The BSI West of Scotland Immunology Group is pleased to bring you their annual Delphine Parrott Memorial Lecture as part of the BSI Regional and Affinity Group webinar series. This year's speaker is Professor Pamela J Björkman from the California Institute of Technology who will be giving a presentation entitled 'Neutralizing antibodies against coronaviruses'.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused a world-wide pandemic resulting in a massive loss of lives and detrimental effects on the economies of most countries. Professor Björkman’s lab is using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to solve structures of infection- and vaccination-induced antibodies complexed with the spike trimer of SARS-CoV-2 in order to elucidate the structural correlates of antibody-based immune protection. Structural comparisons allowed the team to classify antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike trimer into categories. These classifications and structural analyses provide rules for assigning current and future human RBD-targeting antibodies into classes, evaluating avidity effects, and suggesting combinations for clinical use, and provide insight into immune responses against SARS-CoV-2. The Björkman Group's structural studies have also guided the development of a potential pan-betacoronavirus vaccine. The vaccine approach involves co-display of diverse sets of RBDs from SARS-like beta coronaviruses (sarbecoviruses) on nanoparticles (mosaic-RBD-nanoparticles) that results in increased breadth of neutralizing responses in mice compared with nanoparticles presenting only SARS-CoV-2 RBDs. This modular vaccine platform could provide protection from SARS-CoV-2 as well as potential future emergent coronaviruses that could cause pandemics.
Professor Pamela J. Björkman, David Baltimore Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Dr Megan MacLeod, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
Delphine Parrott Introduction:
Professor Allan Mowat, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow
Registration is free for BSI members for this event. For non-members there is a charge of £10. Book your place here.