Bethesda, MD – Today, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) hosted a dialogue on ways to improve the reproducibility of scientific studies that use antibodies. Antibodies—immune proteins that help the body attack disease-causing viruses and bacteria—are used in many experiments to identify and isolate other molecules. Those that are manufactured for research undergo varying levels of quality control, potentially contributing to challenges reproducing scientific research.
The event featured presentations by five experts in the field, who described different strategies to validate and assure antibodies:
- Andrew Bradbury, MBBS, PhD, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Biosciences Division group leader, presented antibody sequencing as a long-term solution to reproducibility challenges
- David Rimm, MD, PhD, Director of Pathology Tissue Services; Director of Translational Pathology, Yale University, discussed ways to standardize and validate antibodies
- Tara Hiltke, PhD, Program Manager, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Cancer Clinical Proteomics Research, described NCI’s Monoclonal Antibody Characterization Program
- Aaron Sin, PhD, Product Management Lead at Sigma-Aldrich, offered the vendor perspective on antibody production and validation
- Michael Okimoto, PhD, Chief Content Officer, BioCompare, considered how antibody databases can enhance the reproducibility of research
Today’s roundtable is the second of three discussions on scientific rigor to be hosted by FASEB. These discussions will culminate in the development of recommendations for best practices for biological and biomedical researchers. Such guidelines are aimed to facilitate fulfillment of new requirements for National Institutes of Health grant applications launching in January 2016.
“Recent reports questioning the replicability of biomedical research demand our attention,” said Parker B. Antin, PhD, FASEB President. “FASEB is firmly committed to developing robust, transparent processes and policies to foster objectivity and ensure rigor.”