Practical Aspects of Drug Discovery: At the Interface of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacology (Cape Town, South Africa)

In collaboration with the Wellcome Genome Campus and the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), University of Cape Town, we are pleased to announce the first Overseas Practical Aspects of Drug Discovery course.

Increasingly scientists representing a variety of disciplines in leading research institutions, as well as small and medium-sized companies are leveraging their expertise to engage in early-stage drug discovery. Such drug discovery R&D requires the productive combination of multiple disciplines including biochemistry, medicinal and computational chemistry, natural products, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology and project management, the breadth of which can present organisational, knowledge and competence challenges for institutions and investigators.

This interactive, lecture- and discussion-based course will give scientists of all disciplines a broad introduction to the theoretical, practical and organisational aspects of small molecule and natural product drug discovery. Each topic-based lecture mixes presentation with discussion sessions and case histories to develop the key aspects of critical disciplines and activities. Additional discussion-based practical sessions will build on the lectures to illustrate the strategic planning of drug discovery programmes, including the development of target product profiles, compound progression criteria, scientific strategy and the need to work collaboratively. This course will focus on the need for drug discovery on the African continent and how these approaches can be applied in the African context and environment.

Target audience
The course is open to applicants from institutes based in Africa. The programme is aimed at researchers with a limited understanding of small molecule or natural product drug discovery, but with a background knowledge of any discipline related to drug discovery, including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, computational chemistry and informatics etc. Representatives from research institutions who want to expand upon their expertise in disease biology into early stage drug discovery and have an interest in the communicable Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), TB, Malaria and HIV among other diseases. Applicants with an interest in treatments for any disease would benefit.

The course is free to attend and limited bursaries are available to cover travel and accommodation costs.