Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Proteins & Antibodies | ELISA Masterclass: Flu Fighters

A full day, hands-on workshop working with proteins and antibodies. A chance for your AH pupils to work with our scientists and use real lab equipment. In this enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) masterclass, your pupils will diagnose the disease status of chickens to identify which are infected with the influenza virus.

Learning Level: S6 Advanced Higher 

Location: Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre, University of Edinburgh Easter Bush Campus, EH25 9RG

Minimum attendance: 16*

Maximum attendance: 24

Duration: 5 hours

Times: 10am - 3pm

Cost: £5 per pupil (if this is a barrier to attending, please email ebsoc@ed.ac.uk in confidence)

Availability: Our secondary programme will be released Autumn 2023, to remain updated about our workshops, events and exciting opportunities please  sign up to our mailing list and/or follow us on Twitter @EBSOClab. In the meantime, why not check out our classroom resources that are free to download!

* If your numbers are below 16, please let us know and we will do our best to twin you with another group.


I thought the workshop was planned really well, ran really smoothly and was well thought through. Would definitely recommend this workshop as I think it’s a great experience for a young person interested in pursuing science. Thank you for the opportunity :)

Advanced Higher Biology Student - St Joseph's College, Dumfries 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the structure, lifecycle and modes of transmission of avian flu 
  • Understand how ELISA can be used to detect influenza infection  
  • Will do a quantitative ELISA of flu antibody levels to detect signs of infection 
  • Make a dilution series and create a standard curve of known antigen concentrations 
  • Use micropipettes and microplate reader 
  • Interpretation of experimental results 
  • To reveal the world of work in scientific research 

Techniques Used

  • ELISA - working with proteins and antibodies
  • Quantification of protein concentrations- using a microplate reader 
  • Centrifugation
  • Micro-pipetting

Workshop outline

  • ELISA jigsaw activity to teach/reinforce the ELISA technique 
  • Introduction to influenza virus and avian flu 
  • Introduction to micropipettes 
  • Serial dilution to generate dilutions of known antigen concentration. 
  • Quantitative ELISA to assay infection status of several chickens 
  • Analysis and interpretation of results 
  • Discussion with scientists from The Roslin Institute 

Curriculum links

Cells and Proteins
Organisms and Evolution
Investigative Biology
1 Laboratory Techniques:
  • Health and Safety
  • Liquids and Solutions
  • Antibody Techniques
  • Microscopy



5 Parasitism:
  • The parasite niche
  • Transmission and virulence
  • Immune response to parasites
  • Parasitic life cycles
  • Challenges in treatment and control
1 Scientific principles and process:
  • Scientific ethics


2 Experimentation:
  • Controls
  • Ensuring reliability

Developing the Young Workforce – “I can” statements 

The following "I can" statements are supported through EBSOC’s workshops: 

  • I can identify the skills I have learnt across the curriculum, how these relate to the world of work and can apply these appropriately during work placements and other work-related learning.

  • I can confidently access and interpret the information I need to make well informed choices about my learning options, pathways and how these relate to possible future careers.

  • I can work towards achieving qualifications which support me to achieve my future career aspirations.


More details about our secondary programme will be released shortly, to remain updated about our workshops, events and exciting opportunities please join our mailing list by clicking here.


Important Notes

*  Please contact us ebsoc@ed.ac.uk if your group falls below the minimum as we may be able to accommodate your request

    through our small groups waiting list. 


Downloadable Resources 

Risk Assessment


Workshop Description



Talking to actual scientists was very interesting.

Higher Biology Pupil

Could work with people who are doing current, cutting edge research. We also got to use more advanced equipment than in school.

Higher Biology Pupil

The workshop put the ELISA into context for the student and was very hands on for them I thought the chat to a scientist time at the end was great to show students the variety of options available when studying/working in science

Secondary Biology Teacher

It provided the pupils with hands-on experience, provided them data to process and the implications of that data in the real world. 

Secondary Biology Teacher
Video: ELISA Masterclass
ELISA Masterclass