Pin-Kuang Lai (plai3)

Pin-Kuang Lai

Assistant Professor

Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science


  • PhD (2018) University of Minnesota (Chemical Engineering)


My research is dedicated to tackling the challenges of drug design and development by using machine learning, molecular simulations and high-throughput screening. In particular, our lab focuses on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and antibodies.

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance is a crucial public health problem due to the dissemination of bacterial strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotic drugs. AMPs are promising alternatives to traditional antibiotics. One of the most desirable advantages of AMPs is that bacterial resistance would evolve much more slowly than against antibiotics. However, AMPs can exhibit undesirable properties as drugs, including short circulating half-life, instability and toxicity to animals and humans. Therefore, novel approaches are needed to be developed to make AMPs less toxic for human while maintaining or improving their potency to eliminate bacteria and reduce the production cost.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been used as therapeutic drugs for over 30 years. One of the outstanding issues of antibody drug is the poor stability of some drug candidates such as high aggregation, elevated viscosity and low solubility. This hinders the development of new antibodies. The production cost of antibodies is high, therefore developing computational tools that can predict antibody stability in the early-stage discovery is desired.


Postdoc: Chemical Engineering, MIT (2018-2021)

Institutional Service

  • Center for Healthcare Innovation Member
  • Research computing committee Member
  • Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence Member
  • Department seminar coordinator Chair
  • SES PhD virtual Open House Member
  • Faculty Search Committee Member

Professional Service

  • mAbs Journal Editor
  • ACS Spring 2024 Area coordinator
  • AstraZeneca Consultant
  • ACS Fall 2023 Area coordinator

Consulting Service



Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Stevens Institute of Technology (2021-Present)

Professional Societies

  • AAPS – American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Member
  • ACS – American Chemical Society Member
  • AICHE – American Institute of Chemical Engineers Member

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Lai, P.; Phillips, A.; Srinivas, A.; Prentoska, I.; O'Dea , M.; Kustrup, M.; Hurley, S.; Bruno, S.; Nguyen , V. (2023). Teaching biologics formulation using molecular modeling and simulations. ChemRxiv.
  2. Lai, P. (2022). DeepSCM: An efficient convolutional neural network surrogate model for the screening of therapeutic antibody viscosity. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal (vol. 20, pp. 2143-2152). Elsevier.
  3. Lai, P. (2022). Machine learning prediction of antibody aggregation and viscosity for high concentration formulation development of protein therapeutics. mAbs (1 ed., vol. 14, pp. e2026208). Taylor & Francis.


CHE351: Reactor Design
CHE630: Theory of Transport Process
CHE700: Seminar in Chemical Engineering