Oegstgeest (near Leiden), The Netherlands May 8-11, 2022
Discovery of H1/H4 Dual Ligands
Prof. Iwan DE ESCH
VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
GPCR Ligand Design: Cheminformatics and Modelling
Dr Chris DE GRAAF
SOSEI HEPTARES, Cambridge, United Kingdom Read more
Dr Chris DE GRAAF
Dr. Chris de Graaf is Head of Computational Chemistry at Sosei Heptares, an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the design and development of new medicines originating from its proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and Structure-Based Drug Design platform capabilities (www.soseiheptares.com). In this role Chris is leading the development and application of computer-assisted drug design approaches across the GPCRome to help Sosei Heptares advance a broad and deep pipeline of partnered and in-house drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas including neurology, immuno-oncology, gastroenterology, inflammation and rare/specialty diseases. He performed his Ph.D. research at in Computational Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology at VU University Amsterdam and worked as postdoctoral fellow with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and Strasbourg University (Dr. Rognan) on the development and application of novel GPCR modeling and virtual screening techniques. Before his appointment as Head Computational Chemistry at Sosei Heptares, Dr. De Graaf led the Computational Medicinal Chemistry group at VU University Amsterdam, working on the development and application of structural cheminformatics and computational chemistry methods to complement synthetic medicinal chemistry, molecular pharmacology, and structural biology studies in drug discovery research projects.
GPCR Ligands: Molecular Recognition, Kinetics and Allosteric Modulation
Dr Laura HEITMAN
UNIVERSITY OF LEIDEN, Leiden, The Netherlands Read more
Dr Laura HEITMAN
Laura H. Heitman, PhD. is a full professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Division of Drug Discovery and Safety at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR, Leiden University), ), and at Oncode Institute. Her research interests are mainly focused on understanding and improving drug-receptor interactions, and more specifically, target binding kinetics and allosteric modulation of GPCRs. She has obtained several competitive research grants, all allowing her to study these novel, clinically relevant and highly translational concepts for drug action (e.g. IMI-K4DD and IMI-RESOLUTE, VENI, VIDI and Oncode grants from Dutch Scientific Council for personal excellence). Her research activities have currently led to an authorship on over 100 papers in this field, including one in Science (2012) and one in Nature (2016) with an H-index of 36. Lastly, she is the recipient of multiple awards (e.g. the ‘2017 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator’-award, runner up for the ‘2018 Prix Galien Research’-award)
Binding and Modulating GPCRs by Inside/Outside Binding Nanobodies
Dr. Ing. Raimond Heukers is currently chief scientific officer of the CRO/biotech company QVQ Holding BV and postdoc in the division of Medicinal Chemistry of the VU University Amsterdam. At QVQ, he coordinates the technological expertise and progression and its contributions to national and international research projects. From a bio-chemical/medial background, Heukers obtained his PhD in cell biology at Utrecht University and gained additional expertise on antibody lead panel generation at argenx BVBA. As a postdoc, he has established the GPCR nanobody platform at the VU. He has co-authored 20+ peer reviewed papers and co-supervised multiple PhD students in national (TTW, NWO) and international projects (ITN) and contributed to successful grant applications.
Discovery of Cariprazine, A Dopamine D3 Receptor Prefering Third Generation Antipsychotics
Prof. Gyorgy KESERU
HUNGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Budapest, Hungary Read more
Prof. Gyorgy KESERU
György M. Keserű obtained his Ph.D. at Budapest, Hungary and joined Sanofi heading a chemistry research lab. He moved to Gedeon Richter in 1999 as the Head of Computer-aided Drug Discovery. He earned D.Sc. from the Hungarian Academy of Science in 2003 and he was invited for a research professorship at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Since 2007 he was appointed as the Head of Discovery Chemistry at Gedeon Richter. He contributed to the discovery of the antipsychotic Vraylar® (cariprazine) that has been approved and marketed from 2016 in US and EU. He served as a director general of the Research Centre for Natural Sciences (RCNS) at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. From 2015 he is heading the Medicinal Chemistry Research Group at RCNS. His research interests include medicinal chemistry and drug design. He has published over 230 papers and more than 10 books and book chapters. György was awarded by the prestigious Overton and Meyer Award of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry. He has been elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and as Corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
A General Introduction into GPCRdb & Hands-on with the GPCRdb
Dr Albert KOOISTRA
UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, København, Denmark Read more
Dr Albert KOOISTRA
Albert J. Kooistra obtained a B.Sc. degree in Telematics at the University of Twente, a M.Sc. degree in Bioinformatics, and his Ph.D. in Computational Medicinal Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Since 2018, he is assistant professor in the department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen. His main research interests include chemogenomic database development, cheminformatic tool development, virtual screening, and computational drug design.
Partial Agonism/Biased Signalling and its Therapeutical Relevance
Dr Rob LANE
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, Nottingham, United Kingdom Read more
Dr Rob LANE
Rob Lane joined the University of Nottingham in October 2018 as an Assistant Professor in Molecular Pharmacology. Rob's work focuses on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with a particular emphasis on novel approaches to target these receptors towards the development of improved therapeutics for CNS disorders.
Rob completed his PhD in molecular pharmacology at the University of Glasgow in 2007. He then joined the department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Leiden as a postdoctoral fellow. There, he gained a VENI grant (NWO, the Netherlands) to begin his independent research career with a focus on understanding the structure and pharmacology of adenosine receptors. In 2010, Rob moved to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Melbourne, Australia as an R.D. Wright Biomedical Research Fellow (NHMRC, Australia) and Larkin's Fellow (Monash University). His research had a particular emphasis on exploring the paradigms of allosteric modulation and biased agonism. In 2017 he was awarded a Schaefer Scholarship to join the departments of Psychiatry & Pharmacology at Columbia University (New York, USA) as a visiting professor for a sabbatical year, hosted by Prof Jonathan Javitch. During this sabbatical he focused on developing selective genetic and pharmacological tools with which to understand the physiological consequences of dopamine receptor drug action. At the end of 2018, Rob moved his lab to the University of Nottingham, to join the Centre of Membrane Protein and Receptors (COMPARE), a joint venture between the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham.
General Introduction to GPCRs: Pharma Relevance, Indications, Molecular Pharmacology
Prof. Rob LEURS
VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Read more
Prof. Rob LEURS
Prof. Dr. Leurs has received a Master Degree in Chemistry (1987) and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (1991) from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. As a postdoctoral fellow at INSERM in Paris (U109, Unité de Neuroscience et Pharmacologie) he was involved in the cloning of genes encoding histaminergic and serotonergic receptors. In 1993, he was awarded with a 5-year fellowship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Leurs was appointed as assistant and full professor of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry in respectively 1998 and 2000. In 2016, Leurs has been appointed as an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Leurs has been heavily involved in research on G-protein coupled receptors, with specific emphasis on ligands and receptor proteins for histamine and chemokines. Moreover, he is co-founder of Griffin Discoveries, a company that is valorizing the G-protein coupled receptor expertise and is currently involved in the discovery and development of GPCR receptor ligands. The Medicinal Chemistry research group at VUA led by Rob Leurs is a world-leader in GPCR medicinal chemistry, according to recent research and educational assessments. The MC researchers are investigating GPCR proteins and ligands (small molecules, nanobodies), with a recent focus on GPCR photo-pharmacology.
Dr. Aurélien Rizk is the Chief Technology Officer of InterAx Biotech, a Swiss startup company integrating experimental and computational pharmacology to assist GPCR drug candidate design and selection (www.interaxbiotech.com). In this position, Aurélien Rizk is leading mathematical modeling of GPCR signaling pathways, analysis of kinetic profiles from time-resolved cellular signaling assays, and prediction of novel ligand parameters to improve the characterization of ligands effect on signaling pathways. Aurélien Rizk studied mathematics, physics, and computer science at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan before obtaining his Ph.D. in computer science applied to systems biology at INRIA, France, under the supervision of Prof. François Fages. Aurélien Rizk has a strong experience in numerical simulations and also co-founded in 2011 Algorizk (www.algorizk.com), a company developing real-time physics simulations on mobile devices for education. Before co-founding InterAx Biotech, Aurélien Rizk worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Gebhard Schertler and Dr. Philipp Berger at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland on the mathematical modeling of signaling pathways.
The ‘Hunger Games’ - Structural Studies of the MC4 Receptor Reveal Mechanism for Satiety
Dr. Shalev-Benami is a senior scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Molecular Biochemistry from the Technion Institute of Technology and holds an MSc in Biochemistry from the Hebrew University. Her PhD studies were conducted under the supervision of Prof. Timor Baasov and Prof. Noam Adir at the Technion. Her PhD work focused on the crystallographic studies of RNA and structure-based drug design. In 2013, she joined the lab of Prof. Ada Yonath at the Weizmann Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, working on structural investigations of eukaryotic ribosomes. In 2015, she joined the lab of Prof. Georgios Skiniotis at the University of Michigan (later at Stanford) where she further perused her structural training through single particle Cryo-EM. In December 2018, Dr. Shalev-Benami joined the Weizmann Institute. Her research focuses on the visualization of macromolecular complexes involved in cell-cell communication in the CNS.