Catching up with Louise Colin

Understanding the properties and interaction of antibody solutions

Louise joined the InnovaXN programme in September 2020. Her PhD project at the ILL is focused on the microscopic dynamic properties of antibody solutions in collaboration with Lonza AG and the University of Tubingen. The project consists in improving the injected properties in drugs for therapeutic uses. The main goal for this project is finding ways to allow patients with chronic diseases/ cancers to inject the drug they need at home without external help. The issue is that the drug analysed is a highly concentrated solution that causes aggregation and therefore increase the solution viscosity. Louise’s work aims to understand the interaction of those proteins in order to reduce aggregation and improve viscous features, to generalise auto-treatment to chronic disease patients.

Louise enjoys working on her project, she finds the techniques used at the ILL very interesting, as well as using various techniques she had never used before. Although, seven months into the project, Louise is frustrated that there have not been any breakthroughs yet, due to a slow start on experiments.

Since September, Louise has covered much preparation work for the project. She has been preparing samples (mixing monoclonal antibodies with buffer) as well as working on buffer exchange and dialysis methods. She has

already used several analysis techniques including rheology and refractometry to study the antibody solution. Moreover, she has completed several training courses to help her analyse data. She has obtained a few results, including SAXS (Small Angle X-Ray Scattering) measurement for which she finished extracting the data a few days ago, so she still has to analyse and study the curves. She also used Quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) for her analysis.

Louise’s journey so far with InnovaXN is described as “adventurous”. She appreciates meeting new people, discovering new techniques she has never seen before, learning new topics, but mostly, she finds the diversity at the ILL very appreciative. She is learning how to deal with unknown situations despite the toughness of her goals. But she defines her first 7 months as “definitely a once in a lifetime experience to train as a researcher”. She also underlined that her team passes on a lot of kindness, availability and help.

Find out more about the project and Louise bellow.

The programme is co-directed by Dr Harald Reichert (Director of Research, ESRF) and Prof Mark Johnson (Science Director, ILL).

For more information, contact the Business and Industry team: