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

An eventful year 2021 is coming to an end. Despite the challenging circumstances around Covid 19 the DMCCB/SCS have succeeded to organize a number of events in different formats: the DMCCB Basel Symposium as well as the XXVI International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (ESMS-ISMC 2021) and the 8th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists Symposium were held online, the Swiss Summer School 2021 “Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry” could be held physically in Les Diablerets. For 2022 most DMCCB/SCS events are planned to be held either physically or in a mixed format depending on the pandemic situation.
It is with mixed feelings that the DMCCB board would like to announce some changes in its composition for next year: on one hand we are sad that the longstanding valued members of the board, Yves P. Auberson (Novartis), Cornelia Zumbrunn (Idorsia), Georg Jaeschke (Roche) and Christian Heinis(EPFL) will be stepping down, on the other hand we are happy to welcome our new colleagues Antonia Stepan (Roche), Yimon Aye (EPFL), Kathrin Lang(ETHZ) and Christoph Sager (Idorsia) to the board. The newcomers will be introduced properly in the 2022 newsletters but here we would like to acknowledge the important contributions to the board’s activities of our departing members:
Yves is leaving the DMCCB board after 12 years of service to join the Executive Board of the Swiss Chemical Society. He was active in the DMCCB as Treasurer and Vice-president, then as President from 2014 to 2019. During this time, he established the DMCCB Communication strategy with Anaëlle Foucault-Dumas and Kristina Goncharenko, developed a strong relationship with the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC), and initiated numerous initiatives to support young medicinal chemists, enhance gender balance and diversity, as well as extend the portfolio of DMCCB’s scientific activities. Yves is happy to leave the DMCCB in the expert hands of his successor Jean-Louis Reymond, and to a dynamic, motivated team, which will continue to strongly represent our scientific community in Switzerland.
During her time in the DMCCB board (2015-2021) Cornelia acted as secretary, reinitiated and coordinated the Chimia columns and organized the DMCCB Basel symposia (last 4 years). Her role as secretary will be taken over by Dennis Gillingham.
Georg has been a member of the DMCCB board since 2012. As EFMC council member he represented the DMCCB on the EFMC council, which comprised several tasks including shaping the EFMC ISMC program and contributing to EFMC work streams. At the EFMC council meeting 2016 in Manchester he successfully presented the bid to host the EFMC ISMC 2020 in Basel. After having been on the DMCCB board and EFMC council for 9 years he will step back by the end of the year and hand over his tasks to Antonia Stepan.
Christian joined the board 6 years ago as a representative for EPFL and to help with chemical biology matters. He served also as a liaison between the DMCCB and Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2) taking part in the LS2 Executive Committee meetings to transfer information between the two societies and coordinating joint activities. He will hand over his responsibilities to Aye Yimon.
The board would like to thank warmly the leaving members for their important and highly appreciated contributions!

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. 
This issue features Dr. Aleksandar Stojanovic (Novartis):
Alex was born in Switzerland and studied chemistry at the University of Basel (1988-1992). He moved to the University of Fribourg (CH) to complete his doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Philippe Renaud (1993-1997) working on stereoselective reactions of α-amido radicals. After a postdoctoral stay in the group of Prof. Erick M. Carreira at Caltech (USA) working on Cu-catalyzed enantioselective reactions of dienolates (1997-1998), he returned to Switzerland where he worked for different smaller companies before joining Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis in 2008. Currently he is working in Hit Generation Sciences doing medicinal chemistries on early portfolio projects.
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

Reminder! 14th Swiss Course on Medicinal Chemistry – Leysin:

The five-day course organized by the DMCCB had to be postponed by one year and should have taken place in Leysin on October 9-14, 2022. It will focus on most modern aspects of medicinal chemistry highlighting the methodologies and technologies supporting hit generation, lead finding and lead optimization campaigns More information will be available soon on the SCS website.


Swiss Chemical Society Events

DMCCB Basel Symposium 2022: “Intrinsically disordered Proteins as Dug Targets”
Registration for this one-day symposium organized by the Swiss Chemical Society, Division of Medicinal Chemistry is open. The topic has been selected by our members among several proposals aiming at reinforcing the links between chemical biology, medicinal and agro chemistry, while being of importance in drug discovery and optimization programs. There will also be a poster session covering topics of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology in a broader sense during the lunch break. Due to the uncertain situation a hybrid meeting is planned with the option to change to a fully virtual format. For more details, and the scientific program visit the symposium’s website.


Peptide Therapeutics Forum 2022:  This two-day event provides an innovative platform on the various aspects of drug development with focus on peptides. It will take place at the University hospital in Basel from August 25 – 26. More details can be found on the scs website.




Swiss Summer School on Chemical Biology: The Summer School will take place from September 11 - 15 at the Eurotel Victoria in Les Diablerets, Switzerland. The Swiss Summer Schools are out-of-town seminars for MSc, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers with a focus on Chemical Synthesis or Chemical Biology. They offer a platform to students for the scientific exchange with peers and lecturers from academia and industry. The students are expected to actively involve themselves by presenting a poster or a short communication on their research. The scientific program is not yet completely set but will consist of speakers from industry and academia. For more details and registration check out the website.


International Symposium on Chemical Biology (ICSB) 2022:
This biennial event is organized by the NCCR Chemical Biology and takes place from November 8 – 10 2022 at the University of Geneva. The meeting is of high scientific caliber and will bring together leading scientists to feature latest advances within the field.



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 2, 2021. The organizers have put together a very interesting programme including sessions on Molecular Imaging Tools for Chemical Biology, Expanding Chemical Space through AI, Innovative Synthesis for Medicinal Chemistry as well as several first time disclosures. The opening lecture will be given by Karin Briner (Head of Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis) and there will be plenary lectures by Prof. Phil Baran (Scripps), Jean-Paul Clozel (CEO Idorsia Pharmaceuticals) and Prof. Stefan Knapp (Goethe University).  Registration is still open, have a look at the website!  The EFMC-ISMC XXVII will already be held next year from September 4 – 8, 2022 in Nice (France)!

EFMC-YMCS 2021 (8th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist Symposium): The symposium is scheduled to take place in Zagreb, Croatia from September 3 to September 7, 2023. Further details will be announced when available.



EFMC-ASMC'23: International Symposium on Advances in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry: Due to the exceptional circumstances faced with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the 16th EFMC Short Course on Medicinal Chemistry in Oegstgeest, the Netherlands, has been postponed to May 8-11, 2022. This intensive course is intended for scientists working in this field and the presentations are given by senior scientists from industry and academia. The number of participants is limited to 35! Registration is already open.

Did you know?
The posting of job/PhD/Post-Doc offers is free on the EFMC website and is available for any related jobs in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, in industry as well as in academia!