• IQS Hosts the MedChem 2022 European Conference

Thursday, 01 September, 2022
IQS Tech Transfer

This past July, IQS hosted and sponsored the eleventh meeting of the Paul-Ehrlich Euro-PhD Network, part of the MedChem 2022 Conference. This European network brings together various universities that offer studies in Medical Chemistry.

The meeting, which was initially meant to be held in 2020, was cancelled due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has served to show the rapid response that Medical Chemistry, Biotechnology, Pharmacology, and Medicine have provided to a great global challenge through research and advanced developments to reduce its impact. The Covid-19 pandemic, along with much more, highlighted the contents showcased at IQS for three days during this meeting organized by the Department of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the IQS School of Engineering.

Great attendance with top-tier speakers

Led by Chair and Professor Dr José I. Borrell with the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Group (GQF) at IQS, the conference boasted incredible participation with 104 attendees from various countries throughout Europe. In addition to Dr Borrell, other IQS professors also took part in the organizing committee, including: Dr Ana Belén Cuenca, Dr Roger Estrada, Dr Raimon Puig de la Bellacasa, and Dr Albert Gilbert.

As Dr Borrell stated, "this conference has been planned three times due to the pandemic, and has been highly appreciated by all attendees. We are extremely satisfied with the results we have achieved. One of the speakers said  'everything went perfectly, despite the long wait ,' which is a perfect description of what this conference has represented.”

Three thematic areas

The conference focused on three thematic areas: the first two were related to two leading health issues, cancer and anti-infectives, while the third area encompassed other contributions within the scope of other diseases.

The conference featured three plenary lectures by three renowned researchers: Dr Beatriz de Pascual-Teresa, professor at the University of San Pablo CEU and president of the Spanish Society of Therapeutic Chemistry; Dr Yves Auberson, executive director at Global Discovery Chemistry with Novartis, former president of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC), and current vice president of the Swiss Chemical Society; and Dr Oliver Kapp, professor at the University of Graz and a leading researcher in the field of Flow Chemistry and microwave reactions.

In addition, each thematic area featured a guest lecture by three leading European specialists in the fields of cancer, anti-infectives, and other diseases, presented respectively by: Dr Gael Roué, with the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute; Dr Núria Izquierdo, with IrsiCaixa; and Dr Maria Laura Bolognesi, professor of Medical Chemistry at the University of Bologna and associate editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Three "mini symposiums"

In addition to the aforementioned conferences, and coinciding with the three thematic areas, three mini symposiums were held with 15 oral presentations, five for each of the areas.

Moreover, around 40 further presentations were made in three poster sessions that were exhibited in the room adjacent to the conference hall, thanks to contributions by participating doctoral students. All researchers also had the opportunity to explain their work in flash poster sessions lasting for two minutes that also fell within in the same areas.

Awards

At the end of the conference, three awards were presented to the best poster, one for each of the thematic areas. These awards were decided by online voting from the attendees themselves using an application.

To wrap up, the award for the best oral presentation was given to Pyrrolidinyl benzofurans and benzodioxanes: Selective α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands with different activity profiles at the two receptor stoichiometries  by Rebecca Appiani from the University of Milan.

All awards were sponsored by the Catalan Society of Chemistry.