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Specialists in drug discovery and development convene

More than 2,500 researchers and professionals in the area of biomolecular science and drug discovery are expected to attend the 14th Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) April 6-10, in St. Louis at Americas Center to discuss advances in biotechnology, challenges and automation solutions in the field.

Highlights of topics and speakers at this years meeting include:

  • New Methods of Tracking Target Molecules -- Jeremy Caldwell, Ph.D., director of molecular and cell biology, Genomics Institute, Novartis Research Foundation, will conduct a panel discussion about the latest in drug therapies as used to target molecules associated with rare and orphan diseases. Through these new targets and applied technologies, therapies once thought to be impossible in major diseases may become available and will assist in the pursuit of therapies for the eradication of neglected diseases. Research to be presented includes RNA interference as a more effective way to help the body quickly respond to infectious and viral diseases.

  • New Trends in Pharmaceutical and Academic Collaborations -- A panel of National Institutes of Health and some of the worlds leading academic researchers will discuss the need for universities and non-profit institutes across the U.S. to increase their collaborative efforts with the pharmaceutical industry by applying their research findings to drug discovery for diseases pharmaceutical companies cant address on their own. As the pharmaceutical industry focuses on late stage drug development to get more effective medications to market, greater partnerships are necessary between academic and pharmaceutical researchers to discover more of the underlying causes for diseases. The panelists also are part of an increasing trend of more researchers segueing from the pharmaceutical industry to academic environments where there are fewer research constraints.

  • The Evolution of the Role of Stem Cells in Drug Discovery -- John Edward Hambor, Ph.D., CEO, Cognate BioServices, will address how the role of stem cells has changed and advanced over the past years in the drug discovery arena. Dr. Hambor and colleagues will explain the current use of animal models in drug discovery and how the shift to stem cell models utilizing human brain, liver or umbilical cord cells may alter animal research. These new models can increase the safety of drugs on the market while decreasing current toxicity problems on human organs such as the heart and liver, which are currently undetected in animal models.

  • What Does the 20th Century Hold for the Health of American Children" -- Can diseases such as Alzheimers, obesity and diabetes be prevented before birth" According to Jonathan D. Gitlin, M.D., the Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine, researching whether diseases that strike adults are already genetically encoded in individuals while still in the womb, may enable physicians to one day address and prevent diseases in infancy. Dr. Gitlin will discuss how the identification of human genome sequencing now offers researchers the opportunity to change the direction of science and medical care by looking into more ways to prevent diseases from conception by understanding each persons individual genetic make up. And, he will explore the potential for drug discovery and small molecule alteration for the prevention of diseases that could be genetically imprinted in individuals before birth.


Contact: Jennifer Bender
203-325-8772 x18
Society for Biomolecular Sciences

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