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Chemical Biology – New approaches in Drug Discovery
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3155-23-00-00There are 5 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 25/08/2023
Date and time02.10.2023, at: 08:30 - 13.10.2023, at: 16:00
Regular seats16
Course fee12,720.00 kr.
LecturersStephan Pless
ECTS credits10.00
Contact personMarianne Wieslander Jørgensen    E-mail address: marianne.joergensen@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD Students from NorDoc member universities. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from NorDoc member universities. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Learning objectives
This lecture course is a biennial, stimulating and up-to-date PhD course that aims at providing an overview of the basic principles of chemical biology and at the same time feature existing and emerging drug modalities emerging from this field. Chemical biology is a multidisciplinary research area that combines scientific ideas and approaches of chemistry, biology, medicine and related disciplines to understand and manipulate biological systems with molecular precision. This will be complemented by highlighting a broad range of drug modalities that are being used in the clinic, as drug discovery leads or as tool compounds for mechanistic studies. Examples of drug modalities include small molecules, peptides, nucleic acids, antibodies, as well as conjugates or biomimetic compounds.

The course is primarily aimed at PhD students working within chemistry at the interface to biological, pharmaceutical and medical sciences. The course also includes a symposium on “Hot topics in chemical biology” that features internationally recognized speakers.
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Understand basic principles, concepts and methods in chemical biology and how chemical perturbation of biological systems can increase the understanding of complex mechanisms.
2. Understand concepts and methods of using different drug modalities as tools for identification and unraveling biological activity or to endow them with novel properties.
3. Understand the generation and application of a broad spectrum of drug modalities. This includes a thorough understanding of the role of small molecules, carbohydrates, peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and biomimetics in pharmaceutical research.
4. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish and compare different drug modalities and recognize new trends in chemical biology approaches, e.g. protein engineering.

Introduction to basic principles of chemical biology and an overview of established and emerging drug modalities. This involves up-to-date examples of approaches merging chemistry and biology in academic and pharmaceutical research; in-depth examples of drug discovery and development based on a broad spectrum of drug modalities, including small molecules, biomacromolecules (peptides, antibodies, RNA/DNA-based drugs and vaccines), biopolymers and derivatives thereof.

PhD students with a good knowledge of chemistry and/or working at the interface of chemistry with biological, pharmaceutical and medical sciences. Also, individuals from the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, who seek introduction to new concepts and to broaden their view on modern trends in chemical biology and drug modalities.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:
- All graduate programmes


Lectures, discussions, group work and a mandatory participation in the symposium “Hot Topics in Chemical Biology”. Formulation and presentation of a relevant scientific problem within basic principles of chemical biology and drug modalities, a written report in ‘Grant application style’ and an oral defence of the final grant application. In addition, we will have a 'Science slam’ module, in which course participants pitch their PhD projects and a ‘Journal Club’, where the participants will read, critically analyse and present in groups for all participant and the course directors.

After the course, we expect each participant to spend approximately 2 weeks writing the scientific report and 10 hours for the one-day defence seminar.

Course director
Professors Kristian Strømgaard, Stephan Pless and Joseph Rogers
Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Universitetsparken 2, 2100 Copenhagen Ø
E-mails: kristian.stromgaard@sund.ku.dk, stephan.pless@sund.ku.dk, and joseph.rogers@sund.ku.dk

Professor Kristian Strømgaard and Professor Stephan Pless are anchor men for this course. Additional lectures will be presented by a number of leading national and international experts in the field of chemical biology and combinatorial chemistry. In the past these have included:

Kathrin Lang, ETH Zurich – Yael David, Sloan Kettering – Carsten Behrens, Novo Nordisk – Thomas B Poulsen, Aarhus University – Lotte B. Knudsen, Novo Nordisk – Rolf Breinbauer, Graz University of Technology – Petrine Wellendorph, University of Copenhagen – Thomas Høeg-Jensen, Novo Nordisk – Knud J. Jensen, University of Copenhagen – Kurt Gothelf, Aarhus University – Tom Muir, Princeton University - Ulf Nilsson, Lund University– Angela Russell, Oxford University– Jesper Wengel, University of Southern Denmark, Odense – Thomas Carell, LMU Munich - Helma Wennermers, ETH Zürich – Christian Adam Olsen, University of Copenhagen – Dorothea Fiedler, FMP Berlin.

2-13 October 2023, following individual scientific report writing and a mandatory one-day defence seminar on 6 December 2023. The workload has been set at 10 ECTS corresponding to approximately 250 hours

Course location
FARMA, Universitetsparken 2/Jagtvej 160, 2100 Copenhagen

Please register before 25 August 2023.

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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