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

After two years of pandemic, it seemed that life in Europe started to return to normal again when we were hit with the terrible news of the war in Ukraine. Besides the human tragedy, with many deaths and millions of fugitives, the war has also a direct impact on our daily work as many of us have collaborations with academia and industry in Ukraine and Russia. Many of these collaborations had either to be paused for the moment or completely stopped. A statement by the SCS on the conflict in Ukraine can be found here. While we as scientists might not be able to influence the war directly, we could help our fellow scientists who fled the war to continue to stay close to science by offering for example temporary positions in academia and industry, grants for master and PhD theses or giving them networking opportunities within the SCS/DMCCB and EFMC.

On a positive note, we are happy to announce that the two summer schools organized by the DMCCB, the Swiss Summer School on Chemical Biology and the Swiss Course on Medicinal Chemistry (for details see below) are now official EFMC certified schools! Exceptionally both events will take place this year and starting from next year we will return to alternate organization.


News from the DMCCB

New Board Members

As announced in Newsletter #20 we are happy to welcome four new board members in 2022! In the upcoming issues of the Newsletter, we will present the new members in more detail. This issue features Dr. Christoph Philipp Sager (Idorsia):

Christoph was born in Switzerland and studied pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Basel (2006-2012). He stayed at the University of Basel for his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Beat Ernst working on computational simulations of carbohydrate-lectin interactions (2012-2017). After a short post-doctoral stay in the same research group, he moved to the University of Marburg as a visiting Postdoctoral Scientist in the group of Prof. Gerhard Klebe where he was involved in the creation of homology models of homo- and heterodimers and the analysis of their protein-protein interactions. In 2018 he joined Idorsia Pharmaceuticals as a Scientific Specialist in Computational Chemistry. 

 Senior Industrial Science Award

Dr. Bernd Kuhn (F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG),
receives the prize for his ground-breaking achievements over the past two decades, bringing together novel computational approaches and medicinal chemistry knowledge that led to new drug designs and scientific discoveries that have had tremendous impact on small molecule discovery projects. The award lecture will take place at the SCS Fall Meeting in Zurich on September 8, 2022.


Chemistry Europe Signs Collaboration Agreement with EFMC

Chemistry Europe, an association of 16 chemical societies (including the SCS) from 15 European countries, publishes a family of high-quality scholarly chemistry journals. It announced on April 5th that it has entered a multi-year collaboration with the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC), an independent association representing 29 scientific organizations from 25 European countries to advance the science of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Under the terms of the agreement, the Chemistry Europe journals ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem will become official journals of EFMC. Learn more about this collaboration here. Submitting your next manuscripts to these journals will support the Swiss and European community.

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

Activities of the DMCCB

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.

SCS Spring Meeting 2022, April 22 – University of Geneva: The SCS Spring Meeting is a one-day symposium and provides a high-quality program with national and international speakers. The theme of the 2022 edition is 'Biosupramolecular Chemistry'. Prof. Tanja Weil’s (MPI Mainz) presentation on «Supramolecular Biomaterials for Medicinal Applications» might be of particular interest for our members. As for all SCS events, registration is free for all SCS members. More details can be found on the event’s website. 

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

Registration for the five-day course organized by the DMCCB is open! It will focus on the most modern aspects associated with small molecule drug discovery, highlighting the methodologies and technologies supporting hit generation, lead finding and lead optimization campaigns. A considerable number of experts from industry and academia will contribute to this year’s course: Dr. Andrew Mortlock (Vice President Oncology Projects and Alliances at Astra Zeneca), Dr. Robert Copeland (CSO of Accent Therapeutics), Dr. Nicholas A. Meanwell (Vice President at Bristol Myers Squibb), Dr. Andy Phillips (CEO and President at C4 Therapeutics), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Klebe (University of Marburg) and Prof. Dr. Peter Tonge (Stony Brook University, New York).  For more information and registration please visit the event’s website.


Swiss Chemical Society Events

Peptide Therapeutics Forum 2022: This two-day event provides an innovative platform on the various aspects of drug development with focus on peptides. Like previous events, presentations will highlight important new insights regarding the discovery of peptidicdrug including examples of successful development candidates. It will take place at the University Hospital in Baselfrom August 25 to 26. More details and registration 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 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 programme will consist of speakers from industry and academia giving courses on different topics in chemical biology, sponsored industry lectures, career sessions and workshops. 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 the latest advances within the field of chemical biology. More details can be found on the SCS website.


Cardiovascular Research Meeting 2022 organized by Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2), Intersection Cardiovascular Biology. The Cardiovascular Research Meeting 2022 will take place 4 & 5 July in Bern, at the Institute of Pathology of the UNIBE. This meeting is an annual event gathering close to 100 researchers from Switzerland. The program includes 4 sessions with invited speakers and selected talks from abstracts: Regeneration, cardiac physiology, cardiomyocyte biology and vasculature. The deadline for abstract submission is May 2, 2022, general registration until June 6, 2022. Find all details of the program and registration on the meeting website


Life Sciences Switzerland host different research conferences, webinar series and meeting from different fields: Physiology, Proteomics, Autophagy, Microscopy, Cardiovascular Biology and more. You can check all events on its website. Upcoming deadlines: 25 April - Swiss Proteomics Meeting; Microscopy Webinar series - open deadline registration; 2 May – Cardiovascular Research Meeting; 8 June – Autophagy Workshop; 22 June – Swiss Physiology Meeting.


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

EFMC-ISMC 2022: the XXVII EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry: This event is taking place from September 4- 6, 2022 in Nice, France. The event is organized by the Société de Chimie Thérapeutique (SCT) on behalf of the EFMC. The program will cover advances in drug discovery in major therapeutic areas, including bacterial and viral diseases, with a particular attention to current and emerging viral infections, but also neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, rare diseases and cancer as well as most recent advances in new technologies. Plenary Lectures will be given by Prof. Benoit Deprez (Institut Pasteur, Lille, France), Prof. Eric Miska(University of Cambridge, UK), Prof. Sarah Reisman (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA) and Prof. Outi Vaarala (Orion Corporation, Espoo, Finland). Check out the website for more details and registration.


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!