Ninth Chapel Hill Pharmaceutical Sciences Conference – Frontiers in chemical biology: transforming drug discovery

CDD co-sponsored conference meeting summary

From the desk of Sean Ekins, CSO

Yesterday I attended the Ninth Chapel Hill Pharmaceutical Sciences Conference which was co-sponsored by CDD. I was not alone as there was a large audience of graduate and post graduate students and professors, easily in excess of 250.

We were treated to 8 exceptional talks from luminaries in the field of chemical biology as follows.

Kevan Shokat (UCSF) – Nontraditional approaches to drugging traditional targets: kinases and GTPases

Tom Muir (Princeton University) – Painting Chromatin with synthetic protein chemistry

Donald McDonnell (Duke University) – ERRα regulated lactate metabolism contributes to resistance to targeted therapies in breast cancer

Bryan Roth (UNC at Chapel Hill) – Exploring the subterranean biology of known drugs

Stephen Fesik (Vanderbilt University) – Cancer drug discovery using fragment-based methods and structure-based design

Brian Shoichet (UCSF) – A metabolic code for signaling

Stephen Frye (UNC at Chapel Hill) – Targeting chromatin regulation for cancer therapy: progress towards chemical probes for methyl-lysine readers

Tom Kodadek (The Scripps Institute) – Chemical tools to monitor and manipulate the proteome

While there was a heavy emphasis on cancer research, there was plenty to take away from it for those working in other areas. Many of the techniques and approaches used were broadly applicable.

I was live tweeting the talks which can be found via Storify. In addition there was a poster session with 57 posters.

If this meeting had been more widely known it could easily have been twice the size and the organizers should be acknowledged for putting together a very informative session.