First Round of Abstract Submission Ends: Apr 25, 2024
Extended Early Bird Ends: Apr 20, 2024

Plenary Speakers

Prof. Brian S. J. Blagg
University of Notre Dame, USA
Title: Modern and Selective Inhibition of the Hsp90 Protein Folding Machinery
Brian Blagg, Ph.D., Charles Huisking Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is Notre Dame’s first Director of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development. After earning his B.A. in Chemistry and Environmental Studies at Sonoma State University, his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Utah, and completing an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Scripps Research Institute, Blagg started a medicinal chemistry lab at the University of Kansas in 2002. Now at Notre Dame, his lab continues its focus on the biochemical nature of chaperone proteins and protein folding in relation to cancer. Cancers are inherently more dependent on chaperone proteins because of their constant division, and Blagg’s team works to selectively inhibit particular chaperone proteins to effectively halt cancer growth. His lab also studies the possibility of utilizing chaperone proteins to effectively re-fold malfunctioning proteins to treat and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Blagg was attracted to Notre Dame because of the University’s ambitious commitment to elevate its graduate programs. Since becoming a faculty member, he has found Notre Dame’s unique atmosphere—one that includes a caring and personable administration, a strong alumni base, and a passion for knowledge—to be liberating and intellectually exciting. When not at work, Dr. Blagg enjoys watching the Irish football team and spending time with his children.
Prof. Iwao Ojima
Stony Brook University, USA
Title: Drug Design, Discovery and Preclinical Development of Anticancer Agents, Targeting Microtubules and Fatty Acid Binding Proteins
Iwao Ojima received his B.S. (1968), M.S. (1970), and Ph.D. (1973) degrees from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He joined the Sagami Institute of Chemical Research and held a position as Senior Research Fellow until 1983. He joined the faculty at the Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook first as Associate Professor (1983), was promoted to Professor (1984), Leading Professor (1991), and then to University Distinguished Professor (1995). He served as the Department Chairman from1997 to 2003. He serves as the founding Director for the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (ICB&DD) at Stony Brook from 2003. Also, he was a Visiting Professor at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, France (1989), The University of Tokyo, Japan (1996), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA (1997), and Université de Paris XI, BIOCIS, Châtenay-Malabry, France (1997).

His research interests include medicinal chemistry and chemical biology (anticancer agents, tumortargeted drug delivery, antibacterial agents, enzyme inhibitors), catalytic asymmetric synthesis, organic synthesis by means of organometallic reagents and catalysts, peptidomimetics, β-lactam chemistry (applications of the β-lactam synthon method), and organofluorine chemistry (fluoroamino acids and peptides, fluorotaxoids, medicinal applications). He has published more than 500 papers and reviews in leading journals and more than l00 patents granted (42 US patents), edited 10 books (SciFinder lists >1,000 publications to his credits, Google Scholar indicates h-index of 87, total citation >34,500 by June 2023), and he has given more than 135 Plenary and Invited Lectures in international conferences and symposia by June 2023.

He is a recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1994), the E. B. Hershberg Award (for important discovery of medicinally active substances) (2001), the ACS Award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry (2013) and the Ernest Guenther Award (in the chemistry of natural products)(2019) from the American Chemical Society; The Chemical Society of Japan Award (for distinguished achievements) (2000) from the Chemical Society of Japan; Outstanding Inventor Award (2002) from the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. He was inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame, American Chemical Society (2006).

He is an elected Fellow of the J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1995), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1997), The New York Academy of Sciences (2000), the American Chemical Society (2010), National Academy of Inventors (2014) and European Academy of Sciences(2020).He has served in various advisory committees for National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of General Medical Sciences), National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Division of Organic Chemistry and the Long Range Planning Committee for the Division of Medicinal Chemistry, American Chemical Society. He has organized and chaired numerous international and award symposiums at the American Chemical Society National Meetings.

He has served and has been serving as Editorial Advisory Board member of Journal of Organic Chemistry, Organometallics, Journal of Molecular Catalysis, Chemistry Letters, Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, and Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan. He serves as the Senior Editor of “Future Medicinal Chemistry” and the Chief Editor of “Frontiers in Chemistry: Organic Chemistry”.
Prof. Vladimir R. Muzykantov
University of Pennsylvania, USA
Title: Vascular targeting nanomedicine agents to endothelial and blood cells
Vladimir Muzykantov received an MD (Internal Medicine) in 1980 from the First Moscow Medical School. In 1980 he embarked on the training and research in drug delivery in the Institute of Experimental Cardiology in the National Cardiology Research Center, Moscow. In 1985 he got PhD in Medical Sciences (Biochemistry) from this research center and till 1993 he conducted research on vascular drug delivery in the same institution. Muzykantov moved to PENN in 1993 and in 2010 became a Full Tenured Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics. In 2010 he established the Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine (CT3N) at PENN, which he co-directs with Andrew Tsourkas. Since 2022 he is the Scientific Director of Nanocarrier Targeting Core and the Leader of Targeting LNP Theme in PENN RNA Innovation Institute. For nearly four decades, Muzykantov’s research encompasses diverse aspects of vascular delivery and targeting of biological and other pharmacological agents for improvement of medical treatment of the vascular, hematologic, neurologic, cardiologic and respiratory maladies with focus on inflammation, thrombosis and acute ischemia (organ transplantation, myocardial infarction and stroke). He published ~280 papers and edited a book “Biomedical Aspects of Drug Targeting” (Kluwer, 2003). Muzykantov is a co-inventor on about 20 granted US Patents and about the same number of applications for US and other countries patents. Honors include: AHA Established Investigator (1996), AHA Bugher Stroke Award (2000), Chair of Transatlantic Airway Conference Targeting Molecular Signatures in Lungs (Luzerne, 2009), Co-Chairing Gordon Conference on Drug Carriers (2012) and HLBI Division of Lung Diseases Workshop “Precision Therapeutics Delivery for Lung Diseases” (2014). Muzykantov gave numerous Invited, Keynote and Plenary talks at national and international conferences. In 2022, he was elected to College of the Fellows, International Controlled Release Society. In 2023 Muzykantov gave 2nd Annual Willem Mulder Lecture in Mt. Sinai Medical Center, NYC. Muzykantov is a member of the PENN Graduate Groups in Pharmacology (PGG) since 1999 and Bioengineering since 2005. He served as the PGG Chair for two terms, in 2006-2012. In 2012 Muzykantov was awarded Dr. Jane Glick’s Award for Graduate Teaching and the PGG Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2023, Muzykantov has been appointed inaugural the Founders Endowed Chair Professor of Nanoparticles Research at.
Prof. Abdelwahab Omri
Laurentian University, Canada
Title: Exploring the Prospects and Hurdles in Utilizing Liposomes for Antibiotic Delivery in Pulmonary Infections.
Dr. Omri currently holds the distinguished position of full Professor within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, with an interdisciplinary affiliation encompassing the Department of Biology, the Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. Program, and the School of Rural and Northern Health Ph.D. program. With an extensive career spanning over three decades, he has been a prominent figure in the realm of vaccine and drug delivery research. Dr. Omri's pioneering work has significantly influenced the advancement of liposome and nanomedicine technologies for anti-infective pharmaceuticals. He boasts a portfolio of over 175 peer-reviewed publications and holds inventorship status for three patented innovations. Dr. Omri is a sought-after keynote speaker at both national and international symposia, further underscoring his eminence in the field. Beyond his research accolades, he plays an instrumental role in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in research pursuits. His engagement extends to administrative leadership in numerous domestic and global scientific societies. Additionally, he lends his expertise to Editorial Boards and Granting Agencies across Canada and abroad.
Prof. Bożena Kamińska-Kaczmarek
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Poland
Title: Novel synthetic tools to reprogram tumor microenvironment and improve immunotherapy
Professor Bozena Kaminska (PhD) is head of Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology at the Nencki Institute (Warsaw, Poland) with interests in transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying brain tumor pathogenesis and neuroinflammation. Since 2009 she is the director of the Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw. Her international training encompasses a postdoctoral internship at the McGill University in Montreal, a visiting researcher at the Brain Research Institute at UCLA in Los Angeles and the visiting Nanshan Scholar professorship at the Medical University of Guangzhou, China. She is an elected member of the Polish Academy of Sciences (2016) and EMBO (2022). She was a principal investigator in 44 domestic and international research grants, including the National Science Center Maestro, Harmonia, Symphony, OPUS grants, National Center for Research and Development Strategmed 1, 2, 3, Foundation for Polish Science (Master, Team-Tech Core Facility), ERANET and Horizon Miss-Cancer 001 grants. She supervised 27 PhD students. Her achievements include 147 scientific publications and 10 chapters in books. In 2021 she received a prestigious Foundation of Polish Science Award.
Prof. Arun K. Ghosh
Purdue University, USA
Title: Protein Backbone Binding - A Powerful Molecular Design Strategy to Combat Drug-Resistant HIV
Professor Arun Ghosh received his B. S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Calcutta and obtained a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh for his graduate studies, obtaining his PhD degree in chemistry. He pursued postdoctoral research at Harvard University. He was a research fellow at Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA. In 1994, he then joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Illinois, Chicago as an assistant Professor and became Professor of Chemistry in 1998. In 2005, he moved to Purdue University where he is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemistry and also Department of Medicinal Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology.

Professor Ghosh’s broad research interests include exploration of chemistry and biology of bioactive natural products, development of tools and strategies for protein structure-based molecular design, drug-discovery and development, and exploration of new reactions and their applications. He is the inventor of the frontline therapy, Darunavir for treatment of HIV/AIDS. His laboratory carried out seminal groundwork for BACE inhibitor design and synthesis for treatment of Alzheimers’ Disease. His work also laid the foundation for X-ray structure-based design and synthesis of potent drug-like inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and SARS-COV-2 PLpro for treatment of pathogenic coronaviruses.

Professor Ghosh received several awards and honors including, Herbert Newby McCoy Research Excellence Award, IUPAC-Richter Prize in Medicinal Chemistry, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame, NIH MERIT Award, ACS Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award, ACS Robert Scarborough Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry Award, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Prof. Amar Natarajan
University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
Title: Complementary strategies to target the NF-kappaB pathway proteins for cancer therapy
Amar Natarajan, Ph.D., Ruth Branham Professor, Eppley Institute and Leads the Targets Modulators and Delivery Program, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center within the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Natarajan completed his B.S. in Chemistry at Madras Christian College and earned his M.S. in Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras. Dr. Natarajan obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Vermont and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Natarajan started his independent career as an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2005 and moved to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in 2009. The Natarajan lab is broadly interested in developing small molecules (reversible inhibitors, covalent binders, and degraders) that perturb disease relevant targets in a target- and mechanism-specific manner.