Campus News

College of Pharmacy Hosting Symposium on Drug Discovery and Development

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 17, 2017) — The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy will host its eighth annual symposium on Drug Discovery and Development on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. This year’s symposium is in partnership with the College’s Natural Products Consortium. The symposium will feature recent advances in the design of antibody-drug conjugates for treating cancer and other diseases, as well as advances in our understanding how nature generates compounds that have been exploited in medicine, agriculture and biotechnology.

The symposium showcases cutting-edge research to the local scientific community and encourages collaboration in basic and translational science as well as pharmacy practice and policy.

By hosting renowned scientists working on distinct areas of diseases, each employing biological agents in drug discovery and development, the forum brings together researchers from all over the University of Kentucky. Through numerous collaborations across campus, scientists from the College of Pharmacy are working together to improve the understanding of, and advance the development of therapeutic approaches for, the unmet healthcare needs of the citizens of Kentucky and the nation.

“We are excited about the 2017 program. In addition to outstanding investigators from Pfizer, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and University of Kentucky, the program includes short talks by UK graduate students and postdoctoral fellows,” said Steven Van Lanen, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chair of the 2017 Symposium of Drug Discovery and Development.  “We are particularly enthusiastic about the novel strategy for inactivating a mammalian hunger hormone that will be highlighted during this year’s Symposium, which was discovered at the University of Kentucky in the laboratory of Chang-Guo Zhan.” 

The 2017 Symposium invited speakers include:

  • Edmund Graziani, PhD, Research Fellow and Head, Synthetic Biology and Natural Products Medicine Design, Pfizer – “The Design of Antibody Drug Conjugates” 
  • Jon Thorson, PhD, Director, Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation – “The UK Natural Products Repository: An Update”
  • Craig Townsend, PhD, Research Advisor, Alsoph H. Corwin Professor of Organic Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University – “A Deep Dive into the Fundamental Steps of Polyketide Biosynthesis” 

The Symposium will also feature the College’s 2016 Publication of the Year, “Unexpected Reaction Pathway for Butyrylcholinesterase-catalyzed Inactivation of ‘hunger hormone’ Ghrelin,” which was published in Nature.  

All UK graduate students and postdocs are encouraged to present a poster. Those interested may upload a brief poster abstract (include title and authors) on the registration site. The deadline for abstract submission is Aug. 1, 2017.

Registration for the Symposium is free and can be completed online through Aug. 1, 2017.