Brian McWilliams

Brian completed a short post-doc at UTMB for a year after earning his Ph.D. at Baylor College of Medicine in Molecular Virology and Microbiology. He's currently working in the private sector, and is a husband, father of two, and a huge Astros fan.

Articles by Brian McWilliams:

A Primer on Phage Display Libraries

Phage display – the process of genetically fusing antibody fragments with phage to identify binding partners to your protein of interest – was covered pretty thoroughly here over the past few months. The success of this assay predicates on creating a diverse library of up to 1012 genes coding for these antibody fragments. Despite being…

13 Jun 2017 Protein Expression & Analysis

Titering Phage – Counting Something Invisible with Something Only Slightly More Visible

Titering Phage – The Plaque Assay Phage display is a molecular technique used to isolate binding or interaction partners to molecules of interest from an extensive library. Such libraries are often derived from the variable regions of native B-cell antibody-binding genes cloned into phage DNA. A single round of phage display panning involves many important steps. However, the…

15 Mar 2017 Protein Expression & Analysis

Basic Bacterial Culturing Practices

Mastering basic bacterial culturing practices is a must if you are planning a career in microbiology! Growing bacteria might be one of the easiest things to do as a scientist. Also, as you’ve probably discovered, it’s even easier to do when you’re trying to prevent bacteria from growing where it shouldn’t be!! When we go…

09 Feb 2017 Cells and Model Organisms

Have a BLAST With Your Protein Sequences

When I was being trained in microbiology as an undergrad, one of the first skills I acquired was the ability to quickly compare and visualize amino acid sequences using BLAST and ClustalW. 15 years later, those two programs have done nothing but improve by expanding the data contained in these databases and simplifying the user…

08 Nov 2016 Protein Expression & Analysis

Stripping Blots – It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses Their Protein

Like all technical fields, molecular biology contains a very robust “theoretical” realm and an equally robust “practical” realm. Unfortunately, these two existences don’t seem to overlap as often as we’d like. Consider, for example, a simple Western blot. While an antibody interacting with its target on a membrane seems pretty straightforward, there are numerous other…

25 Oct 2016 Protein Expression & Analysis