Chemical Biology Symposium 2021

10 May 2021 08:00 - 11 May 2021 18:00

The Royal Society of Chemistry is pleased to announce that this event will be moving online.


This symposium will showcase the state of the art in chemical biology, bringing together the wider community with leading national and international experts in the field. The programme will explore all aspects of chemical biology and highlight the wider scope and impact of the field. Additional aims of the event are to stimulate research collaboration, networking and engagement within the chemical biology community, as well as with those in related disciplines.
This event will include a poster session, providing an opportunity for early career researchers to share and discuss their recent research advances and to network with others delegates. Abstracts are welcomed from PhD students who are in their final year of study (at the time of submission), postdoctoral researchers and early career academics.
Justin Benesch, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Justin’s research has garnered an international reputation for innovative biophysical chemistry approaches based on combining mass measurement with other experimental methods, simulations, and quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic analyses. This has allowed him and his group to change our thinking as to how proteins assemble, interact, and even evolve.

After a degree in Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Justin obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge for the development and application of novel mass spectrometry approaches. He was awarded fellowships from the Medical Research Council and Royal Society, and appointed to faculty at the University of Oxford in 2012 as an Associate Professor in Biophysical Chemistry, and Tutorial Fellow in Physical Chemistry at University College. Justin has been recognised by the Cell Stress Society International with the Alfred Tissières Award, the Howard Prize Lecture from the Biophysical Sciences Institute at Durham, and the Norman Heatley Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2019.

His group’s research impacts broadly the interface between chemistry and the life sciences. Their insights have been important to understanding molecular chaperone (mal)function in humans, and the stress tolerance of plants; and their innovations in mass measurement approaches have provided new means for researchers to quantify biomolecules and their interactions.

Benjamin Cravatt, The Scripps Research Institute, United States

Dr. Cravatt is a Professor and the Norton B. Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. His research group is interested in developing chemical proteomic technologies that enable protein and drug discovery on a global scale and applying these methods to characterize proteins that play important roles in human physiology and disease, especially as pertains to the nervous system and cancer.  Dr. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a B.S. in the Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History.  He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996.   Professor Cravatt joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997. Dr. Cravatt is an Associate Editor for JACS and is a co-founder of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics, and Vividion Therapeutics. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, the ASBMB Merck Award, and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences.

Laura Kiessling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Laura Kiessling is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the Novartis Professor of Chemistry at MIT. Her interdisciplinary research interests focus on elucidating and exploiting the mechanisms of cell surface recognition processes, especially those involving protein-glycan interactions. She and her lab also maintain an interest in multivalency and its role in recognition, signal transduction, and direction of cell fate.
Kiessling is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Member of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Wisconsin Academy of the Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences.  Since 2005 she has served as the founding Editor-In-Chief of the journal ACS Chemical Biology. She is an author of over 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, and an inventor on more than 28 US patents. She is a member of the Research Advisory Board of GlaxoSmithKline, the Yale University Council, and the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Her honors and awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the ACS Gibbs Medal, and, most recently, the Tetrahedron Prize.
Professor Kiessling received an Sc.B. degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she performed undergraduate research in organic synthesis with Professor Bill Roush. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University for her research with Stuart L. Schreiber. After two years at the California Institute of Technology as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow with Peter B Dervan, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1991. There she became the Steenbock Professor of Chemistry, the Laurens Anderson Professor of Biochemistry, and the Director of the Keck Center for Chemical Genomics. In 2017, she returned to MIT as the Novartis Professor of Chemistry.

Fiona Marshall, MSD, United Kingdom

Fiona has 30 years of experience in drug discovery working in the Pharma and Biotech sector. Fiona is SVP Discovery, Preclinical and Translational Medicine at MSD.  Fiona joined MSD to establish the new Discovery Research Centre in London and held the position of Head of Neuroscience.  Fiona was CSO and founder of Heptares Therapeutics a Biotech company focused on structure- based drug design.  Fiona is known for her work in the field of G protein-coupled receptors. Fiona won the 2012 WISE Women of Outstanding Achievement for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the 2015 RSC Malcolm Campbell Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Alanna Schepartz, UC Berkeley, United States

Alanna Schepartz is the C.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Chair in the departments of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research group studies the chemistry and biology of complex cellular machines and exploits this knowledge to design or discover molecules–both small and large–with unique or useful properties. Dr. Schepartz obtained her undergraduate education in chemistry at the State University of New York, Albany. She earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University under the direction of Ronald Breslow, and spent two years as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech working with Peter Dervan. Professor Schepartz joined the faculty at Yale in 1988 and was named a Sterling Professor, Yale’s highest honor, in 2017. In 2019 Professor Schepartz and her laboratory moved to the University of California, Berkeley. Her honors include a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, an ACS Cope Scholar Award, the ACS Chemical Biology Prize, the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry, the Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, the Frank H. Westheimer Prize, and the Wheland Medal. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Gerrit Poelarends, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Gerrit Poelarends is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. His research group is interested in the discovery and design of novel biocatalysts and biosynthetic pathways for the production of pharmaceuticals and food additives, with a strong focus on biologically active noncanonical amino acids. Professor Poelarends obtained his undergraduate education in Biological Sciences at the University of Groningen, where he performed undergraduate research in Molecular Microbiology with Wil Konings. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the same university for his research with Dick Janssen, and spent almost three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin working with Christian Whitman. Professor Poelarends joined the faculty at the University of Groningen in 2006 and was promoted to full professor in 2017. He is a member of the board of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy and programme leader of the Biopharmaceuticals: Discovery, Design and Delivery programme within the Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration. Throughout his career, Professor Poelarends has been involved in multi-disciplinary research consortia and public–private partnership initiatives. He has been elected and entrusted by his international peers to fulfil the role of chair of diverse scientific societies and conferences, such as the Amine Biocatalysis 5.0 Conference 2022 and the Gordon Research Conference on Biocatalysis 2022.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the virtual sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the networking sessions
Registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Type Cost
RSC Member* £20.83
Non Member** £29.17
RSC Student Member £8.33
Student Non Member  £12.50

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry for 2021 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 
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Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the Chemical biology symposium 2021.

As well as booking a virtual exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor poster sessions or advertise in the abstract book. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Chemical biology symposium 2021, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
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