Published July 7, 2023 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Igniting Creativity: Hackathons for Developing Undergraduate Research Projects in Antibody Engineering

  • 1. Digital World Biology LLC, Seattle, WA
  • 2. Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA
  • 3. Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL
  • 4. Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA
  • 5. Merritt College, Oakland, CA
  • 6. BioData Sage, Bethesda, MD
  • 7. Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL
  • 8. Sound Research Center LLC, Bremerton, WA


Life science organizations are increasingly using hackathons to bring communities together to tackle shared problems, teach skills, and develop new resources. In this study, we explored the potential benefits of hackathons for the biotechnology workforce education community by organizing two hackathons centered around developing research projects in antibody engineering—a practice widely employed in the biotechnology industry but uncommon in biotechnology education. To integrate antibody engineering into courses, instructors need protocols for both computational and laboratory methods. Developing and testing these protocols provides rich opportunities for undergraduate research, allowing students to learn industry-relevant skills and contribute to creating materials for the community. During the hackathons, teams of faculty, students, and industry partners collaborated to generate several new research projects. Each hackathon was only a few days, yet student participants reported benefits similar to those attributed to traditional undergraduate research experiences. We share lessons learned from these hackathons and provide insights for the workforce education community for hosting similar events.



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Developing Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experiences in Antibody Bioengineering 2055036
National Science Foundation