Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Technology and it's impact on understanding the biology of the antibodies

Leading up to the Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics Event, podcast, we'll have interviews with a few of the speakers from the event.  Today we feature a portion our interview with James Crowe, Jr., M.D., Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Today, he answers the question:
Are there examples of where technology is already having an impact on understanding the biology of the antibodies?

Dr. Crowe's answer:
Yes. I think we are starting to see publications in the immunology field and some of the highest impact journals that are bringing high throughput sequencing of antibody replicons into the literature. So, Andrew Fire’s group at Stanford and Scott Boyd have put out papers in a way looking at repertoires – sort of like a micro alert ray or using patterns of repertoires as biomarkers for responses in cancer or autoimmunity in various conditions. They’ve been starting to describe methods for looking at entire repertoires as correlating with clinical phenotypes. Our own group has used these technologies to couple repertoire sequencing with individual monoclonal antibody technologies derived from antibodies from hybridomas or similar technologies. So, we know the function of influenza or dengue or pox virus specific monoclonal antibodies and we’ve been able to find siblings of those monoclonal antibodies in the whole repertoires and we started publishing papers in this area. 
Others have been the same. The NIH Research Group has correlated development in human antibody phylogenies of sequences with HIV specific neutralization fina types and development of repertoires. In fact, they are starting to use those phylogenies to suggest that we could design immunogens that interact with various stages of antibody development in a predictive phylogeny. So, we’re not only seeing papers that describe repertoires and link to function, but these studies are already leading to rational vaccine design strategies that play up on the information we’ve gained from the sequencing. So, it is a very exciting time. A lot of papers are going to come out in the next couple of years and it’s just very exciting to learn more about antibody repertoires.

Dr. Crowe will be presenting Deep Sequencing the Human Antibody Response to Viral Infections and Human Germline Antibody Gene Segments Encode Polyspecific Antibodies. For more information on these sessions and the rest of the program, download the agenda. The Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics Event will take place December 8-12, 2013 in Huntington Beach, California. If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog,when you register to join us and mention priority code XD13172BLOGJP to save 20% off the standard rate.

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