Sally Ward completed her Ph.D. research in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University in 1985 under the mentorship of Professor David Ellar. She subsequently carried out research on antibody repertoire technology in Sir Greg Winter’s laboratory at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. In 1990 she joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, as an Assistant Professor. From 2002-2014, she was a Professor in the Department of Immunology at the same institution and in 2004 was appointed to the Paul and Betty Meek-FINA Professorship in Molecular Immunology. In 2014, she became a Professor at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, and in 2018 was appointed as Director of Translational Immunology and Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Centre for Cancer Immunology in Southampton, U.K.
Her interdisciplinary research involves the use of a combination of fluorescence imaging, protein engineering and in vivo studies to develop antibody-based therapeutics to treat autoimmunity, cancer and infectious disease. This has led to several technologies (half-life extension and the FcRn antagonist, Efgartigimod) that have been licensed to biopharma. Efgartigimod (Vyvgart) has been developed by argenx, and has recently been approved to treat myasthenia gravis with ongoing late stage trials for multiple other antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. Sally was a founding co-organiser of the Gordon Research Conference ‘Antibody Biology and Engineering’ (2010). She is currently President of the Antibody Society and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2022.