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Chemical biology symposium 2024

13 May 2024, London and online, United Kingdom

Poster abstract submission extended until 18 March 2024.

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 event covers cutting edge topics in 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 all participants, particularly PhD students who are in their final year of study (at the time of submission), postdoctoral researchers and early career academics.


Natalie Ahn, University of Colorado Boulder, United States

Natalie Ahn is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder.  She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied mechanistic enzymology in the lab of Judith Klinman. She then carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington with Edwin Krebs, where she discovered MAP kinase kinases (aka MKKs or MEKs), key regulators of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway, which are important targets for anti-cancer therapies. Her laboratory investigates new mechanisms underlying the regulation and function of cell signaling, by integrating biochemical, biophysical, and cellular strategies with biomolecular analysis by mass spectrometry.  She elucidated enzymatic and cellular mechanisms underlying cell signaling events and pioneered the use of functional proteomics and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry for signal transduction research. Research projects include identification of cellular targets downstream of oncogenic B-Raf/MAPK pathways in cancer, and biophysical studies combining hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry with NMR to investigate how MAP kinases are regulated at the level of conformational mobility and dynamics. Dr. Ahn was appointed as an HHMI Investigator from 1994-2014, has served as President of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the U.S. Human Proteome Organization, and is a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Tom Brown, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Tom Brown is Professor of Nucleic Acid Chemistry at Oxford University. He works on applications of nucleic acids in biology and medicine (diagnostics and therapeutics). He is co-inventor of technologies for genetic analysis and is co-founder of three Biotech companies: Oswel (custom oligonucleotide synthesis) ATDBio (synthesis of modified oligonucleotides) and Primer Design (DNA-based diagnostics). His current interests are in the areas of gene editing, chemical modification of mRNA, and developing new artificial DNA backbones to improve the properties of therapeutic oligonucleotides. He has published over 450 research papers and patents in the nucleic acid field.
Awards include the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Josef Loschmidt prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry prizes for Nucleic Acid Chemistry and for Interdisciplinary Research, and the RSC Khorana Prize for work at the chemistry and life science interface. Tom was Chemistry World entrepreneur of the year in 2014 and BBSRC Innovator of the Year in 2016.

Akane Kawamura, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Akane is a Professor of Chemical Biology at Newcastle University, and currently holds a joint appointment with the Department of Chemistry at University of Oxford. She is a Director of Oxford-GSK-Crick Chemical Biology Centre for Doctoral Training and Chemistry in Cells Wellcome PhD Program. After obtaining an MChem in Chemistry and a DPhil in Pharmacology from Oxford, she worked in the biotech sector in drug discovery before returning to academia to work with Prof. Chris Schofield FRS at University of Oxford. She was awarded a BHF CRE Senior Fellowship in 2012 and a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2013, with her inter-disciplinary team working across the Department of Chemistry and Radcliffe Department of Medicine at Oxford. She joined Newcastle University in 2019. Her research focuses on the use of chemical biology approaches, including small molecule and peptide-based probes, to study biomedically important processes such as epigenetics.

Morten Meldal, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Morten Meldal is a Danish chemist and professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He was awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, alongside Barry Sharpless and Carolyn Bartozzi, for the groundbreaking development of ‘Click chemistry and biorthogonal chemistry’.  He also received the 2009 American Chemical Society Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in peptide chemistry, as well as the 2011 Vincent du Vigneaud Award of the American Peptide Society.
Meldal obtained his MSc in chemical engineering and PhD, under the supervision of Klaus Bock, from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Meldal’s PhD work focused on synthesis of carbohydrates, and after working as a postdoctoral fellow in organic chemistry at Cambridge University, he was professor and manager of a research synthesis group at Carlsberg Research Laboratory. In 2011, Meldal became professor at the Department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen, where he headed the CECB research center within the field of chemical biology, with focus on peptide and combinatorial chemistry. Meldal co-founded three companies, Combio, Versamatrix, and Betamab Therapeutics ApS, which utilized the SPOCC and CECB platforms in biotechnological and pharmacological research and development.
Throughout Meldal’s career, his research has had innovative influences on methods in peptide and combinatorial chemistry. His involvement in method development of solid-phase and combinatorial peptide synthesis, as well as development of the CuAAc Click reaction, have become mainstream methods for application in bioorganic and organic synthesis.

Steven D. Townsend, Vanderbilt University, United States

Steve was born and raised in Detroit and completed his undergraduate education at Oakland University in Michigan.  After completing PhD studies at Vanderbilt University, Steve completed postdoctoral training in the Danishefsky labs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia University.  Since 2014, Steve has been on the faculty at Vanderbilt where he is currently Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. His research interest lie in glycobiology and organic synthesis.

Stephen Wallace, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Stephen Wallace is Professor of Chemical Biotechnology at the Institute for Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He obtained an MChem in Medicinal and Biological Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh and a DPhil in Organic Chemistry from the University of Oxford. He has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Harvard University, MIT and the University of Cambridge. His research interests span the study and manipulation of microbial chemistry for use in sustainable chemical synthesis. 

Abstract Submission
Posters will be displayed throughout the meeting in-person only.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Poster abstract submission extended until 18 March 2024.

In-person registration includes:

  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch
  • Attendance at the drinks reception
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
In-person registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Early bird Standard
Member £65 £75
Non-member £80 £90
Student member £40 £50
Student non-member £55 £65
Accompanying person £40 £40

Virtual registration includes:​
  • Live access to all scientific sessions
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
Virtual registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Member £25
Non-member £35
Student member £15
Student non-member £20


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.
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Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Researcher Development & Travel Grants

If you are an RSC ember and you are one of the following:
  • a PhD student actively undertaking a PhD course in the chemical sciences;
  • a researcher in the chemical sciences (including post docs, research technicians and research assistants), working in academia, industry or any sector, within 10 years of leaving full time education (at the time of the application deadline).
You can apply for up to £500 to support your participation in this event.

Please note it is not necessary to have confirmation of abstract acceptance before applying for a Researcher Development and Travel Grant and we encourage you to apply as early as possible.
Please see the website for up-to-date information on eligibility, how to apply and submission deadlines.
Researcher Development and Travel Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Grants for carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the Chemical biology symposium.

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

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

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London and online, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

The Burlington House (Royal Academy) courtyard is located on the north side of Piccadilly, directly across the street from Fortnum and Mason. The Royal Society of Chemistry is located on the right hand side of the Burlington House courtyard.


By underground: The nearest stations are Green Park or Piccadilly Circus; both are a 5-minute walk to the venue. If you use Green Park please leave via Piccadilly Northside and look for the Royal Academy entrance, turn left out of the station, you will see the red flags of Burlington House ahead of you.

By train: London Kings Cross, London Liverpool Street or London Victoria train stations are the most accessible and then require a short tube journey to the venue You can take either the Piccadilly or Victoria line to Green Park or Piccadilly tube stations and only the Victoria line to Green Park from Victoria station

By coach: National Express operates a comprehensive coach service to most parts of the country from Victoria Coach Station, 164 Buckingham Palace Road, Sw1W 9TP
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