This course type is lecture

Practical Aspects of Small Molecule Drug Discovery: At the Interface of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacology

17 - 22 June 2018Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Application Deadline Closed

  • Summary

    Increasingly, scientists across disciplines in leading research
    institutions, and small and medium-sized companies are expanding from
    their strength into early-stage drug discovery. However, this transition
    requires successfully combining multiple disciplines including
    biochemistry, medicinal and computational chemistry, pharmacokinetics,
    pharmacology and project management, the breadth of which can present
    organisational, knowledge and competence challenges for institutions and

    This biennial lecture- and discussion-based course is highly interactive
    and provides scientists of all disciplines with a broad introduction to
    the theoretical, practical and organisational aspects of small molecule
    drug discovery.

    Each topic-based lecture mixes presentations with discussion sessions and
    case histories to develop the key aspects highlighted in the talk.
    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 and scientific strategy.

    Feedback from the 2016 course

    “Great opportunity to meet participants from across the globe, some
    of whom may become collaborators or colleagues!!”
    “Thanks for a great course. My first at Wellcome and if all are run like
    this I will be coming back for more!”
    “Thank you for giving me the rare opportunity to learn from experts in
    the field. The distilled wisdom gained from the life long experience of
    the experts is highly beneficial for my future work and decision making
    “Great, well run course. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot.”
    “Wish to thank the organizers for providing me with this opportunity to
    attend this fantastic course!”
    “The course was outstanding and provided the perfect entry point into the
    drug discovery process.”
    “The course is beyond expectation.”
    “Fantastic course — very well run with outstanding lectures.”

  • Programme

    The week-long programme will include lectures and discussions covering
    the following topics:

    • Project management and organisation of multi-disciplinary projects
    • Target discovery and validation
    • Hit discovery options
    • Fragment based drug discovery
    • Phenotypic screening and mode of action elucidation
    • Screening set selection, storage and quality control
    • Screening cascades, assay development and quality control
    • Data mining
    • Introduction to pharmacokinetics
    • Principles of compound optimisation and case histories
    • In silico approaches to drug design
    • Intellectual property strategy
    • Data packages required for out licensing and partnering
    • An introduction to preclinical and clinical development

    Learning Outcomes
    After attending the course, participants will be able to:

    • Describe the overall drug discovery process and its relationship to the participants’ specific disciplines.
    • Explain the major technical aspects of the drug discovery process, starting with target selection to compound screening to designing lead candidates
    • Describe and evaluate current modern drug discovery concepts (which attempt to identify high quality drug candidates) using either a target-based or phenotypic approach to tackle the related disease
    • Compare  multiple drug discovery tools and methods used for finding, identifying and designing a new drug
    • Identify the pre-clinical steps to gain assurance that it is safe and appropriate to initiate clinical evaluation of the candidate
    • Assess and evaluate the processes, chemistry and formulation aspects which impact on early drug development
    • Explain the clinical development process
    • Recognise the commercial importance of intellectual property
  • Instructors / Speakers

    Course Directors
    Paul Wyatt
    Director of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research, Head of the
    Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee, UK
    Mary Donnelly
    MDPharmasolutions, ex-GSK

    Guest Lecturers
    Each course is presented by a prestigious panel of guest lecturers from
    industry, academia and leading not-for-profit organisations. Guest
    lecturers in previous years have included senior representatives with
    experience of working for multiple major Pharma, Biotech and Contract
    Research companies, including:

    • Pfizer
    • GlaxoSmithKline
    • AstraZeneca
    • Astex Pharmaceuticals
    • Charles River Laboratories
    • European Bioinformatics Institute
    • Medical Research Council Technology
    • University of Dundee
    • Albany Regulatory Consulting Limited
    • Imperial College
  • How to Apply

    Applications are invited from academic or commercial backgrounds in
    relevant fields, e.g:

    • new postdoctoral recruits to already established facilities
    • postdoctoral grade researchers in small or medium sized companies
    • senior investigators considering entering the field
    • recipients, and their staff, of Seeding Drug Discovery project funding
    • established investigators seeking further professional development

    can be submitted online
    . Places are limited and will be awarded on
    merit. If you have any problems with the online application process,
    please contact

    Please note: Applications
    must be supported by a
    recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor,
    line manager, or head of department). A request for a supporting
    statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during
    the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor
    provides this supporting statement by the application deadline.
    Applications without a supporting statement cannot be


    Travel visas
    Please contact the
    event organiser if you require a letter to support a travel visa
    application to the UK. Note that letters will only be provided to confirmed attendees.

    Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a
    visa to enter the UK.
    Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks
    or longer.

    Please visit the following websites for further information:
    UK Border Agency website and information for general visitors and business

  • Cost / Bursaries

    The course is subsidised by the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses
    and Scientific Conferences Programme. This is a residential course and
    the fee is £640, including all accommodation and meals.

    Limited bursaries are
    available (up to a 50% reduction of the course
    fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a
    please complete the bursary section of the online application

    Please note that both the applicant
    and sponsor are required to provide
    a justification for the
    bursary as part of the application.

    Additional funding opportunities
    our Funding webpage
    for additional funding opportunities currently

    Bursary terms and conditions

    UK Courses (held at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton,
    limited number of bursaries are available for each course. These are
    awarded by the selection committee according to merit. The bursary
    covers a maximum of 50% of the course fee, though in exceptional
    circumstances an application for the total course fee may be considered.
    Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may
    issue smaller amounts. We cannot assist with travel costs to attend UK