10th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists' Symposium | Anniversary Edition
Zagreb, Croatia September 7-8, 2023
KL03 - Trends in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Dr Yves P. AUBERSON
NOVARTIS INSTITUTES FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH, Basel, Switzerland Read more
Dr Yves P. AUBERSON
Yves P. Auberson obtained his Ph.D. in 1990 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. He joined the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland in 1992, after a post-doctoral training in chemical biology at Affymax in Palo Alto, USA. He is currently Executive Director in Global Discovery Chemistry, where his research group develops tracers for clinical imaging. Previously, he was Head of Chemistry for Neuroscience, and played a leading role in the discovery and development of drug candidates for the treatment of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and narcolepsy. He is currently Vice-President of the Swiss Chemical Society, and was President of the European Federation of Medicinal chemistry and Chemical biology (EFMC) from 2018 to 2020.
Highlights of professional background
10 years of academic experience with PhD and PostDoc in computational chemistry and 23 years in pharmaceutical companies (big pharma, biotech and CROs). Published 44 scientific papers and two patents.
Medicinal chemistry expertise:
Experience in anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, CNS and oncology therapeutic areas from hit finding to lead-optimization stage. Range of biological targets from kinases, GPCRs, transporters, epigenetic targets to protein-protein interactions.
Computational chemistry expertise:
Structure-based drug design - homology modelling, virtual screening and docking studies, molecular dynamics, de-novo design, QM and QM/MM calculations
Ligand-based drug design - virtual library design, field-based analysis, pharmacophore searches, scaffold hopping, bioisosteric replacement, conformational analysis, FBDD
Cheminformatics - data mining, data analysis, 2D/3D QSAR/QSPR, R-group analysis, activity cliffs analysis, multivariate statistics, ADME predictions
Beyond the rule of 5 molecules:
Design, conformational analysis and ADME/PK predictions for the natural products, macrocycles, PROTACS and peptides. Studies of chameleonic properties and disruption of protein-protein interactions.
Leading projects and teams:
Experience in leading integrated drug discovery projects, managing medicinal chemistry teams, mentoring and coaching diploma and PhD students.
KL02 - Leveraging Natural Products to Afford New Therapeutic Leads That Can Target Resistant Tumors
Thomas B. Poulsen is a full professor at the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Denmark. He completed his PhD with Prof. Karl Anker Jørgensen in 2008 working on the development of new asymmetric organocatalytic transformations. He then moved to Harvard University as a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Matthew Shair at the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, where he worked on target-identification studies of anti-cancer natural products. Next, Thomas was an independent post doc (Sapere Aude, 2011-12), assistant professor (2012-17) and associate professor (2017-21) at Aarhus University. Thomas' research interests span complex molecule synthesis, chemical biology, therapeutics and disease mechanisms. Thomas is also a co-founder of two biotech companies: KetLace Biosciences and Kripthonite Therapeutics.
OC17 - Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy Combined with Antimicrobials: an Alternative Approach for Eradication of Gram-Negative Bacteria Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Portugal
Mr Rafael AROSO
UNIVERSIDADE DE COIMBRA, Coimbra, Portugal Read more
Mr Rafael AROSO
Rafael T. Aroso finished his MSc degree in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Coimbra in 2017 with the thesis “Synthesis and study of new photosensitizers with potential for antimicrobial therapy”, which concerned the synthesis of new phthalocyanine-type photosensitizer dyes through structure-activity relationships for photoinactivation of bacteria. In the same year, he pursued his PhD studies on the same field and enrolled in the MedChemTrain doctoral program, which was a joint collaboration between academia (University of Coimbra and University of Lisbon) and industry (Hovione, Bial, Bluepharma). His PhD was concluded in July 2022, with the thesis “Computational design and synthesis of molecules for application in antimicrobial therapies”, focused on the development of new molecules and alternative therapies for the inactivation of multi-drug resistant bacteria. He is currently a Researcher at the Coimbra Chemistry Center, in the University of Coimbra, where he is working on new photosensitive materials for the development of self-decontaminating surfaces. He is author and co-author of 12 peer-reviewed articles, 1 book chapter, 1 patent, 18 oral communications and 11 poster presentations.
OC13 - Peroxide-Cleavable Linkers for Antibody-Drug Conjugates Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in United Kingdom
Mrs Nicola ASHMAN
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, Cambridge , United Kingdom Read more
Mrs Nicola ASHMAN
Nicola Ashman received her MChem degree from the University of York in 2019 which included an industrial placement year in Early Chemical Development at AstraZeneca, Macclesfield. Nicola started her PhD with Professor David Spring at the University of Cambridge in 2019, where her research has focused on the generation of novel cleavable linkers for antibody-drug conjugates.
OC07 - Discovery of Isoquinoline Sulfonamides as Gyrase Inhibitors Active against Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Bacteria Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in The Netherlands
Dr Alexander BAKKER
LEIDEN UNIVERSITY, 's-Gravenhage, The Netherlands Read more
Dr Alexander BAKKER
Alexander Bakker, born in the Hague, the Netherlands, obtained his bachelor's degree in Molecular Science and Technology at Leiden University and TU Delft in 2014, followed by a master’s degree in Chemistry from Leiden University in 2017. He completed two master internships: one in the Bio-organic Synthesis group under supervision of prof. dr. H.S. Overkleeft at Leiden University, and the other under supervision of prof. dr. E.W. Tate at Imperial College.
Subsequently, Alexander commenced his doctoral studies in the Molecular Physiology group at Leiden University under supervision of prof. dr. M. van der Stelt and prof. dr. N. I. Martin, where he led two major antibiotic drug discovery projects in which antibiotic candidates were found for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria respectively. His thesis ‘Discovery of Antibiotics and Their Targets in Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria’ (defended December 2022) has been awarded the biannual KNCV-MCCB PhD Thesis Prize 2021/2022, and as a result he will proudly represent the Netherlands at the EFMC-YMCS 2023 in Zagreb.
In a surprising turn of events, Alexander is currently continuing his professional development as a software engineer at Sogyo in the Netherlands.
OC14 - Accelerating Mechanistic Deconvolution Using Chemical Biological Tools Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Denmark
Esben Svenningsen studied for his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry at Aarhus University, Denmark. His focus was on organic chemistry with additions of molecular biology. In 2018, he started his PhD work with Professor Thomas B. Poulsen at the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, shifting into the biology of chemical biology. Here, he broadly evaluated com-pounds for bioactivity in mammalian cells. To facilitate the studies, he single-handedly established an assay for morphological profiling, called Cell Painting. Besides working with Cell Painting, Esben studied electrophilic compounds using state-of-the-art chemoproteomics such as isoTOP-ABPP. Dur-ing his PhD, Esben visited Professor Brian Liau at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biolo-gy at Harvard University, Cambridge, Boston, US where he gained experience with photoaffinity la-belling and CRISPR-Cas9 suppressor scanning. Esben completed his PhD studies in October 2022 and has since been a Post Doc with Professor Thomas B. Poulsen at Aarhus University, Denmark.
OC01 - Shedding Light on L-Type Calcium Channels with Novel Far-Red Fluorescent Ligands Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Belgium (KVCV)
Carlotta Borgarelli graduated from the University of Turin in 2019 with a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology. Thanks to two Erasmus scholarships, she joined the group of Prof. Dr. De Borggraeve as Erasmus Master's thesis student and later as postgraduate intern to bring forward the research started during her master's thesis. Funded by the FWO Strategic Basic Research scholarship, she began her Ph.D. in the same group in October 2020. Her doctorate embraces organic synthesis, chemical biology and imaging techniques. Currently, she is working on the development of imaging tools for voltage-gated ion channels. In particular, her scientific interest resides in fluorescence and PET imaging techniques.
OC11 - From Pan to Pi3Kα-Selective Inhibitors: A Covalent Strategy to Fine-Tune Isoform-Specific Targeting Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Italy
Chiara Borsari obtained her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) in 2017. During her PhD, two fellowships allowed her to join the NHRF in Athens (Greece) and the State University of New York at Albany (USA). From 2017 to 2022, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. M. Wymann at the University of Basel (Switzerland). In September 2022, she moved to the University of Milan supported by a L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science and a Fondazione Umberto Veronesi Fellowship. Since January 2023, she is chair of the EFMC Young Scientists Network. Her main research focus is the development of innovative chemical strategies for cancer therapy.
OC12 - Heterobifunctional E3 Ligase Recruiters Enable Pan-Degradation of Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Slovenia
Mrs Alesa BRICELJ
UNIVERSITY OF LJUBLJANA, FACULTY OF PHARMACY, Ljubljana, Slovenia Read more
Mrs Alesa BRICELJ
Aleša Bricelj obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana in 2019. Afterwards, she continued her studies as a PhD student of the Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine at the University of Ljubljana. She is currently working as a researcher at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, under the supervision of Assist. Prof. Izidor Sosič and Prof. Marko Anderluh. Her upcoming PhD thesis focuses on utilizing proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) for targeted protein degradation of multiple proteins involved in malignancies.
OC02 - Biophysical Screening for the Identification of Small Molecules as Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDHS)’s Oligomeric State Disruptors Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Belgium (SRC)
Chiara Brustenga obtained her master degree (2019) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at La Sapienza University of Rome. She began her journey in medicinal chemistry by joining, as a master student, the laboratory of Prof. Raphael Frédérick in 2018. The year after, she started her PhD thesis founded by FNRS-Télévie, in the laboratories of Prof. Raphael Frédérick and Prof. Pierre Sonveaux, two renowned experts in cancer metabolism. Through the use of biophysical methods and chemical biology during her works, she acquired extensive knowledge and skills in the medicinal chemistry field. She is currently interested on identifying small molecules inhibitors of Lactate dehydrogenases (LDHs), proteins involved in cancer metabolic adaptations.
OC05 - Optimization of a Pyridylpiperazine Series as a Novel Class of Efflux Pump Inhibitors in E. Coli to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in France (SCT)
Ms Nina COMPAGNE
INSERM U1177 DRUGS AND MOLECULES FOR LIVING SYSTEMS, Lille, France Read more
Ms Nina COMPAGNE
Nina Compagne studied pharmacy at the University of Lille (France) from 2015. At the same time, she obtained a master's degree in Pharmaceuticals Sciences and her Doctorate in Pharmacy in 2022. She is currently in the 3rd year of her thesis under the supervision of Doctor Marion Flipo, in the “Drugs and Molecules for Living Systems” laboratory headed by Prof. Benoit Deprez (Lille, France). She is currently working on the design, synthesis and evaluation of bacterial efflux pump inhibitors, with the aim of boosting existing antibiotics and thus combating bacterial resistance. She is co-author of five publications in the field of antimicrobial resistance.
OC15 - Novel 5-Ht6 Receptor Inverse Agonists and Neutral Antagonists Derived from 2-Arylpyrrole: Sustainable Synthesis and Pharmacological Profiling Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Poland
Dr Marcin DROP
JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE, Krakow, Poland Read more
Dr Marcin DROP
Marcin Drop completed his pharmacy degree at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków, Poland. He was awarded the French Government Scholarship, which allowed him to pursue a dual PhD program in pharmaceutical science and biomolecular engineering. Marcin conducted his research in the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków, Poland, and Green Chemistry and Enabling Technologies team at the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron in Montpellier, France. In 2021, Marcin successfully defended his PhD thesis, focusing on the synthesis of innovative 5-HT6 receptor ligands. His research, supervised by Prof. Paweł Zajdel and Dr. Frédéric Lamaty, specifically emphasized the use of continuous flow chemistry techniques. In recognition of his research work, Marcin was selected as one of the top one hundred young researchers in Poland by the Foundation for Polish Science in 2022. His scientific interests primarily lie in developing small molecules to address unmet medical needs in the fields of neuroscience and oncology. He also explores sustainable technologies in medicinal chemistry. Currently, Marcin works as a medicinal chemist at Molecure SA, a biotechnology company based in Warsaw, Poland, where he continues working on deubiquitinating enzymes inhibitors for medical purposes.
OC20 - Redox Probes and Bioreductive Prodrugs Winner of the 2023 Symeres PhD Prize for Excellence in Chemistry in Life Sciences Research
Jan G. Felber studied Chemistry and Natural Sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He moved to the LMU Munich to specialize in the use of Organic Chemistry in Biology during his master’s degree. He carried out his doctoral studies in the group of Oliver Thorn-Seshold where he concentrated on the synthesis and applications of novel cyclic disulfide units. Thereby, he developed selective imaging probes and therapeutic prodrugs for activation by the cellular thioredoxin oxidoreductase systems. During this period in 2022, he also joined the group of Ben Cravatt at The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego (USA) as a visiting researcher to work on novel stereoselective covalent ligands for medicinal chemistry. He obtained his Dr. rer. nat. in the field of Chemical Biology from the LMU Munich in 2023. He currently works as a scientist at Tubulis GmbH to develop novel chemical solutions for the use of antibody-drug conjugates in cancer therapy.
OC16 - Styrylbenzothiazole Photoswitches for Spatiotemporal Control over Microtubule-Dependent Biology Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Germany
Li Gao studied chemistry and biochemistry at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. During his master's thesis in the group of Prof. Dirk Trauner, he discovered his fascination for MedChem and Photopharmacology. He further pursued these interests during his PhD at the department of medicinal chemistry with Dr. Oliver Thorn-Seshold at LMU Munich. For his research on photoswitchable drugs for spatiotemporal control over microtubule-dependent biology, Li has been awarded the PhD Award from the GDCh Division of Medicinal Chemistry. Since 2022, Li has been working as an industry Post-Doc at Roche, where he focuses on green synthetic chemistry. His favorite element is lithium, and his daily goal is to be as delightful as lithium without the side effects.
OC09 - Synthesis of Quinazoline Derivatives as Anticancer Agents Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Greece
Eleftheria Georgiou has a Ph.D. in the field of Medicinal chemistry, at Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Athens. She studied Chemistry at the Chemistry Department, University of Crete. She attented the one and a half- year program of postgraduate studies (MSc) in Medicinal Chemistry, at Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Athens to specialize in the field of Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry, focusing on on the design and synthesis of heterocyclic compounds with therapeutic interest. During her Ph.D., she was granted with a MSCA and visited Germany, where she was trained in analytical techniques. Within her research career, she worked as an assistant in laboratories of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, she supervised several undergraduate and master students and gained teaching experience. She has also attended several national and international conferences where she presented her research work.
OC04 - Molecular Sensing and Imaging of Carbon Dioxide Incomplex Environments Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Israel
Dr Ori Green completed his undergraduate studies at Tel-Aviv University in 2014, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Continuing his academic journey, Dr Green pursued both his Master of Science and PhD degrees in Organic Chemistry at Tel-Aviv University, working under the guidance of Professor Doron Shabat (2014-2020). In April 2020, Dr Green started a postdoctoral position at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, under the mentorship of Professor Bill Marandi, where he explored new horizons in reaction development and chemical methodologies.
He was honored with the "Jortner Prize" award and was granted the International Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) postdoctoral fellowship and the Rothschild Fellowship (Yad Hanadiv).
With a strong interest in the interface of chemistry with biology, Dr Green's research program focuses on developing strategies for visualizing and sensing elusive analytes and developing techniques for chemical post-transitional modification. In October 2023, he will start his independent career as a tenure-track assistant professor at the Technion, Haifa, Israel (Israel Institute of Technology).
OC08 - Design Principles for Cyclin K Molecular Glue Degraders Winner of the 2023 EFMC-YSN PhD Prize
Mrs Zuzanna KOZICKA
FRIEDRICH MIESCHER INSTITUTE FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH, Basel, Switzerland Read more
Mrs Zuzanna KOZICKA
Zuzanna Kozicka graduated from the University of Edinburgh and conducted research projects e.g. at ETH Zürich (Prof. Ban) and the University of Dundee (Prof. Ciulli). In her graduate studies at FMI Basel, Zuzanna focused on molecular glue degraders, discovering degraders of cyclin K and uncovering novel molecular glue modes of action.
OC18 - Hitting a New Combination of Biological Targets to Cope with Alzheimer’s Disease Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Spain
Ms Noemí MARTÍNEZ CONDE
UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA, Barcelona, Spain Read more
Ms Noemí MARTÍNEZ CONDE
Noemí Martínez Conde is a 3rd year PhD student in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Barcelona. After graduating in Pharmacy in 2020, she started her PhD studies focused on the discovery of new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and neuropathic pain under the supervision of Prof. Diego Muñoz-Torrero. As a result of her participation in different stages of the drug discovery process, from the chemical synthesis to in vitro biological assays, she has developed a multidisciplinary profile. Moreover, after being selected entrepreneur scientist in one of her projects, she had the opportunity to learn about the tech-transfer process from academia to industry. She has also experienced research in different countries, including an Erasmus+ Traineeship in Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. John Gilmer in 2019 and a predoctoral stay in the CRO QPS Austria Neuropharmacology in 2021. Additionally, she will be doing a second predoctoral stay in the group of Prof. Eugen Proschak from the University of Frankfurt during the last months of 2023. She will defend her PhD thesis next year and thereafter she is willing to work in the pharmaceutical industry within the field of drug discovery and development.
OC19 - Cyclic Tetrapeptides: Novel Remedy for Lead Poisoning Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Switzerland
Mrs Tagwa MOHAMMED
UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH, Zurich, Switzerland Read more
Mrs Tagwa MOHAMMED
As a young child in Sudan, Tagwa Mohammed became passionate about supporting people in need. Inspired by this goal and fascinated by the beauty of chemistry, Tagwa has dedicated her education to medicinal chemistry. In 2013, she was awarded a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Khartoum University, Sudan. Shortly after graduating, Tagwa was granted the prestigious Japanese Government Scholarship (MEXT) to conduct her master's degree in the group of Prof. Takemoto Yoshiji in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kyoto University. During this time, Tagwa helped to complete the total synthesis of a natural product with potential pharmaceutical applications. Following her interest in harnessing chemistry for medicinal purposes, Tagwa started her doctoral studies in 2019 in the group of Michal Shoshan at the Department of Chemistry, Zurich University. Her primary aim is to design and develop selective peptide-based chelating agents for lead, the most toxic metal in our environment.
OC06 - Ga(III) Siderophore Complexes - A Metallo-Trojan Horse Strategy to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Ireland
Mr Lewis MORE O'FERRALL
ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, Dublin, Ireland Read more
Mr Lewis MORE O'FERRALL
Lewis More O’Ferrall is a final year PhD student based in the Department of Chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Lewis graduated from the Technological University Dublin in 2018 with a BSc in Pharmaceutical Healthcare. Lewis commenced his PhD in Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry in 2019 with Dr. Darren Giffith at the Department of Chemistry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Prof. Christine O’Connor at the School of Food Science and Environmental Health, Technological University Dublin. His research has focused on the generation of novel bismuth and gallium siderophore complexes to tackle the global rise in antimicrobial resistance. Lewis is an associate member of the SSPC which is the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals. This has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with other world leading researchers in his field.
OC10 - Synthesis and Cytotoxic Activity of Novel Sclareol Derivatives Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Serbia
Mr Pavle Stojković obtained his Masters’ degree in 2019 at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Chemistry. He is currently enroled in PhD studies at the same university under supervision of Prof. Dr Igor Opsenica. His research is focused in organic and medicinal chemistry. His previous research dealt with synthesis of aminotetrazole derivatives with fungicidal activity. Currently, he is working on derivatisation of natural products, such as sugars and terpenoids, and combining them with known pharmacophores in order to obtain novel biologically active compounds.
OC03 - Discovery of Allosteric Modulators of A2A Receptors Winner of the young medicinal chemist meeting in Croatia
Ms Tana TANDARIC
RUDER BOSKOVIC INSTITUTE, Zagreb, Croatia Read more
Ms Tana TANDARIC
Tana Tandarić is currently working as a postdoc at Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden). During her PhD at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (Zagreb, Croatia), she was engaged in computational modeling of enzymatic reactions, mainly inhibition of MAO B enzyme by propargylamine inhibitors. In 2019 Tana won French Gouvermet Bursary and she spent one month at the Sorbonne University (Paris). Also, she spent one month as a visiting scientist at the Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana (Slovenia). She successfully defended her PhD thesis in February 2021 in the field of computational medicinal chemistry at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. After receiving her PhD, she won a JESH scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and spent 6 months in the Žagrović group at Max Perutz Labs (University of Vienna). There she worked on tRNA modeling and research on allosteric interactions within aminoacylated tRNA molecules. As a postdoc at the University of Uppsala, she deals with the computational identification of allosteric sites within the family of adenosine receptors and the design of allosteric ligands of A2A adenosine receptors. Her main research interests include computational drug design, modeling of protein drug targets, and identification of allosteric interactions within proteins using a wide variety of computational methods.
Soft-Skill Training Lectures
EFMC-YSN Soft Skills Training (1) - Reaxys Workshop: A Tandem Tour to Unveil the Profile of An Active Molecule
Dr Giulia MONCELSI
ELSEVIER LIFE SCIENCES, Amsterdam, The Netherlands