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Invited Lecture

Discovery and Development of Antiviral Therapeutics for Emerging and Neglected Viral Infections

Dr. Tomas Cihlar
Vice President of Virology at Gilead Sciences, San Francisco Bay Area, USA

Tomas Cihlar holds a position of Vice President, Virology, at Gilead. After earning his PhD in Biochemistry at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague, Czech Republic in 1994, Tomas joined Gilead as Postdoctoral Fellow and later as Research Scientist, supporting the discovery and development of antivirals including HIV medications such as tenofovir, one of the leading HIV drugs, and its combinations. At Gilead, Tomas is currently overseeing research on all antivirals.





Plenary Lecture

Cargo-dependent mode of drug uptake with improved efficacy and bioavailability: the design and evaluation of target cell selective transporters and drug-conjugates
Prof. Szilvia Bősze
MTA-ELTE Research Group of Peptide Chemistry, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Hungary
Detailed CV is available here.







Plenary Lecture

Chasing target essentiality in the search for new antibacterials

Prof. Gabriele Costantino
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Director, University of Parma, Department of Food and Drugs-University of Parma, Italy

Gabriele Costantino is professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Parma, where he is also Director of the Department of Food and Drugs.

Gabriele has been President, and he is now past-president, of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society (2015-2017); Gabriele also served as member of the executive committee of the EFMC. He is currently member of the board of the Division of Life Sciences of the EucheMS. Author of more than 140 publications, Gabriele is interested in the design and synthesis of new antibacterials and in the scouting of botanicals and nutraceuticals as novel ingredients for food and medicines.



Plenary Lecture

Challenges in design of novel treatment options in inflammatory bowel diseases employing gold and silver
Prof. Jakub Fichna 
Medical Univerzity Lodz, Poland
Pharmacist, pharmacologist and gastroenterologist. Jakub Fichna started his scientific career in the field of neurobiology and behavior (PhD, 2005), to continue his research in the area of gastroenterology (DSc, 2012, Professor, 2016). Trainee, among others, at the University of Basel, Switzerland (2003), University of Rouen, France (2003-2006), Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (2005-2006), University of Calgary, Canada (2008-2010), UCLA San Francisco (2010) and University of Toulouse, France (2012). In 2014 appointed the Head of Department of Biochemistry at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland. Authored more than 210 peer-reviewed publications, focusing principally on novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of functional and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In his studies, employs in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models of gastrointestinal diseases; due to numerous collaborations with university clinics and private healthcare units deeply involved in clinical experiments and processing of patients’ data and material. Former Young Committee Member of United European Gastroenterology (UEG) National Societies Committee and the leader of the UEG Young Talent Group. Recipient of the UEG Rising Star 2016 Award, member of the French Academie Nationale de Pharmacie. Invited lecturer at the Tongji University, Shanghai, China (2017).

Plenary Lecture

New artemisinin hybrid molecules with antileukemik and antimalarial activities
Prof. Manolis Fousteris
Assistant Professor in Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece

Dr. Emmanuel (Manolis) Fousteris is Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. He studied Pharmacy at the University of Patras, Greece. After his graduation in 2000, he continued his postgraduate studies in the field of Medicinal Chemistry completing his MSc Thesis in 2002 and his PhD Thesis in 2005 under the supervision of Assoc. Professor S. Nikolaropoulos.  In October 2005, he moved to Reims, France for a short-term postdoctoral appointment in CNRS-Université de Reims Champagne, Ardenne with Dr. Jacques Muzart, where he was trained on green-chemistry methodologies for the synthesis of medicinally relevant heterocycles. During the years 2006-2007, he worked as postdoctoral scientist and part-time Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece, teaching Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry courses. In November 2007, he joined the group of Prof. Dr. A. Giannis, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Mineralogy, University of Leipzig, Germany, where he worked as postdoctoral researcher on the synthesis of novel bioactive indoloditerpenes and steroidal molecules. In 2009, he was appointed as Lecturer and since 2013, he has been Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Greece. 

His research interests involve the discovery of new bioactive small molecules with anticancer properties. In particular, he is interested in the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of new protein kinase inhibitors, steroidal antiandrogens and C-nor-D-homo steroids as Hedgehog signaling pathway inhibitors. Recently, he also focuses on the discovery of small heterocycles as soluble guanylate cyclase modulators for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and artemisinin hybrid molecules with antileukemic and antiplasmodial activities.
He is author of 35 papers in peer-reviewed journals (h-index: 14, >485 citations, December 2018) and he has more than 80 publications (oral/poster communications) in international and national conferences.
He is a member of Hellenic Society of Medicinal Chemistry (General Secretary, 2011-today).

Plenary Lecture

Substituted or hetero-fused 7-deazapurine nucleoside cytostatics with complex mechanism of action

Prof. Michal Hocek
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS, Prague, Czech Republic

Michal Hocek was born in Benesov (Czechoslovakia) in 1969. He graduated with MSc. from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology in 1993, received his Ph.D. in 1996 at the Czech Academy of Sciences under supervision of Prof. Antonín Holý and performed his postdoc at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium with Prof. Leon Ghosez. In 1998 he joined the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague where he became Group leader since 2003. Since 2011, he has a joint appointment (part-time) as a professor at the Dept. of Organic Chemistry at Charles University in Prague. He received the Alfred Bader Award, the Wichterle Premium and the Praemium Academiae and is an elected member of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic. His research interests include the use of organic synthesis and organometallic chemistry in modification of biomolecules, chemistry of nucleosides, nucleotides and nucleic acids, medicinal chemistry, bioorganic and bioconjugate chemistry, and chemical biology. More info:


Plenary Lecture

Inhibitors of topoisomerases: from antibacterial to anticancer agents

Assoc. prof. Dr. Janez Ilaš
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Janez Ilaš studied Pharmacy at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, where he obtained a PhD in 2008. He has been an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, since 2013. His research interests are the design, synthesis, and evaluation of small-molecule enzyme inhibitors for different therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases and cancer. He has authored more than 60 papers, and has been involved in academic and EU-funded drug discovery programs (EU FP7 Project MAREX and EU H2020 MSCA-ITN INTEGRATE).




Plenary Lecture

Building-up molecular complexity with carbenoids:  new vistas in homologation chemistry
Dr. Vittorio Pace
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry University of Vienna, Austria
Professorship in Drug Synthesis (actually 2 postdocs, 6 PhDs, 6 postgrads). Main areas of research Development of synthetic methodologies based on the use of organometallic reagents with strong focus on lithium, magnesium and zinc species. Use of α-substituted methylmetal reagents for electrophile homologation processes. Employment of heterocumulene-type reagents as placeholders of the amide bond. Stereocontrol of nucleophilic additions via configurationally stable organolithium reagents.
Academic Career  2014-present Group Leader in Synthetic Chemistry, University of Vienna (Austria), Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Since 2017 – tenure-track 2013-2014 Postdoctoral trainining at the University of Stockholm (Sweden), Department of Organic Chemistry (Prof. B. Olofsson). 2011-2013 Postdoctoral training at the University of Manchester (UK), School of Chemistry (Prof. D. J. Procter). 2010-2011 Postdoctoral training at the University of Vienna (Austria), Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Prof. W. Holzer).
Scientific Awards 2017 Kardinal Innitzer Award – City of Vienna 2016 European Young Chemist Investigator Award 2016 – Representing Austria at EuCheMS, Seville (Spain) 2015 International Vincenzo Caglioti Award 2015 – Italian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei) - Italian President of the Republic 2015 Giacomo Ciamician Medal 2015 – Italian Chemical Society, Division of Organic Chemistry 2015 Young Investigator Award 2015 – University of Vienna, Faculty of Life Sciences 2010 PhD Extraordinary Award – Complutense University of Madrid.

Plenary Lecture

In silico Design of Chemical Modulators for Chromatin Biology

Prof. Yoel Rodríguez
Department of Natural Sciences, Hostos Community College of CUNY, New York, USA

Dr. Yoel Rodríguez is a theoretical biophysicist and Professor of Physics and Chemistry in The City University of New York (CUNY)’s Hostos Community College. He is also a visiting professor of the Pharmacological Sciences Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In addition, he is the Coordinator of the Joint Dual Engineering Degree Program with The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering of CUNY. He received his B.S. degree in Physical Chemistry from Havana University, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Biophysics at The Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. After that, he completed his postdoctoral training at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York in Computational Biophysics. He has published several peer-reviewed research articles and presented at numerous conferences. Dr. Rodríguez’s research is directed toward applying Computational Theoretical Biophysics approaches to a better understanding of fundamental molecular mechanisms in biological processes with implications in cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular diseases. He has received multiple educational and research grants from different agencies, including the National Institute of Health. Dr. Rodríguez has been the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award in the 2016-2017 Academic Year. He has also been awarded the CUNY Chancellor’s Research Fellowship twice, in the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 academic years. Dr. Rodríguez is also captivated by Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) pedagogical research and mentoring of undergraduate students. His mentees have earned multiple awards at undergraduate STEM conferences and several have continued to earn graduate degrees in the field of science and engineering.

Plenary Lecture

The Role(s) of Dipeptidyl Peptidase III in Humans

Prof. Dr. Sanja Tomić
Head of Laboratory for Protein Biochemistry and Molecular Modelling, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

The main subject of her research are biomacromolecules and their interactions in water solutions. One of her favorite research areas is to understand influence of the transition metal ions on the structure and function of proteins. In collaboration with scientists from Faculty of Electronics and Computation she developed the web-based platform for the metal-binding sites in proteins analysis ( The last few years she is mostly working on the zinc dependent peptidases from M49 enzyme family.

She is author of 6 book chapters and 92 research papers published in international journals. Sanja Tomić is head of Laboratory for Protein Biochemistry and Molecular Modelling at Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb ( Also, she gives lessons on molecular modeling of biomacromolecules at Universities of Zagreb and Split.



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