Looking back on the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting


Min Read

In this blog:

  • We reflect on the themes that emerged from the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting
  • We say a massive thank you to all the speakers, chairs and sponsors for supporting this meeting
  • Sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page to hear when selected talks are available to view

Thank you to all the delegates, speakers and sponsors for helping to make the 4th International Antibody Validation meeting such a success!

‘It was fantastic to welcome those in the antibody community from all over the world to our home city of Bath this September for the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting.

It was terrific to see the productive discussion around the challenges of antibody validation and how it can be addressed. We also enjoyed taking a moment to celebrate the amazing research good antibodies can facilitate. 

We think this may have been the best meeting in the series so far, and we loved getting suppliers and end-users from pharma and academia together for in-person discussions, which we truly believe is the best way to drive progress!’

  • Andrew Chalmers, CEO of CiteAb and scientific organiser of the Antibody Validation meeting
30670 Antibody Validation Meeting 14th Sept 2023 TG 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting hosted at East Building, the meeting aims to bring together scientists from academia, the pharmaceutical / biotech sector and antibody suppliers in order to discuss best practices in research antibody validation and help improve antibody validation for the life science community. Session chair Dr Andrew Chalmers, CEO CiteAb Limited. Photo © Tim Gander. All rights reserved.
Photo © Tim Gander. All rights reserved.

Antibody Validation Meeting: Recapped

The 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting, a unique meeting to discuss best practice in antibody validation and drive improvements, was held this September in Bath over the course of three days.

During this time, we heard from over 18 speakers, engaged in a discussion panel, explored new research through a poster session and even had time for a meeting dinner.

With a mix of reagent suppliers, biotech/biopharma companies and academics in attendance, topics covered by speakers ranged from new research, to technologies and diagnostics utilising the power of antibodies, to reagent supplier and biopharma antibody validation approaches, to new initiatives addressing the field’s challenges. 

We would like to thank our speakers for making the trip to present their data and share their thoughts with the conference attendees. Our 2023 speakers were:

  • Dean Clift, MRC LMB, UK
  • Anthony Couvillon, Mercy BioAnalytics, USA
  • Lena D’Hooghe, UCB, UK
  • Will Howat, Abcam, UK
  • Ibolya Kepiro, National Physical laboratory, UK
  • Nicola Lawson, AstraZeneca, UK
  • Peter McPherson, McGill University, Canada
  • David Piper, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA
  • Asel Sartbaeva, University of Bath/ EnsiliTech, UK
  • Andreas Bosio, Miltenyi Biotec, Germany
  • Mathias Uhlen, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
  • Antony Wood, Cell Signaling Technology, USA
  • Andrea Radtke, NIAID (NIH), USA
  • Kevin Harvey, Aviva Systems Biology, USA
  • Pierre Cosson, Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Switzerland
  • Elena Ivanova, Regeneron, USA
  • Kit Nazor, Proteintech Genomics, USA
  • Katarzyna Kmiecik, Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd, UK

Thank you also to the chairs involved in the event, who ensured the smooth running of the sessions and fielded questions from the audience. 

These chairs were: 

  • Andrew Buchanan, AstraZeneca, UK
  • Carly Dix, AstraZeneca, UK
  • Sam Heywood, UCB, UK
  • Amanda Williams, UCB, UK
  • Giovanna Roncador, CNIO, Spain
  • Paul Whitley, University of Bath, UK 
One of the sessions at the AbVal meeting
Photo © Tim Gander. All rights reserved. One of the sessions at the AbVal meeting

Discussion Panel

On the second day of the event, we engaged in one of our favourite parts of the meeting: the discussion panel. In this session, members of the audience were given the floor to ask a panel of experts their thoughts on key issues facing the antibody community. 

This was an opportunity to hear opinions from multiple sides of the antibody validation issue: those who supply the antibodies and those who use them. 

We found that during the sessions, the following themes emerged: 

Education, education, education: Increasing awareness of antibody validation

During the discussion, it was brought up by multiple participants that many scientists are not familiar with the five pillars of antibody validation. It appears the wider scientific community is not necessarily aware of the issue of antibody validation, or how to buy the right antibodies.

An essential step in improving antibody validation is awareness of the issue, given that the onus for validation lies, to an extent, with both users and suppliers. There was discussion around education at a graduate programme level and having one centralised resource to refer to on the topic. A good resource pointed out was the Antibody Society’s lecture series on antibody validation: https://www.antibodysociety.org/learningcenter/antibody-validation-webinar-series/.

CiteAb also has a handy guide on top tips for buying antibodies, which you can read here. 

Disseminating the progress made in the field and raising the profile of initiatives that researchers can get involved in will only help progress antibody validation for all, particularly as fields such as spatial biology become more popular.

Which is best? The evolution of the five pillars of antibody validation

A second theme that emerged was debate around the utility of the ‘five pillars of antibody validation’ proposed by Uhlen et al in their seminal paper from 2016 [1]. Questions on which pillar was the ‘favourite’ were broached, with most agreeing that they had found some were more effective than others. There was no consensus on one single pillar being better in all situations.

It was made clear that for maximum confidence multiple approaches were often necessary, and the application and other context-specific factors needed to be taken into consideration. The pillars remain powerful ‘guidelines’ for comprehensive validation.

Sharing is caring: Access to data and a collaborative mindset

Data on testing is a powerful way to save time in the process of buying antibodies for experiments. There were calls from attendees for more data to be shared, such as when antibodies don’t work for an application, to help in this process. Scientific publishers and funders also have a role here – partnerships and collaborations with such bodies may prove a powerful way to drive transparency and more rigorous data sharing.

There was also a continued call from antibody companies to their customers to let them know if an antibody does not work, so they can investigate the issue and make any necessary changes. Powerful examples of best practice were given with suppliers letting past customers know if they find an issue with the specificity of an antibody. 

Overall, this was a really interesting session, with many more important topics covered which we have not gone into here. Thank you to the members of both discussion panels for their openness and expertise in these debates:

Antibody suppliers;

  • Alejandre Solache, Abcam, UK
  • Matt Baker, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA
  • Kit Nazor, Proteintech Genomics, USA
  • Antony Wood, Cell Signaling Technology, USA
  • Alexander Ball, GeneTex, USA

Antibody users;

  • Dean Clift, MRC LMB, UK
  • Andrea Radtke, NIAID (NIH), USA
  • Anthony Couvillon, Mercy BioAnalytics, USA
  • Katarzyna Kmiecik, Alchemab Therapeutics, UK
  • Elena Ivanova, Regeneron, USA
Antibody supplier panel during the discussion session
Photo © Tim Gander. All rights reserved. Antibody supplier panel during the discussion session

Poster Session

We also held a poster session, where attendees were able to browse submitted posters and chat with the authors to really delve into their research. We had a selection of fantastic posters submitted, from institutions and companies such as Sphere Fluidics, Aeonian Biotech, Hello Bio and the University of Geneva, with some interesting research and initiatives explored by these scientists, such as the Only Good Antibodies (OGA) Community Project, submitted by Harvinder Virk, University of Leicester.

Poster session at the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting
Photo © Tim Gander. All rights reserved. Poster session at the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting

The Meeting Dinner

On Thursday night it was fantastic to get everyone together in the centre of the beautiful city of Bath. This was a great opportunity to network and get to know those in the field better – all over dinner.

4th International Antibody Validation Meeting dinner
4th International Antibody Validation Meeting dinner

A big thank you to our event sponsors

Without the support of our generous sponsors, this event would never have happened. We want to take a moment to thank them for their support, engagement and participation in the meeting.

You can learn more about the sponsors for the 4th International Antibody Validation Meeting here: https://www.antibodyvalidation.co.uk/sponsors

Wrap up

So, what next? 

Following this meeting we hope that people left with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for all things antibody. We also believe that several exciting initiatives brought to light at the conference will be further explored and promoted. We are eager to see how they progress and how we can contribute at CiteAb. 

See you next time? 

We hope to see you at the 5th International Antibody Validation Meeting, to continue discussions started this time and reflect on the progress, as well as continuing challenges, in the industry.

Sign up to our mailing list below to be updated when the event returns, and to hear when selected talks are released on the antibody validation website and youtube channel.

You can see the full album of photos from the Antibody Validation meeting on our facebook.

  • Skye and the CiteAb team 


  1. Uhlen, M., Bandrowski, A., Carr, S., Edwards, A., Ellenberg, J., Lundberg, E., Rimm, D.L., Rodriguez, H., Hiltke, T., Snyder, M. and Yamamoto, T. (2016). A proposal for validation of antibodies. Nature Methods, 13(10), pp.823–827. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.3995.
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