UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Henry Wilkinson wins EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship

11 February 2019

Henry has won a two-year fellowship for his project titled “A universal, ultra-high-throughput platform for the evolution of protein stability for highly stable and efficacious seasonal influenza vaccines.”

Henry Wilkinson

The aim of the proposed study is to develop a universally-applicable directed evolution platform that can rapidly and significantly improve the stability of any biologic, including biocatalysts, vaccines and therapeutics. The platform will consist of site-specific incorporation and bio-orthogonal fluorescence labelling of an unnatural amino acid for use in a FRET-based stability assay. The assay will be miniaturised to the single cell level and used in a microdroplet array to screen many millions of protein variants generated as libraries at the DNA level. The power and versatility of the platform will be demonstrated by evolving stable, efficacious hemagglutinin-based influenza vaccines.