esser-Kahn, investigating novel subpopulations in innate immune cells. His research at Drexel focuses on using as minor as possible chemical modulation of innate immune cells to facilitate antigen specific tolerance. More specifically the Deak group designs nano-formulations to modulate innate immune cells as potential therapeutics for autoimmune diseases and transplantation rejection. The Deak group also works on diagnostics for autoinflammatory diseases and targeted adjuvants to generate antigen specific immunity of chronic viral infections (Hepatitis, HIV, ect.)

Research Interests

Innate immune system, nanoparticles, drug delivery, immune tolerance, T regulatory cells, adjuvant design, Dendritic cell biology, viral targeting, mouse models, autoimmune diseases, transplant immunology, chemical biology, autoinflammatory diseases


  • Deak P, Knight HR, Esser-Kahn A. “Robust tolerogenic dendritic cells via push/pull pairing of toll-like-receptor agonists and immunomodulators reduces EAE.” Biomaterials. 2022 Jul;286:121571. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121571. Epub 2022 May 11. PMID: 35597168.
  • Deak, P.E., Kimani, F, Cassaidy B, Esser-Kahn A.E. “Determining Whether Agonist Density or Agonist Number Is More Important for Immune Activation via Micoparticle Based Assay” Front. Immunol., 09 April 2020.
  • Deak PE, Kim B, Abdul Qayum A, Shin J, Vitalpur G, Kloepfer KM, Turner MJ, Smith N, Shreffler WG, Kiziltepe T, Kaplan MH, Bilgicer B. “Designer covalent heterobivalent inhibitors prevent IgE-dependent responses to peanut allergen”. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 30;116(18):8966-8974. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1820417116
  • Deak, P., Kim, B.,, Adnan, A., Labella M., Vecillasa, L., Castells, M., and Bilgicer, B., “Nanoallergen Platform for the Detection of Platin Drugs Allergies”. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2018.
  • Deak, P., Vrabel, M., Kiziltepe, T., Bilgicer, B. “Determination of Crucial Immunogenic Epitopes in Major Peanut Allergy Protein, Ara h2, via Novel Nanoallergen Platform”. Scientific Reports, Issue 7, 3981(2017)
  • Deak, P., Vrabel, M., Pizzuti, V., Kiziltepe, T., Bilgicer, B.," Nanoallergens: A multivalent platform for studying and evaluating potency of allergen epitopes in cellular degranulation.” Experimental Biology and Medicine, 241(9), 996-1006. (2015).