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Dra. Nuria E. Campillo - Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, ES.

"Artificial Intelligence in health: case studies in drug development"


           Nuria Campillo is currently a Senior Scientist at the CIB Margarita Salas (CSIC), where She investigates in the area of medical-biological chemistry, focusing on computational design, synthesis and study of new drugs with application in the field of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson ..) and neglected infectious diseases (Chagas, Leishmania, COVID-19). This last year she is as a visiting researcher at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (ICMAT-CSIC).). She has more than 100 scientific publications and patents. President and co-founder of Association Ciencia con 3 enCantos. She is a cofounder of a technology-based spin-off (AItenea Biotch). The main goal of AItenea is to help pharmaceutical industry to accelerate its drug development programs and property prediction and optimization models using artificial intelligence tools.


Dra. Júlia Monteiro - Head of Drug Discovery at Eurofarma, Brazil.

"Eurofarma: A Journey through Innovation"

               I’ve received my B.S. in Chemistry from the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil and my PhD degree in Organic/Synthetic Chemistry from the same university. During my PhD, I worked at University of Graz, Austria, re-designing organic reactions under continuous flow set-ups and developing safer reaction conditions for hazardous chemicals. After my PhD, I joined a multidisciplinary drug discovery team at University of Nottingham, UK, in collaboration with LNBio-CNPEM, Brazil. In 2018, I started to work with Eurofarma as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. I am currently the head of Medicinal Chemistry in the Drug Discovery unit at Eurofarma Laboratorios S/A, one of the biggest Pharmaceutical companies in Brazil. Our focus is to develop new drugs for unmet needs related to anti-infectives, CNS and pain.

Dr. Daniel K. Baeschlin - Executive Director High Throughput Biology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in Basel, Switzerland

“LMW lead finding in drug discovery: from compound libraries to chemical starting points and beyond”

         Daniel joined Novartis in 2003 as medicinal chemist with a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, and after post-graduate studies in natural product synthesis at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Since he has developed into a scientific leader in LMW hit and lead finding. He contributed to the renewal of NIBRs High Throughput Screening automation and compound logistic set up and the build-up of a state-of-the-art screening library with over 1.5m compounds. Next to internal hit finding projects, he and his colleagues have also enabled academics groups with screens of compound libraries and chemical probes. Today, Daniel is responsible for High Throughput Biology (HTB) at NIBR Basel leading an interdisciplinary group of around 40 scientists and engineers enabling LMW drug discovery projects with automated screening and LMW compound sample logistics.

Dra. María José Dávila-Rodríguez - Life Sciences Solutions Consultant, Elsevier

"Current Trends in Drug Discovery: What Can We Learn from Bibliometric Analysis?"

          María José (Majo) Dávila-Rodríguez is a Life Sciences Solutions Consultant at Elsevier, responsible for supporting users from academic and government institutions in Latin America in the development of learning, teaching and R&D workflows and projects in Life Sciences, Chemistry and related disciplines supported by our solutions. Majo joined Elsevier in her current role in 2021. She has drawn on her academic and research experience to gain a deeper understanding of and support for users. María José holds a Ph.D. and MSc in Chemistry from the Federal University of São Carlos - Brazil and a BSc in Chemistry from the Universidad del Valle - Colombia. Her research background includes work on target identification through molecular docking simulations, stability studies of protein-ligand complexes through molecular dynamics simulations, and synthesis and characterization of metal complexes, as well as in vitro interaction studies with biomolecules.







Dr. Stefan Laufer - Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

“Optimizing Target Residence Time: Type 1.5 Inhibitors for p38a MAP Kinase Application to treat Colorectal Cancer”

       Stefan Laufer is Professor and Chairman for Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry at Tuebingen University. He received his degrees from Regensburg University. After 10 years in Pharmaceutical Industry he joined, in 1999, Tuebingen University as Chairman Pharm./Med. Chemistry. His research interests are anti-inflammatory and cancer drug discovery with various eicosanoid (COX-1,2,3, LOXs, mPGES1, cPLA2) and protein kinase targets (e.g. p38, JAKs, JNKs, CK1d, mtEGRFs, BTK, ATM, AurKa) . Three compounds from his lab entered clinical development phases. Prof. Laufer chairs the ICEPHA (Interfaculty Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Research) and TüCADD, Tuebingen Center for Academic Drug Discovery and is co-founder of two start-up companies. As part of this work, a proprietary kinase inhibitor collections is established (TüKIC, 10.000 cpds, >1 Mio data points). He is associate editor of the ACS Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, authored more than 500 publications, 15 books/bookchapters and is inventor in 42 patent families with >330 national applications. 4 compounds from his lab made it to first into man studies.

Dra. Martina Schmidt - University of Groningen, Netherlands

"Pharmacological targeting of nanocompartments in COPD and Alzheimer”

        Martina Schmidt studied at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany). Here she obtained her PhD from the Department of Physiological Chemistry for a thesis on the phosphoinositide metabolism (1992). Afterwards she went to the “Institut für Pharmakologie” of the Universitätsklinikum Essen (Germany) where she specialized in Molecular Pharmacology. She received her “Venia legendi” in Pharmacology & Toxicology (2000) and is registered as Pharmacologist from the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie” (2002). In addition, she is registered as Pharmacologist from the “Dutch Society of Pharmacology”, the Netherlands. In 2022, she has been awarded the title European Certified Pharmacologist. In 2005 moved as a Rosalind Franklin Fellow to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen. In September 2006 she was appointed as adjunct professor of Molecular Pharmacology. In 2007 she received the Organon prize for pharmacology. In September 2011 she was appointed as full professor of Molecular Pharmacology. Since 2017, she is head of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). Martina Schmidt has held various positions or is active as: board member of the Dutch Pharmacology Society, board member of the Groningen Research Institute of Asthma and COPD (GRIAC), the University Faculty Council, chair of the education committee of the top master program Master Pharmacological Drug Innovation (MPDI) now Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment; she was vice-dean pharmacy. Her translational research focuses on the molecular pharmacological aspects of the development and course of chronic inflammatory diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory and neuronal systems. The research is part of the partnerships CBN, GUIDE, and GRIAC of the University of Groningen. Her enthusiasm for education is appreciated by many students, PhD students, post-doc trainees. Currently she is member of the executive board FIGON and member of the program committee FIGON Dutch Medicine Days, and Fellow of British Pharmacological Society, FBPhS.


Dr. Lars Zender  - University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

"Development and characterization of kinase sparing TPX2-tethering Aurora Kinase A ligands for the therapy of cancer"

          Lars Zender, M.D., is Professor of Medical Oncology and Director and Chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology and Pneumology at University Hospital Tuebingen, Germany. He furthermore serves as the spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence iFIT (EXC2180) "Image-Guided and Functionally Instructed Tumor Therapies" and as the scientific director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Tübingen-Stuttgart. Lars Zender’s scientific work especially focuses on the identification of new therapeutic targets to overcome therapy resistance in solid tumors. He developed novel mosaic (chimaeric) liver cancer mouse models, which allow to conduct high throughput functional genomic analyses (shRNA- and Crispr/Cas screens) directly in vivo. He is co-founder of the Tübingen Center for Academic Drug Discovery and Development (TüCAD2), which conducts drug development projects for prioritized functionally identified therapeutic targets. To date, three small molecule drugs from the TüCAD2 pipeline went first-in-human.  Another key aspect in the scientific work of Lars Zender is his work on cellular senescence. In particular the Zender laboratory is studying the senescence associated secretory phenotype and how senescent tumour cells and pre-cancerous cells are recognized and cleared by the immune system. Lars Zender is an ERC Consolidator Grand awardee and received many prestigious prizes, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Cancer Award.

Dra. Jane V. Aldrich - Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, USA

"Macrocyclic Tetrapeptides – Versatile Compounds for Potential Drug Development"

            Jane Aldrich, Ph.D., obtained her B.S. in biochemistry from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan. She then was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota. She rose through the academic ranks at Oregon State University and the University of Maryland and subsequently move to the University of Kansas. In 2015 she joined the University of Florida College of Pharmacy as Professor of medicinal chemistry under UF’s Preeminence Initiative in drug discovery and development. Dr. Aldrich’s research focuses on the design and synthesis of peptide and peptidomimetic analogs of peptides as potential treatments for substance abuse, pain and cancer, along with the development of synthetic methods to prepare these analogs. She has been involved in several scientific societies and provided other service to the profession. She previously served as Chair and currently serves as a Councilor for the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. For her long-standing service to the Division and the Society she was chosen as an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2019. She also was both President and a Councilor of the American Peptide Society and was a Co-chair of the Gordon Research Conference on the Chemistry and Biology of Peptides. She reviews grants regularly for the National Institutes of Health and served as chair of the NIH study section on Drug Discovery for the Nervous System. She has also served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Anton Roks - Erasmus MC. Dept. of Internal Medicine, Vascular Aging Center, Erasmus University Rotterdam

"Development of pharmacotherapy against accelerated vascular aging"

        Dr Anton has dedicated his professional career to the study of disease processes and the development of pharmacotherapies. After completing his MSc at Nijmegen and Cordoba University and his PhD at Groningen University Medical Center and Berlin Free University, he developed a keen interest in vascular aging. He set up his lab at Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam and has being focused on developing models of rapid, accelerated non-atherosclerotic aging, which is known to contribute to dementia, renal disease, and currently untreatable forms of heart failure. Utilizing a combination of preclinical studies in this model, analysis of pharmaco-epidemiological databases of human cohorts, and evaluation of geriatric patients, the aim is to identify underlying mechanisms and potential treatments. His findings thus far have revealed that interventions targeting the enhancement of nitric oxide-cGMP signaling, inhibition of inflammation, or modulation of mitochondrial ATP and free electrons exhibit distinct beneficial properties in counteracting vascular-aging-induced dysfunction.

Dr. Manu De Rycker - University of Dundee, UK

"Developing new pre-clinical candidates for Chagas disease"

            Dr. Manu De Rycker is a Principal Investigator at the University of Dundee, UK. He is the Head of Translational Parasitology and Portfolio Leader for Kinetoplastid Drug Discovery at the University’s Drug Discovery Unit. Manu obtained a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and following postdoctoral work at Cancer Research UK, he moved to the University of Dundee in 2009. Manu heads the team that develop and run cell-based assays for the parasitology programmes in the DDU. The team has successfully built extensive screening cascades for Leishmania donovani and Trypanosoma cruzi that comprise high-throughput primary screening assays as well as advanced secondary assays with high physiological relevance. As Portfolio Leader for Kinetoplastid Drug Discovery Manu leads a substantial drug discovery programme focused on delivering new pre-clinical candidates for visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. In collaboration with GSK this programme has developed two new pre-clinical candidates for visceral leishmaniasis.

Dr. Ryuji Morizane - Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

"Kidney organoids for disease models and therapeutic development"

        Dr. Morizane M.D. Ph.D. is a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He focuses on using pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) for kidney diseases and drug discovery. With over a decade of experience in stem cell research, he has made breakthroughs in generating kidney lineage cells through differentiation protocols. His work on inducing nephron progenitor cells and kidney organoids from human PSCs earned him the prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award in 2019. His kidney organoid technology has been widely adopted by researchers in academia and industries, offering potential advancements in kidney translational research.



Dr. Pedro de Sena Murteira Pinheiro - Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"Development of multi-target compounds GPR40 agonists and HDAC6 inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease"

                 Dr. Pinheiro, P. S. M. holds a degree in Pharmacy from the West Zone State University Center - UERJ/ZO (2015). He holds a Master's and Doctor's degree from the Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry (PPGFQM) at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where he worked developing projects at the Laboratory for the Evaluation and Synthesis of Bioactive Substances (LASSBio) focusing on rational design, synthesis, molecular modeling studies and pharmacological evaluation of new drug candidates. During his doctorate, he was awarded a 1-year sandwich doctoral scholarship by CNPQ (2019-2020) to carry out a sandwich period at Università di Bologna (Italy). During his doctorate, he was also awarded a FAPERJ Doctoral Scholarship DSC-10. In the period 2021-2023, he served as an Auxiliary Professor of the pharmacy graduate course at Estácio de Sá University and is currently Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of UFRJ.

Dra. Raquel Costa da Silva - Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"The LRA-DRC transition in aging: Establishing in vitro and in vivo models for determining novel molecular mechanisms and identifying pharmacological targets"

                  Raquel Costa graduated in 2009 at a private university (UNESA) with the aid of a scholarship. Worked for 5 years in the private sector always with the goal of returning to academia in mind. In 2015, resumed academic activities at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, joining the Master's course in Biological Sciences of the Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry (PPGFQM) under the guidance of Dr. Lucienne Morcillo. Completed the course in 2017 in parallel with the entry into the doctoral course of the same program. Completing a doctorate in Biological Sciences in 2022 with a work that won the Sérgio Henrique Ferreira Award in 2023. Today she works as a postdoctoral student in the Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences linked to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Thematic Section: Highlights in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry

Thematic Section: Drug Discovery

Closing Lecture

PPGFQM’s Best Thesis Award

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