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LTN Event Explored Exciting Advancements in Drug Discovery

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The event - “Technology Developments in Drug Discovery: Advancements and Challenges in Structural Biology” was held at The Royal Institution of Great Britain on Wednesday 26 October, and attracted industry leaders and researchers from across London and the South-East.

The London Technology Network event focussed specifically on techniques such as X-ray crystallography, which in the last two decades has created major new advancements in drug discovery.

The event highlighted the latest research as well as exploring the ongoing challenges and bottlenecks facing the industry.

The event was hosted by Professor David Moss of Birkbeck College, University of London, with speakers presenting a variety of industry and academic perspectives.

Professor So Iwata of Imperial College London addressed the challenge of membrane protein targets – and outlined exciting new techniques for solving GPCR structures.

Dr Jeff Yon of Astex assessed the technical challenges facing the new company, and highlighted the importance of academic collaborations, while Dr Richard Pauptit of AstraZeneca analysed how structural biology capabilities are used within a multinational pharmaceutical company.

The event was also an opportunity for academic scientists to present the latest research in the area to industry leaders, in the form of posters displayed on the night and through networking.

Nine posters on the newest technologies were presented by LTN Business Fellows from institutions such as Imperial College and the University College London.

Simon Gibbons and Robert Harvey of The School of Pharmacy, University of London presented a poster of their work on novel antibacterials from plants to be used in fighting MRSA.

Kimberly Watson of the Biocentre at the University of Reading showcased the latest advancements in mass spectrometry and large-scale fermentation, while Célia Plisson from the School of Crystallography at Birkbeck, University of London showed new ways of solving protein expression problems.

The next LTN event will be held on 23 November on the subject of Grid Computing and Web Services.