Short courses


Antibodies: Sequence, Structure and Designing Therapeutics

  • 7 hours per day
  • 2 days


On this two-day course you'll learn about all the steps in designing antibody therapeutics, from bioinformatics research to drug design and patient trials.

The course is run by UCL's Division of Biosciences.

Course content

The following areas will be covered during this course:

  • Understanding antibody sequence and structure, genetics and diversity
  • Antibody applications, humanisation and fragments
  • Bioinformatics for antibodies: how to search and analyse sequence and structure using powerful database software
  • Designing therapeutics, including understanding the problems of using antibodies in vivo and the key methods used to circumvent them
  • Manufacturing therapeutics
  • Intellectual property: understanding basic intellectual property issues and relating these to humanising antibodies, including patent disputes

Who this course is for

The course is suitable for those involved in the design or manufacture of antibody-targeted therapies.

This includes:

  • scientists involved in researching, designing or manufacturing antibody therapies
  • the medical community
  • companies and industry involved in pharma research and manufacture
  • postgraduate and professional researchers
  • clinicians
  • patent attorneys


You'll need a science degree.

You don't need previous experience of working with antibodies specifically.

Structure and assessment

You'll take part in bioinformatics workshops within small groups. There will also be a series of presentations and opportunities for discussion.

There's no formal assessment.


The first day is more introductory, while the second focuses on engineering for therapy.

Day one will include:

  • lectures on antibody structure, antibody applications and modelling antibodies by Dr Andrew Martin
  • an interactive workshop on exploring and modelling antibodies
  • a reception party with opportunities to network

Day two will include: 

  • a lecture on antibody formats, humanisation and intellectual property by Dr Andrew Martin
  • lectures on recombinant antibodies for cancer therapy by Professor Kerry Chester
  • an interactive workshop on using the abYsis Antibody Analysis Platform
  • a summing-up session with the chance to ask questions

Learning outcomes

On completing this course you should:

  • be able to analyse antibody structure and sequence using the latest research and powerful software
  • understand how bioinformatics is used in the design of therapeutics
  • be able to use the latest developments at UCL to inform your own work
  • have an understanding of intellectual property relating to this work
  • be aware of the opportunities and challenges involved in antibody-targeted therapies

Why you should attend

By attending this course you'll:

  • have an opportunity to discuss issues with experts in the field. You'll hear from leading researchers from Biosciences and the Cancer Institute at UCL
  • explore the therapeutics from ideas to the clinic - a unique benchside-to-bedside overview
  • have the opportunity to network with your industry peers
  • have the chance to explore the UCL-created abYsis antibody bioinformatics system which allows analysis of antibody sequence and structure to help develop better therapeutics

Employers: benefits of sending your staff on this course

Staff attending this course will:

  • discover the latest  developments in analysing antibodies and methods of developing therapeutics from UCL
  • have an opportunity to exchange knowledge and form partnerships
  • discover new ideas to bring back to the workforce for increased productivity

    Cost and concessions

    The course costs:

    • £575 - PhDs and post-docs
    • £825 - everyone else

    Further information

    More information about this course, including a detailed schedule, is available on the UCL Biosciences website.

    Course team

    Professor Andrew Martin, Division of Biosciences

    Professor Andrew Martin, Division of Biosciences

    Andrew's research focuses on structural bioinformatics: developing tools to investigate and understand the relationship between protein sequence, structure and function. Using the abYsis database, Andrew integrates sequence data from Kabat and IMGT and structural data from the PDB to create powerful search and analysis tools for antibody research.

    Andrew obtained his first degree in Biochemistry from Christ Church, Oxford, where his research project involved working with Professor Peter Goodford on his GRID program – one of the first methods for computational drug design. He stayed at Oxford to do his DPhil with Professor Anthony R. Rees and developed the first automated program for modelling antibodies.

    He holds a patent related to antibody humanisation and has served as an expert witness on a number of international patent disputes. He also acts as a consultant in humanising antibodies.

    Professor Kerry Chester, UCL Cancer Institute

    Professor Kerry Chester, UCL Cancer Institute

    Kerry leads the Antibody Engineering Group at the UCL Cancer Institute. She has over twenty years' experience in antibody engineering and antibody phage-display technology and is currently Vice President of the Antibody Society.

    Her main research interests are design and construction of antibody-based therapeutics and the interaction of these molecules with specific cancer targets. The work is largely translational: her group designed and manufactured the first single chain Fv antibody (scFv) to enter clinical trials and she's the academic lead of a GMP facility, manufacturing recombinant antibody-based cancer treatments for first-in-human trials. Current projects include bench-to-bedside development of antibodies for use as cancer imaging agents, antibody drug conjugates, chimeric antigen receptors (CARS) and nano-medicines.

    Course information last modified: 6 Sep 2021, 10:04