Antibody Engineering Hackathon January 2022

Antibody engineering banner


The second Virtual Hackathon for Developing CURES in Antibody Engineering will be held August 8-11th, 2022Sign up here and we will send you an email when registration begins.


The first Virtual Hackathon for Developing CURES in Antibody Engineering took place January 13-16th, 2022

This work is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program (DUE 2055036) and is being carried out in collaboration with the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy.


This event is free.  Participants will work together in teams to develop research projects for undergraduate students studying biotechnology or related topics. Hackathon participants will learn about the uses of antibodies in diagnostics, research, and therapeutics, develop new skills in immunology-related bioinformatics programs and databases, learn about new laboratory techniques for working with antibodies, and become part of an exciting community.Faculty with varying levels of experience in working with antibodies are encouraged to apply.  Participants will be selected based on experience and motivation to attend. Applicants from community colleges will receive the highest priority. 

Potential Projects:

  • iCn3D for education:  Participants will work to develop and test an essential feature set for an educational version of iCn3D.  
  • Anti-SARS Antibodies vs Variants:  This project focuses on identifying the interactions between commercial antibodies and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and making and testing predictions about the ability of commercial antibodies to neutralize the delta variant. 
  • IEDB research projects:  The IEDB (Immune Epitope Data Base) is an important tool for identifying and exploring the sequences and substances that are recognized by antibodies and T cell receptors. This project will address developing course-based research projects related to IEDB. 
  • Break an Antibody: Antibody engineers need to understand the chemical interactions that hold antibodies and their target proteins together.  In this project, students will use computational tools to identify interactions and make predications about amino acid changes that would cause the interactions to break. Students will mutagenize antibody clones to disrupt those interactions and compare the activity and specificity of the new versions with the original molecules.  
  • Affordable Antibody Engineering:  This project focuses on developing a low-tech antibody screening method (yeast display) for undergraduate classrooms. This method will enable academic institutions with low budgets to offer antibody engineering experience to their students without expensive equipment. 
  • Other projects: Other projects may be included.

Questions about this event may be sent to

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to stay up all night? What will the schedule be like?

No. Our goal to build community and work together to develop interesting undergraduate research projects related to antibody engineering. The tentative schedule will look something like this:

Thursday, Jan 13 - half day - Kick off, intro talks, teams meet 
Friday, Jan 14 - morning meeting, short talks, teams work
Saturday, Jan 15 - morning check in meeting, teams work
Sunday, Jan 16 - presentations

What is a CURE?

A CURE is a Course-based Undergraduate Research project.  These projects can vary in length.  Some projects might be completed in 1-2 weeks, some might require an entire quarter or semester, and some might continue through multiple semesters.

Do I need to assemble a team?

No.  We will assemble working groups of 5-6 individuals for each project. Each team will also have mentors with technical expertise.

What will we create?

The teams will create (or locate and assemble) all the instructions, background knowledge, data sets, lists of materials, and assessments needed so that faculty can implement the projects with their students. After the Hackathon, teams may continue working together and will be able to apply for limited amounts of funding to cover the costs of lab supplies.  An eventual goal is to publish the research projects in QUBESHub and make the projects available to a wider audience.

Will we be able to use the research projects and materials we create in our courses?

Yes!  We want faculty participants to work on projects with their students.  We may also be able to provide you with a small amount of funding for lab supplies. 

Can we suggest projects?

Sure!  But, we may have to tackle your project next year. 

Who owns what we make?

Our computational work will focus on programs and databases that are publicly available and open-source wherever possible. These will include iCn3D, IEDBNCBI databases, and others.  Any software modifications developed through the hackathon will be open source and freely available.

Participants agree to make the projects available on QUBESHub.     

If you have questions or need additional information, please email