The meeting is being organised by the University as part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, and is supported by AstraZeneca and University spin-out company CiteAb, with sponsorship from Abcam and Proteintech.

It will build on the first meeting which was organised by St John’s Laboratories in 2014, with the idea of establishing an ongoing series of meetings, each with different organisers.

The meeting is a unique event which will bring together leading researchers working in academia, the pharma/biotech industry and antibody suppliers. Attendees will present their data on the validation of research antibodies in order to generate debate about research reproducibility, drive best practice and improve research antibody validation.

Why antibody validation matters

Research antibodies are expensive and are used throughout life science research. Lots of money goes to waste in buying and trying one failing antibody after the other. For this reason, validation of antibodies is necessary to ensure they work correctly.

Dr Andrew Chalmers from our Department of Biology & Biochemistry, and founder of antibody search engine CiteAb, said: “I started CiteAb because I was frustrated with the problems my research group was having in finding reliable antibodies. CiteAb now lists over 2 million antibodies from suppliers all over the world, and researchers can search products with results based not on which company pays most to be featured at the top, but on the number of academic citations there are for an antibody. This helps researchers like me find evidence that an antibody might work in their study before they invest a lot of money in it.

“The validation of antibodies is core to our mission at CiteAb, and the enhancement of research quality is core to the work of the University of Bath, so this forum which addresses growing concerns associated with the use of commercial antibodies in research and in diagnostics is close to my heart. We expect this second event to be highly influential in encouraging the sharing of best practice throughout the antibody industry.”

Innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business

AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business dedicated to the discovery of novel drug candidates, is also supporting the event.

“Data quality is vital for effective drug discovery. Well validated research antibodies are at the heart of this. This conference is a great opportunity to bring together people who are passionate about high quality antibody-based research in industry and academia. AstraZeneca is proud to support these efforts,” said Dr Lorenz Mayr, Vice President, Reagents & Assay Development, AstraZeneca.

The meeting will be held at the University and will include 13 talks spread over the 15 and 16 of September 2016. There will be posters, a roundtable discussion and a social event to be held in the city of Bath.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Jim Trimmer, University of California at Davis, USA.
  • Professor Aled Edwards, Structural Genomics Consortium, Canada.
  • Dr Lars Bjork, Human Protein Atlas, Sweden.
  • Dr Karine Enesa, AstraZeneca, UK.
  • Arthur Lewis, MedImmune, UK
  • Further speakers to be confirmed

There will also be talks from up to four sponsoring antibody suppliers and two selected abstract talks.