Dundee scientist speaks at the Galien Innovation Forum

Published on 29 October 2019

School of Life Science’s Professor Alessio Ciulli was amongst a selected group of world’s leading expert scientists and key opinion leaders who spoke at the Galien Forum on October 24, 2019, at the Alexandria Center in New York City.

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Alessio’s panel, entitled ‘Drugging the Undruggable with Novel Approaches to Small Molecule Design’, was chaired by Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Mikael Dolsten.

The panel discussed innovative drug discovery approaches, such as Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) and RNA-targeting small molecules. These new modalities promise to expand our reach of targets to treat elusive diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Alessio discussed about PROTACs and related approaches to targeted protein degradation, with emphasis on some of the early discoveries that led to these approaches, and the different avenues worth exploring to “degrade the undruggable”.

Other panellists included Professor Craig Crews from Yale University (another leading expert in PROTACs), Dr Jennifer Petter from Arrakis, Dr Karin Briner from Novartis, and Dr Michael Ringel from the Boston Consulting Group.  The panel’s diverse audience included a mix of industry leaders, academics, advocates, government officials and policymakers, and students. 

The Galien Forum is an annual event that offers perspectives on the most significant health challenges of our time while highlighting the latest research and clinical pathways toward diagnosis, treatment, and cure. It is held on the occasion of the prestigious Prix Galien USA Awards Ceremony, which recognizes achievement in innovation in pharmaceutical products, and is considered the pharmaceutical industry’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize.


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