Can sharks help us fight cancer?

Medicine made from human antibodies help us battle cancer and other diseases — but they blend into our immune system so well, it’s difficult to track their side effects.


About the talk

Medicine made from human antibodies help us battle cancer and other diseases — but they blend into our immune system so well, it’s difficult to track their side effects. Shark antibodies, by contrast, stand out like a sore thumb. Antibody researcher Doreen Koenning has dedicated her career to studying how these proteins could become a valuable tool in clinical drug trials — and potentially create a new breed of treatment in the fight against cancer.

About the speaker

Doreen Koenning · Antibody researcher

Doreen Koenning is a postdoctoral researcher and a member of the healthcare R&D trainee program for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. She joined the company's Antibody-Drug Conjugates Department in 2017. Her work focuses on the development of novel antibody-based formats with the purpose of exploring novel cancer treatments. Koenning studied biomolecular engineering in Darmstadt and received her PhD in 2017. During that time she focused on protein engineering of shark antibodies, and also gained additional experience in the engineering of alternative scaffold proteins during a research stay at MIT. She is passionate about exploring unexpected solutions to scientific challenges.

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