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Addressing the reproducibility crisis: Validating antibodies for life science research

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Addressing the reproducibility crisis: Validating antibodies for life science research

Recorded 11 April 2018


Antibodies are invaluable tools in the life sciences. There are several challenges that must be overcome to validate the specificity and reproducibility of antibody reagents, as emphasized by many publications, including a recent proposal from the International Working Group for Antibody Validation (IWGAV). There are many examples of antibodies with off-target binding leading to erroneous conclusions, some of which will be discussed during this webcast, demonstrating the importance of application-specific validation. Five alternative strategies for enhanced validation of antibodies will be described based on genetic validation, recombinant expression, independent antibodies, orthogonal validation, and capture mass spectrometry validation. Approaches based on these five strategies have been used for streamlined, enhanced validation of more than 10,000 antibodies from more than 30 providers, targeting over 7,000 human proteins as part of the Human Protein Atlas program. The results show a path forward for validating antibodies in an application-specific manner suitable for both providers and users

During the webinar, viewers will learn about:

  • The generation and validation of data used in the Human Protein Atlas
  • Problems related to the cross-reactivity of antibodies and the challenges they create for the interpretation of results
  • Enhanced validation of antibodies using five application-specific strategies.

Speakers will answer your questions during the live broadcast!

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Mathias Uhlén, Ph.D.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Uhlén received his Ph.D. in chemistry at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. After postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, he became professor of microbiology at KTH in 1988. Dr. Uhlén founded the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden, where he served as director from 2010 to 2015, and has authored more than 750 publications in bioscience with a focus on the development and use of affinity reagents in biotechnology and biomedicine. He has founded 10 companies and has more than 70 patents and patent applications to his name. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the European Molecular Biology Organization, and the National Academy of Engineering, and is president of the European Federation of Biotechnology. He was the first to describe the use of affinity tags for purification of proteins and the use of biotin-streptavidin for DNA handling, methods now widely used in bioscience. He is leading the international effort to create the Human Protein Atlas with the aim of systematically mapping the entire human proteome. Dr. Uhlén has received numerous awards, including the AkzoNobel Science Award, the Seraphim Medal from His Majesty the King of Sweden, the HUPO Distinguished Achievement in Proteomic Sciences Award, and the ABRF Award for Outstanding Contributions to Biomolecular Technologies.

Cecilia Williams, Ph.D.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Williams is a professor of experimental oncology at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Her laboratory is located at the Science for Life Laboratory in Stockholm. She received her Ph.D. in biotechnology at KTH and initiated her research group at the Karolinska Institutet before moving to a tenure-track assistant professor position at the University of Houston, Texas. After tenure, she returned to Sweden and the Science for Life Laboratory. Dr. Williams’ research seeks to understand how hormones and their receptors influence cancer development, especially the protective effect that estrogen has on colorectal cancer development. She has described the impact that different estrogen receptors have on breast, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer, including transcriptomic effects involving long noncoding RNAs and microRNAs. She has also been engaged in the issue of reproducibility in life sciences, raising awareness of methodological problems with DNA sequencing of formalin-fixed samples, microRNA detection technologies, and antibody validation. She is a member of the Ethical Vetting Committee in Stockholm, the steering group for the National Genomics Infrastructure, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society for Cell Biology.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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