UCL Division of Biosciences


Antibodies: Sequence, Structure and Designing Therapeutics

From bioinformatics to human drug trials and the research and challenges along the way. Aimed at industry, researchers and business start-ups.

UCL Cruciform Labs, London

4th and 5th July 2019

Course Leader: Professor Andrew Martin UCL

Co-Leader:  Professor Kerry Chester UCL Cancer Institute

It is estimated that antibodies now represent around one third of all drugs in development.  This course consists of lectures and workshops that will teach you how to search for antibodies using powerful bioinformatic software, how to interpret the findings, and how the results are used by Professor Chester to design therapeutics at the UCL Cancer Institute and their use in human drug trials.
Suitable for all scientific disciplines

  • How to analyse sequence and structure of antibodies
  • How to search databases to find an antibody of interest
  • Modelling of antibodies
  • Antibody applications and humanization
  • Understanding the problems of using antibodies in vivo and the key methods used to circumvent them
  • Introduction to intellectual property issues
  • The design and use of recombinant antibodies for cancer therapy
  • Opportunities to network
  • Ways to meet future collaborators

See the lecturers

 Approved by RSB for 48 credit points


 9.30 - 10.30

Student Haldane Hub


welcome and introductions
Topics of interest

welcome pack distributed   Coffee, tea and pastries served


Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Lecture:  Antibody Structure   Dr Andrew Martin
It is estimated that antibodies now represent around one third of drugs in development and, in 2014, half of the top selling drugs (by sales) were antibodies.  Consequently, an understanding of antibody sequence and structure is hugely important for drug companies, medical researchers and intellectual property lawyers.


 Student Haldane Hub

Break:  coffee, tea and cold drinks


Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Lecture:  Antibody Applications   Professor Andrew Martin
An explanation of how and why antibodies are useful as reagents and as drugs as well as an analysis of the ways in which antibodies can act.  The session will also describe some of the problems of using antibodies as drugs and give an overview of methods that are used to produce antibodies that are acceptable to the human immune system.


Student Haldane Hub

Lunch served


Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Lecture:  Modelling Antibodies   Professor Andrew Martin
Despite the variability of antibodies, rules about the mapping of sequence to structure and the availability of hundreds of structures means that modelling can be more successful than for other proteins.


Forster Court Computer Cluster B29

Workshop:  Exploring and Modelling Antibodies  
Professor Andrew Martin

An interactive session allowing you to explore antibody structure in detail and build models of antibodies online.


Student Haldane Hub

Reception party:  wine, cheese and networking

Day 2


Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Discussion/Q&A from previous day

 10:30Lecture:  Antibody Formats, Humanization and IP
Professor Andrew Martin

A detailed exploration of methods to exploit antibodies and make them acceptable as drugs, and some of the IP issues that can be raised

Student Haldane Hub

Break:  coffee, tea and biscuits provided


Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Lecture:  Recombinant Antibodies for Cancer Therapy Part I    Professor Kerry Chester


Student Haldane Hub



Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Lecture:  Recombinant Antibodies for Cancer Therapy Part II  Professor Kerry Chester


Forster Court Computer Cluster B29

Workshop:  Analysis of Antibodies Using abYsis 
Dr Mark Swindells and Professor Andrew Martin

Interactive demonstration of the abYsis Antibody Analysis Platform.  An opportunity for the group to use abYsis with assistance on hand

 17:00Summing up:  Q & A session
Certificates handed out

Course Lectures

Course lectures will focus on the following topics:

  • An introduction to the natural role of antibodies in the adaptive immune response
  • An introduction to the genetics of antibody diversity and class switching
  • A detailed view of antibody structure and structural variability
  • An explanation of why antibodies make good lab reagents, diagnostics and drugs
  • How antibodies are used as drugs
  • The problems of using antibodies as in vivo drugs (size and immunogenicity) and routes to solve these (chimerics, humanization and 'fully human' antibodies).
  • New developments in antibody formats
  • Examples of the production and use of antibodies as therapeutics
  • Methods to model the structure of antibodies and how these differ from normal comparative homology modelling
  • An introduction to intellectual property (and patents in particular) and how this applies to antibody-based drugs
  • An analysis of biopharmaceutical court cases related to infringement and equivalence, sufficiency, novelty, inventive step and industrial application

Course Workshops

Course workshops will offer hands-on experience in:

  • Exploring the abYsis database and workbench
  • Analysing antibody sequences
  • Standard numbering of antibody sequences
  • Understanding antibody structure
  • Exploration of unusual sequence features and mapping these to structure


  • Discussions and Q&A sessions - an opportunity for you to ask questions and for the lecturers to help you with your particular needs.
  • A reception party on the first evening - opportunities to network




healthcare professionals


patent attorneys

PhD students


£825 per person

reductions for groups of 2 or more - email j.mcnally@ucl.ac.uk

£575 per person for PhDs and Post-docs

Payment can be made by the on-line store or by invoice (contact me)

pay here


Maximum places:  15

register now



Josephine McNally

Marketing & Communciations Biosciences CPD

Arena Associate Fellow

I am the first point of contact on this course and you can email me any time, should you have a query.  I am also available during the course.

This CPD course ran for the first time last year and proved very successful.   I  aim to make the course run as smoothly as possible - as well as create a great environment for learning and networking, with a reception party on the first evening.

Please feel free to email me any time with your questions.

University College London

There are University of London student halls which can be booked in the Summer.  Here is th link:


There is a tab where you can search availability.  The newest building is Garden Halls.  Please contact me should you need any recommendations or further assistance.