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Drug Discovery for Parasitic Diseases
24/01/2016 - 28/01/2016
Parasitic organisms, including protozoa and helminths, are among the most significant human pathogens, causing billions of infections and millions of deaths each year. For many parasitic diseases, available therapies are unsatisfactory and increasingly threatened by drug resistance. New therapies, ideally directed against novel targets, are urgently needed. Recent advances in anti-parasitic drug discovery have come from three different approaches – target-based methods that build on improved understanding of parasite biology; phenotypic high-throughput screens that are benefitting from improved technology; and repositioning and repurposing drugs developed for other indications. These different approaches all benefit from the integration of medicinal chemistry with parasitology and pharmacotherapy programmes. This conference will showcase cutting-edge anti-parasitic drug discovery programs that illustrate the path from parasite biology to lead identification and from optimisation to candidate selection. It will emphasise the need for coordinated integration of programs in medicinal chemistry, parasite biology, pharmacokinetics and safety assessment. It will feature emerging technologies such as chemical biology, chemoproteomics, chemical informatics, genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics that are facilitating drug discovery. It will also discuss the current status of anti-parasitic drug resistance and advances in our understanding of mechanisms of resistance. The conference should be of interest to medicinal chemists, parasitologists, experts in drug discovery and development, pharmacologists and clinicians targeting the protozoa and helminths that cause serious human disease, including malaria, African and American trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis and multiple other parasitic infections.