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Addgene Receives NIH BRAIN Initiative Grant to Create Open-Access Recombinant Antibody Resource

The Neuroscience AntiBody Open Resource (NABOR) will provide access to, validation of, and educational resources for recombinant antibody tools.
The Neuroscience AntiBody Open Resource (NABOR) will provide access to ready-to-use antibodies, validation of antibodies through QC and crowdsourced data, and educational resources for recombinant antibody tools.

May 25, 2021

Watertown, MA - Addgene, the nonprofit plasmid repository, has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a recombinant antibody resource. The grant will be funded by the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative, a U.S. government wide project aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the brain and brain disorders. The funding will help Addgene create a much needed open-access recombinant antibody/affinity reagent resource for the neuroscience community called NABOR (Neuroscience AntiBody Open Resource).

For this project, Addgene has partnered with James Trimmer, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California Davis School of Medicine. Trimmer, who has created thousands of antibodies/nanobodies for neuroscience research, is an expert at validating these tools. Trimmer will be sharing his tools through this platform and conducting the quality control of the NABOR affinity reagents. While the focus of the NABOR platform will be neuroscience reagents and data, the platform can be expanded for any recombinant antibody tool and therefore will grow to serve the entire scientific community.

“As more affinity reagents are expressed from plasmids, they will be easier to share. We expect that Addgene’s open platform for easy exchange of recombinant affinity reagents will drive discoveries for scientists using these tools and enable better engineering of the affinity reagents themselves,” says Melina Fan, Ph.D., cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer at Addgene. “We are looking forward to serving the research community in this new capacity.”

Recombinant antibodies have many advantages over polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies: more secure archiving, unambiguous molecular definition, and potential for further engineering. Therefore, researchers from around the world are shifting to recombinant DNA-based antibody technologies.

“Affinity reagents are among the most commonly used reagents in neuroscience research today, but there is a critical unmet need for an open-access, molecularly defined, and well validated collection. I’m thrilled to be working with Addgene to bring this resource to life,” says Trimmer. Plasmids in the NABOR collection are already being made available (https:// and affinity reagents in protein format will be introduced within the next year.

About Addgene

Addgene (Watertown, MA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating scientific discoveries by operating a plasmid library for researchers. Addgene’s collection contains 100,000 plasmids contributed by 4,600 research labs from around the world. Addgene also provides over 600 ready-to-use AAV and lentivirus preparations of commonly requested plasmids as a service to scientists - saving them time and providing thorough quality control. Nearly 1.5 million plasmids have been distributed to 106 countries by Addgene. By authenticating, storing, archiving, and distributing plasmids, virus, and their associated data, Addgene is creating a lasting resource for research and discovery scientists around the world. For more information, visit

This project will be supported by a NIH BRAIN Initiative grant (NS119916).

The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.