Chemistry for Health Thematic Program Co-Chairs:
Joelle Pelletier, University of Montréal, Canada
Stefan Lutz, Emory University, USA
The Chemistry for Health theme includes the following symposia:
Jumi Shin, University of Toronto, Canada
Violeta Marin, Abbvie, USA
Novel tools for understanding and treating disease. The topic will overlap with other CSC/IUPAC sessions, and this speaks to the synergy of this transdisciplinary area of research and the diversity of its researchers.
(i) Tools for understanding and treating disease – Peptides and beyond.
This broad theme encompasses protein design and directed evolution, including synthesis of peptidomimetics, small peptides, and combinatorial strategies toward new biotherapeutics.
(ii) Tools for understanding and treating disease – High-throughput screening and selection, -omics-based methods.
The second tools-based session will feature a variety of talks describing rational and non-rational molecular design, theory and computation, and other new strategies toward improving human health.
(iii) Medicinal Chemistry for the development of novel therapies (I).
This mini-session will focus on medicinal chemistry including small/medium-sized molecules produced by state-of-the-art methods including library selections and natural products from unusual sources. Such state-of-the-art methods can be mindful of sustainability practices and developing new ways to make molecules that decrease our carbon footprint and waste, and are economically advantageous. Topics such as the protein degradation field and ARMs would be also covered.
(iv) Medicinal Chemistry for the development of novel therapies (II.)
This session will briefly cover human diseases and conditions, from well-known targets like cancer and cardiovascular disease to conditions like mental health and understanding our brain and nervous system. The session would complement the third session and would focus on animal/human trials with these new treatments, the diseases and conditions that chemists are starting to target with success, natural and bio-inspired products, and the human health problems that we are uncovering now and trying to treat. In addition, a mini-session of tool development for medicinal chemistry with a focus on synthesis will be included.
David Vocadlo, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Advances in cytometry and high-throughput proteomics are enabling fundamental new insights into cell and animal biology. Central to the full exploitation of these powerful analytical methods are the creation of chemical tools and strategies that can enable new experimental modalities. Such new approaches at the interface of chemistry and biology for isotopic labeling of cellular components, incorporation of unnatural amino acids, metabolic precursors for cell labeling, genetically encoded chemical tags, and various cellular imaging probes are all permitting unprecedented characterization of cellular physiology. Furthermore, next generation “switchable” molecules are starting to enable researchers to exert spatiotemporal control over a range of fundamental cellular functions. Accordingly, a symposium focused on the latest advances in the development and implementation of emerging chemical biology tools in cutting edge biology applications would be timely and of wide general interest for the community of chemists and chemical biologists.
Two sessions will focus on creation and use of chemical and chemical genetic tools for imaging cells and their physiological processes. One session will be focused on new advances in exploiting incorporation of artificial amino acids and other building blocks. And one session will focus on tagging end engineering approaches to control cellular function and drive biological discovery.
Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, Université de Montréal, Canada
Devices for sensing and drug delivery as well as implementable devices are currently a major focus of research in health science. However, at present, most of these technologies are plagued by a variety of issues that affect their accuracy, long-term performance. This symposium will bring together key academic and industrial players in that field to enable a critical comparison of existing technologies, highlighting critical issues of device accuracy, foreign body response, calibration, and miniaturization (focusing on the chemical aspect). An outlook on future developments with an emphasis on challenges related to commercialization will also be presented at the end of each days through a panel of key industrial players.
Avena Ross, Queen’s University, Canada
Nadine Ziemert, Universität Tubingen, Germany
The unifying theme of the symposium will be the discovery and development of Natural Products as therapeutics and will bring together scientists from across a range of traditional disciplines including Chemical Synthesis, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry/Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology.
Diverse and complementary approaches to studying Natural Products will be represented including: Computational prediction, Methods for discovery of Natural Products, Engineering biosynthetic enzymes and pathways for new Natural Product molecules, Biosynthesis of Natural Products, Chemical Synthesis of Natural Products, Mass Spectrometry for studying Microbe and Pathogen interactions.
Anthony Mittermaier, McGill University, Canada
This symposium would aim to identify and bring together new characterization technologies with the potential for high impact in future biomedical research. The emphasis would be on bold ideas at the proof-of-principle stage, with the unifying theme of addressing health challenges at the level of biomolecular structure, dynamics, interactions, and function. These could include both experimental and theoretical modalities, for instance, novel instruments, protocols, applications, and innovative computational approaches. Representative topics include new mass spectrometry approaches for characterizing the structures of proteins and protein complexes in vivo; serial femtosecond crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance methods to generate atomic-resolution movies of biomolecular machines; new single-molecule techniques enabling simultaneous force and conformation measurements; DNA barcoding for massively parallel biomolecular interaction analysis; and molecular dynamics simulations of extremely large systems up to the size of organelles.
Guillaume Lamoureux, Rutgers University
Justin Siegel, University of California Davis, USA
Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool for molecular design. Enabled by the development of modern machine learning techniques and the expansion of chemical and biological data sets, it creates powerful new representations of chemical knowledge and allows efficient search of vast chemical spaces for compounds with desired properties.
This symposium will bring together researchers interested in applying machine learning to the design of new molecules. It will cover a broad range of health-focused applications such as drug design (or repurposing of existing drugs), design of biocatalysts (for greener synthetic routes), biomaterial design, synthetic biology, and development of new diagnostic and monitoring tools.
Ann English, Concordia University, Canada
Vadim Gladyshev, Harvard University, USA
Angela Fago, Aarhus University, Denmark
The molecular basis of ageing will be explored at the genetic, epigenetic, proteomic and biochemical levels. Changes in the genome, proteome and microbiome with aging will be addressed with an emphasis on normal physiological vs. pathophysiological aging in mammals and other model organisms. The role of diet (including antioxidants) and exercise in modulating molecular aging will be discussed as will the redox biochemistry of oxidative stress and oxygen metabolism. The overarching goal of the symposium on “Exploring the Molecular Basis of Aging” is to integrate our knowledge of aging from the molecular to cellular to the whole organism level. We will provide a forum for the presentation of recent advances and progresses in the field of aging and age-related diseases to strengthen scientific cross-fertilization between chemists, biochemists and other researchers in aging in order to catalyze fruitful collaborations between researchers with complementary expertise to better understand the molecular basis of aging.
Nicolas Doucet, INRS-Institut Armand Frappier, Canada
Joelle Pelletier, Université de Montréal, Canada
From therapeutics to bioremediation, proteins and enzymes have long been used to overcome limitations of chemical synthesis and catalysis. Whether they are involved in protein-protein interactions or accelerating chemical reactions with unparalleled rate enhancements, biocatalysts are highly specific to small-molecule and macromolecular targets, in addition to being most efficient in environmentally-friendly and physiological conditions. However, significant technical challenges associated with the modulation, adaptation, and stability of their molecular structure, in addition to the lack of chemical diversity and yet unmanageable atomic-scale flexibility have significantly hindered new developments and wide-ranging applicability. This multidisciplinary symposium will discuss emerging views and recent applications of protein engineering in drug development and bioprocesses, focusing on newly developed aspects of conformational heterogeneity, biohybrid catalysis, directed evolution, allosteric modulation, in addition to recent computational progress aimed at predicting and controlling their molecular function.
Hanadi Sleiman, McGill University, Canada
Masad Damha, McGill University, Canada
Nucleic acids as therapeutics, diagnostic tools and nanostructures promise to change the landscape of medicine and materials science. From the CRISPR/Cas9 revolution, to the first siRNA therapeutic approval and the first large-scale DNA origami synthesis, we are making excellent strides in this field. This symposium focuses on the exciting achievements as well as the major challenges in the implementation of nucleic acids in the clinic and in advanced materials.
Ali Nazemi, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
John Oh, Concordia University, Canada
In recent years, diverse arrays of nanoscale macromolecular systems have emerged in biomedical applications. To a great extent, advances made in this field owe their success to the development of a vast variety of polymers and dendrimers with different structures and topologies. Such macromolecules can either be used directly as nanomaterials in their molecular state or as building blocks for the synthesis of self-assembled nanoparticle-based theranostics (materials with combined therapeutic and diagnostic properties). This symposium will showcase recent advances made in the development and biomedical applications of functional polymers and dendrimers as well as their corresponding soft materials (including micellar and vesicular systems, hydrogels, nano- and micro-gels, and films). Topics covered will include the synthesis and characterization of new polymers and dendrimers for biomedical applications, mechanisms and fabrication approaches related to assembly of such materials into nanoparticles, and the applications of such nanoparticles in disease diagnosis and therapy.
Anthony Rullo, McMaster University, Canada
“Synthetic Tool Development and Mechanistic Chemical Biology” is a symposium focused on the synthetic and physical organic chemistry that enables for interrogation of biological systems. It aims to connect organic chemists, chemical biologists, and mechanistic chemists/biochemists and integrate research findings in these areas towards a better understanding of biological phenomena. The rationale for this symposium is to remove silos that exist in synthetic organic chemistry and chemical biology which inevitably separates those best at designing and producing the tools to study biology, from those most familiar with interrogating biological mechanisms. As such the symposium topics of high interest include but are not exclusive to new bio-conjugation and bio-orthogonal chemical reactions and applications, chemical probe synthesis and target analysis, synthetic immune modulation, structural and synthetic carbohydrate chemistry/glycobiology, thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of biomolecular interactions.
Frank Schweizer, University of Manitoba, Canada
Marya Ahmed, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
The emergence and dissemination of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to all or almost all currently available antimicrobials remains one of the pressing central challenges of this century and remains a major threat to public health and global economic recovery. Since ancient times, bacteria have developed multimodal resistance mechanisms to all known antimicrobials. These include poor membrane permeability, membrane modification, suppression of porin expression, efflux, antibiotic inactivation by antibiotic-modifying enzymes, antibiotic target modification by mutations or methylation, biofilm formation and others that are used in concert to negate the activity of antibiotics. To cope with these challenges academic and industrial research explores various therapeutic interventions. This symposium will showcase the latest antibacterial strategies to combat bacterial resistance at the national and international level. The symposium will span over three half days and will cover: (I) Small molecule-based interventions; (II) Materials-based interventions and (III) Interventions on the path towards commercialization.
Tim Storr, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Charles Walsby, Simon Fraser University, Canada
This symposium will bring together international researchers to discuss recent developments in the innovative applications of metals in biology and medicine. Recent advances in tailored metalloproteins and enzymes will be highlighted along with metal-based compounds in imaging and disease treatment.