SAFER Uclh Team Members Biography

Laura McCoy

MRC Career Development Fellow in the Division of Infection and Immunity at UCL

After completing her Ph.D. at Imperial College studying the attenuated Vaccinia strain MVA with Geoffrey Smith, Laura joined the group of Robin Weiss at UCL in 2010. Here she established a novel screening platform to identify a llama antibody, which remains one of the only anti-HIV broadly neutralising antibodies induced by immunisation to date. In 2013, she moved to the group of Dennis Burton at The Scripps Research Institute and developed a system to clone antibodies from rabbits immunized with stabilised HIV envelope immunogens. The antibodies isolated provided the first direct evidence for the paradigm of HIV Tier-2 neutralisation via glycan-hole recognition. In 2014, Laura won a Marie Curie Actions Fellowship, which facilitated her move back to UCL. Since 2018 Laura’s research laboratory has been supported by the MRC and ERC. Her group studies the interplay between B cell biology in viral infection, immunodominance, immune escape and the development of highly affinity-matured antibodies.