From September 22nd to 24th, the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) hosted the 2nd Drug Discovery Conference (DDC2022) in Riga, which brought together 43 excellent speakers from 14 countries and more than 200 participants. After the pandemic, this was a long-awaited opportunity for scientists and students from academia and the pharmaceutical industry worldwide to meet face-to-face and to share exciting results and to spark new ideas for future achievements.
The conference covered modern trends in drug discovery related to organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, structural biology, and drug delivery. The lectures included achievements in developing anti-infective, anticancer, CNS, and cardiovascular drugs.
The conference was opened by the minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia Anita Muižniece. She emphasized the importance of discovering new drugs:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of developing new treatments to tackle unexpected challenges. The pandemic has also left an impact on well-known chronic diseases. However, we can be certain – new drugs have provided enormous progress in treating diseases that were previously fatal.”
Anita Muižniece pointed out a historical roots of the drug discovery in Latvia and also added:
“Drug discovery is a unique field, and we can be proud that Latvia can provide the entire research life cycle in this area – from the design of new molecules to clinical trials. The Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis is a flagship institution in discovering new drugs.”
During the opening of the DDC2022, the Solomon Hiller medal was awarded to Dace Kārkle, LIOS Deputy Director for her outstanding contribution to the development of the LIOS.
The scientific program of the conference and discussions were organized in two parallel sessions – for chemists and pharmacologists. The plenary lectures were delivered by outstanding researchers – David Crich (Wayne State University, USA), Vladimir Gevorgyan (University of Texas at Dallas, USA), Rolf Müller (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany), David Rees (Astex Pharmaceuticals, UK), Chris Schofield (University of Oxford, UK) and Jieping Zhu (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland).
A poster session took place after the lectures, on September 23. Overall 55 students and researchers took the opportunity to share and discuss their research with conference participants and speakers. The poster prizes were awarded to Olga Bobiļeva, Teodors Pantelejevs, Katja Stefan and Viktorija Vitkovska. All posters and lecture abstracts are available on the conference website (drugdiscovery.osi.lv).
The conference was financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund “Support for international cooperation projects in research and innovation in Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis” (contract No. 126.96.36.199/18/I/007).