Dear Members of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology,

As the Covid pandemic still keeps our personal and professional life in its tight grip, the recent approval of a number of vaccines will hopefully allow a return to our normal lives in the foreseeable future provided that the challenges around the vaccine production and distribution can be solved. In the meantime we continue to work from home, wear masks, wash our hands and meet virtually. In that context the DMCBB was involved in the organization of several virtual symposia which took place in February and March (DMCBB Basel Symposium “Targeting RNA by Small Molecules”, LS2 Annual Meeting and Frontiers of Medicinal Chemistry 2021). While it is not the same, meeting in person or virtually, the improved online meeting tools still allowed for a lively discussion of science and for a much broader audience to join from all over the world due to the considerably reduced costs. It will be interesting to see how these technologies will improve scientific interactions also in post-Covid times.


All information provided in the newsletter is based on the current status. Some of it is subject to changes depending on the development of the global situation.

News from the DMCCB

As announced in Newsletter #17 we have three new board members whom we would like to introduce to you over the course of the year starting in this issue with Prof. Nina Hartrampf (University of Zurich):

Nina studied chemistry and biochemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany) and obtained her Ph.D. in natural product synthesis and chemical biology in the group of Dirk Trauner in 2017. She then joined the group of Brad Pentelute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) for her postdoctoral research to work on the chemical synthesis of peptides and proteins using an automated flow-chemistry platform. Since March 2020 she is an assistant professor (tenure track) at the University of Zurich. Her independent research program focuses on flow-based methods for sustainable peptide synthesis and the investigation of natural and artificial small proteins. More details can be found on her group’s website.

DMCCB Basel Symposium 2021

The symposium “Targeting RNA by Small Molecules” was held online on February 4, 2021. 150 industrial and academic participants from across the globe attended the meeting. The poster prize was awarded to Alexandre Hofer (Univ. of Cambridge, UK) for his poster “Selective Chemical Functionalization of N6-Methyladenine in DNA” (Poster session). A detailed conference report will be available in Chimia (Issue 5, published on May 26, 2021). 

LS2 Annual Meeting 2021
The Meeting under the theme “Mechanism in Health, Disease and Aging” took place online from February 17th to 19th, 2021. One of the 10 scientific e-Symposia had the topic “Chemical
Biology and Drug Discovery” and was jointly organized by the DMCCB and Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2). A detailed conference report will be available in Chimia (Issue 5, published on May 26, 2021).

Poster Prize for Alice Capecchi
The DMCCB board congratulates Alice Capecchi (Univ. of Bern, group of Prof. J.-L Reymond) for winning a prize at the 2021 Frontiers of Medicinal Chemistry Symposium for her poster with the title “Chemical Space Map and Machine Learning Classification of Natural Products in the COCONUT Database”! 

EFMC Honorary Fellow Recognition for Dr. Emilio Kyburz
Since 2019, the EFMC recognizes individuals who have provided most support to the organization and contributed in strengthening the position of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology in Europe. Dr. Emilio Kyburz (2005) hasbeen awarded the posthumous title of EFMC Honorary Fellow, for his outstanding services to EFMC. Read more on the EFMC website.

Prof Christian Bochet to become new president of the SCS!
The April 15th General Assembly of the SCS saw the election of Prof. Christian Bochet (Uni Fribourg), who will become SCS President as of 2022. He succeeds Alain de Maesmaeker (Syngenta), whose extraordinary dedication and leadership during the last six years will definitely leave a mark in the history of the SCS. In addition, the past president of the DMCCB and of the European Federation for Medicinal chemistry and Chemical biology (EFMC), Yves P. Auberson (Novartis), was elected as member of the Executive Board as of May 2021 and as SCS Vice-President as of 2022. Besides working closely with Christian, Yves will contribute to the communication strategy of the SCS, and support its interactions with external partners.

For more DMCCB community news check also the SCS website and LinkedIn

All information provided in the newsletter is based on the current status. Some of it is subject to changes depending on the development of the global situation.

Activities of the DMCCB

14th Swiss Course on Medicinal Chemistry – Leysin – October 3-8, 2021:

The five-day course organized by the DMCCB had to be postponed by one year and should have taken place in Leysin on October 3-8, 2021. Due to the pandemic the course unfortunately needs to be postponed again to 2022!  More information should be available soon on the event’s website.


Swiss Chemical Society Events

SCS Fall Meeting 2021 – Online – September 10, 2021For the second time the Fall Meeting will take place as an online conference and the talks and lectures will be provided on Zoom. The scientific programme offers Award Lectures presented by leaders in their respective fields, as well as invited and contributed lectures in nine thematic sessions covering all of chemistry. For each of these, there also is a virtual poster session. As usual, there is a dedicated session on Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology(Programme). Registration to join the conference is mandatory to get access to the virtual meeting rooms. Registration is open and is free for SCS Members.


Activities & events from the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC)

EFMC-ISMC 2021: the XXVI EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry: Due to Covid-19 the symposium is replaced by an online event taking place from August 29 to September 2nd, 2021. Registration is open, have a look at the website.  In addition the EFMC council has approved our request to organize the EFMC-ISMC 2026in Basel!



EFMC-YMCS 2021 (8th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium): This symposium, which will select the 2021 European Champion in Medicinal Chemistry, will also be virtual and is scheduled to take place September 9-10, 2021 (website).



EFMC-ASMC'23: International Symposium on Advances in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry: The symposium is scheduled to take place in Zagreb, Croatia from September 3 to September 7, 2023. Further details will be announced when available.



40th Edition of the European School of Medicinal Chemistry (ESMEC)
Due to the circumstances the anniversary edition of the school, which usually takes place at the Univ. of Urbino, Italywill held online from June 28 to July 1st, 2021. Deadline for registration is May 31st, 2021 (website).


Did you know?

The Swiss Chemical Society has refreshed its Webpage. Check out the new features at!