Scientific Programme Committee

Conference Chairs

  • Sabrina Corazza, Director of Business Development, Axxam
  • Philip Gribbon, Ph.D., Assistant Head of Department, Fraunhofer IME ScreeningPort

Session Chairs

Emerging Biology

The track will focus on emerging targets and mechanisms including protein degradation, non-coding RNA’s and stabilising PPI’s. The therapeutic exploitation of intrinsic celluar functions including proteolysis pathways, autophagy and lysosomal degredation mechanisms will be explored. Leading experts in disease biology will present new strategies for identifying, investigating and validating challenging target mechanisms in case studies. Sessions will cover the process of translating biological insight into tractable assays, efficient tool compounds and biologicals, and methods for generating attractive starting points for drug discovery programmes.

  • Protein Degradation, Targeting RNA’s and Stabilising PPI’s – Session Chair: Peter Staller, Ph.D., Director Target Validation Technologies, Bayer
  • Drug Discovery Strategies for Addressing Targets from Emerging Target Classes – Session Chair: Christian Ottman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Cell and Structural Biology, TU Eindhoven
  • Autophagy and Lysosomal Degradation as Therapeutic Targets – Session Chair: Fulvio Reggiori, Prof. Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems, Section Molecular Cell Biology, University of Groningen


The technology track covers recent technological innovations which promise to significantly enhance our understanding of disease-related mechanisms and eventually lead to fundamental improvements in the practice of drug discovery. The session on super- resolution microscopy will explore its emergence from basic research applications towards exciting new application in industrial scale screening of biological events, at unparalleled sub-cellular scales. The real world application of artificial intelligence methods in target identification and therapeutic discovery will be presented by key leaders in the field from Pharma and Biotech. The session on fragment screening will focus on library design and compound elaboration, as well as the increased use of information rich endpoints including high throughput X-ray crystallography.

  • Super-Resolution Microscopy – Session Chair: Stefan Jakobs, Ph.D., Professor of High-Resolution Microscopy in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Goettingen
  • Intergrating Al Approaches into Drug Discovery – Session Chair: John Overington, Ph.D., Chief Informatics Officer, UK Accelerator
  • Fragment and Biophyscial Screening – Session Chair: Rob Leurs, Ph.D., Professor Medicinal Chemistry at Vrije Universiteit


In the Discovery track, new approaches to identifying attractive hits, confirming target engagement, progressing leads and selecting disease relevant candidates for new and established targets will be illustrated in detailed case studies. A session on precision medicine will cover quantitative, high-throughput approaches for using primary patient material, cellular models and complex tissues and how such patient insights can drive translation between disease insight and clinical application. Finally, innovative technologies for monitoring target engagement as well as downstream biological consequences will be showcased and their impact on increasing understanding of molecular selectivity and mode of action explored.


  • New Ways to Tackle Established Targets – Session Chair: Christel Menet, Ph.D., CSO, Confo Therapeutics
  • Precision Medicine Technologies – Session Chair: Kamran Honarnejad, Ph.D., Group Leader High-Throughput Drug and Target Discovery, Fraunhofer ITEM
  • Innovative Technologies for Monitoring Target Engagement – Session Chair: Stephanie Heinzlmeir, Ph.D., Scientist, Technische Universität München

Careers in Business and Technology

How can we be competitive innovative and creative in pitching a brilliant idea, bringing a new product on the market or effectively translating a great research result into a successful start-up? The focus of this track is to provide insights in each of these topics trying to answer some questions and stimulating new ones. Don’t miss the opportunity of being part of the audience.

  • Public Private Partnerships and Transnational Centres in Drug Discovery – Session Chair: Peter Nussbaumer, CEO, Wings4Innovation GmbH
  • Bringing Innovation to Life – Session Chair: Ian Shuttler, Ph.D., Head of Strategy & Portfolio Management, LSB, Tecan
  • Turning Ideas into Successful Start-ups – Session Chair: Diane Harbison, Decipher Analytics
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