History on-line: The case of monoclonal antibodies

Speaker: Dr Lara Marks # King's College, London

25th Jan 2016

15:30 - 17:00

Staff Room, 6th floor, Crystal Macmillan Building (University of Edinburgh, George Square)

My talk will tell the untold story of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) – microscopic molecules that have transformed the diagnosis and treatment of more than fifty major diseases over the past 40 years. Mab drugs now make up a third of all new medicines approved for market and account for six out of ten best-selling drugs worldwide. They have led the path in terms of improvements to the treatment of cancer and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and are vital to research to combat Alzheimer's. Despite their importance relatively few people understand what Mabs are, where they come from or the major revolution they have brought to healthcare. My paper charts the history of Mabs and how they came to be adopted in medicine from their earliest development to the present day and looks at how this research lay the foundation for a new website allowing visitors to understand the complexities of transferring technological breakthroughs from the laboratory bench through to the clinic.

Speaker bio:

Lara Marks is the managing editor of www.whatisbiotechnology.org and the author of 'The Lock and Key of Medicine: Monoclonal antibodies and the transformation of healthcare' (Yale University Press, 2015). She has visiting research affiliations
with King's College London and University College London.