Short Courses


Monday, April 20

Morning Course | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

SC1: Trends in Physical Properties of Drugs

Instructor: Terry Stouch, Ph.D., President, R&D, Science for Solutions, LLC

  • Properties important for enhanced efficacy, delivery, and formulation
  • pKa, tautomerism, crystallization, others
  • Computational prediction: What works - what doesn’t
  • Experimental best practices

Afternoon Courses | 2:30 – 5:30 PM

SC2: GPCR Structure-Based Drug Discovery

Instructor: Aaron Thompson, Ph.D., Scientist II, Department of Structural Biology, Dart Neuroscience; former Postdoctoral Fellow, Ray Stevens’ Laboratory, The Scripps Research Institute

  • Review of recent structures and their lessons
  • Dealing with conformational states
  • Antibodies as probes for structure

SC3: Molecular Interactions and Drug Design

Instructor: Maricel Torrent, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, AbbVie

  • Drug design principles generally applicable to all medicinal chemistry programs
  • Interpretation of atomic-level protein X-ray and modeled structures of binding modes
  • Understanding the relative amounts of potency gain from different interactions
  • Case studies illustrate all of the design strategies

SC4: Introduction to Targeting Bromodomains

Instructor: Alessio Ciulli, Ph.D., Reader, Chemical & Structural Biology, BBSRC David Phillips Fellow, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

  • Protein structure
  • Structure-based discovery
  • NMR and X-ray crystallography
  • Biochemical/physical methods
  • Developing tool compounds

Dinner Courses | 6:00 – 9:00 PM

SC5: Analyzing and Rationalizing Protein-Peptide Interactions for Designing Peptide and Peptidomimetic Therapeutics

Instructor: Rocky Goldsmith, Ph.D., Applications Scientist, Chemical Computing Group

  • Computer-aided methods using the MOE platform for protein-peptide analysis, virtual peptide design and screening
  • Active site visualization, protein-peptide 3D contact analysis and 2D interaction diagrams
  • Calculating molecular surfaces, electrostatic hot-spots and protein properties to help guide peptide optimization
  • Modifying peptides in the active site
  • Applying ‘Residue Scan’ of non-natural amino acids for peptidomimetic design

SC6: Immunology Basics for Chemists

Instructors: Seng-Lai “Thomas” Tan, Ph.D., Head, Cellular and Translational Immunology, EMD Serono Research and Development Institute, Inc.

Songqing Na, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Biotechnology & Autoimmunity Res-AME, Eli Lilly and Company

  • Review of immune system’s cellular players
  • Review of inflammatory process
  • Autoimmune & inflammation-related diseases
  • Current treatment landscape and promising drug targets

Wednesday, April 22

Dinner Courses | 6:30 – 9:00 PM

SC7: Macrocycles in Drug Discovery: Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies

Instructors: Mark L. Peterson, Ph.D., COO, Cyclenium Pharma, Inc.

Eric Marsault, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmacology, University of Sherbrooke

  • Unique characteristics of macrocycles
  • Synthesizing and screening macrocyclic compound libraries
  • Pros and cons of each methodology
  • Drug discovery and development examples and challenges for macrocyclic molecules

SC8: Advancing Tools and Technologies for Fragment-Based Design

Instructors: Daniel A. Erlanson, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Carmot Therapeutics, Inc.

Edward R. Zartler, Ph.D., President & CSO, Quantum Tessera Consulting

  • Why fragments – pros and cons
  • What makes a good fragment
  • What to do with a fragment – growing, linking, and more
  • Design of fragment libraries
  • Importance of using orthogonal/multiple screening method

SC9: Introduction to Targeted Covalent Inhibitors

Instructors: Mark Schnute, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Biotherapeutics Chemistry & Immunoscience Research, Pfizer Global R&D

Christoph Zapf, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer Research Labs

  • Overview of covalent drugs, irreversible and reversible inhibitors including recent clinical examples
  • Biochemical analysis of covalent inhibitors
  • Design considerations for targeted covalent inhibitors
  • De-risking covalent inhibitors
  • Mechanism of drug resistance
  • Panel discussion/Q&A

SC10: Introduction to Targeting the Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS)

Instructors: Alexander Statsyuk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Northwestern University

Zhihao Zhuang, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Delaware

  • Introduction into macromolecular structure and enzymatic mechanisms of E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs)
  • Strategies to target E3 ligase and DUB enzymatic mechanisms
  • Tools and technologies available to discover drug leads that target E3s and DUBs
  • Current state of drug discovery for E3s and DUBs