Monthly Newsletter February 2023


Following the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, EFMC would like to express its condolences to the families of the victims, and its support to the scientific community and to the population impacted by this dramatic event.

We have a special thought for the impacted members of the Turkish Association of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, to whom we wish to promptly recover from this disaster.

Rui Moreira
EFMC President


The ACSMEDI | EFMC Medicinal Chemistry Frontiers is co-organised as a collaboration between the ACS (American Chemical Society) MEDI (Division of Medicinal Chemistry) and the EFMC (European Federation for Medicinal chemistry and Chemical biology).

The goal of the symposium is to build and sustain bridges between the European and American Medicinal Chemistry communities. The event will take place on the campus of the Boston University in Boston, MA, United States on June 10-13 with and attractive speakers’ line-up

Calendar of Abstract Submissions

  • Deadline for Early-Bird fee, Oral Communication submission and free Poster submission: March 16 2023
  • Announcement of accepted oral communications: April 25 2023

Abstracts for Posters can still be submitted between March 16 and April 25, but with a handling fee of 50,00€.

Affordable housing options from the Boston University are available at 10 minutes' walk from the conference venue. 10 Buick offers single bedrooms with shared or private bathroom in a 2- or 4-persons apartment with kitchen. Rooms are available on a first-come first-served base, so make sure to book early!

In addition, the EFMC Young Scientists Network (YSN) and the ACSMEDI Young Medicinal Chemists Committee (YMCC) decided to fund up to two grants of 1500€ covering economy flight and up to 3 nights’ accommodation to facilitate the participation of young researchers.


In the 14th edition of the now renowned MedChemBioOnline series, the EFMC Young Scientists Network is aligning with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to offer an exciting programme around “Successful Stories of Women in Science: Inspiring Career Paths”

The event will take place on February 28 between 16:30 and 18:30 CET. Have a look at the programme:

  • Addressing Underexplored Anti-infective Targets
    Prof. Anna K. H. Hirsch (Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutcial Research Saarland, Germany)
  • Science Communication is Not Only for the Public
    Dr Elodie Chabrol (Freelance Science Communicator, France)
  • Round Table Discussion: "Challenges and Opportunities for Women in STEM"
    • Prof. Anna K. H. Hirsch (Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutcial Research Saarland, Germany)
    • Dr Elodie Chabrol (Freelance Science Communicator, France) 
    • Prof. Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska (University of Michigan, United States)
    • Dr Radka Snajdrova (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland)
    • Dr Wendy Young (MPM Capital, United States)

More info and registration on

The event is free and open to everyone thanks to the support of Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.


The “literature spotlight” section of the newsletter will bring you a summary of recently published research in a concise and accessible way. Multiple thematics from different journals will be highlighted thanks to the valuable contribution of members of the EFMC working groups.

This month we would like to highlight the work of Němec et al titled: "Discovery of Potent and Exquisitely Selective Inhibitors of Kinase CK1 with Tunable Isoform Selectivity".

In this work, Němec et al describe research on inhibitors of casein kinases 1 (CK1) - key signaling molecules that have emerged recently as attractive therapeutic targets in particular for the treatment of hematological malignancies.

Němec et al report the identification of a new class of potent and highly selective inhibitors of CK1α, δ and ε. The compound MU1742 efficiently inhibits CK1α and represents the first potent and highly selective inhibitor of this enzyme. Additionally in this work Němec et al demonstrate that the central 1H-pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridine-imidazole pharmacophore can be used as the basis of highly selective inhibitors of other therapeutically relevant protein kinases.

Read the article.


To inspireconnect and provide opportunities to medicinal chemists and chemical biologists in their Early Career, the Young Scientists Network of the EFMC is hosting the second edition of the mentoring programme, aiming to connect motivated students with high-profile mentors.

The mentoring programme is shaped for PhDs (up to 18 months before the end PhD) and Post-docs, who are seeking a career in medicinal chemistry, chemical biology or related fields, either in industry or academia. The main objective is to support their transition into the job market by providing feedback, soft-skill training, and overall guidance. 

More information and mentee application on

Deadline for application is March 1, 2023.

Want to join the programme as a mentor? Reach out to us at


EFMC is funding grants for EFMC organised events with the aim to support the participation of young academic scientists. Upon application, a limited number of grants will be covered by EFMC, corresponding to 5 grants covering the full registration fees for the

  • ACSMEDI-EFMC Medicinal Chemistry Frontiers 2023
    Boston, United States | June 10-13, 2023 
  • IX EFMC International Symposium on Advances in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ASMC 2023) and 10th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists' Symposium (EFMC-YMCS 2023)
    Zagreb, Croatia | September 3-7 & 7-8, 2023 
  • EFMC International Symposium on Chemical Biology (EFMC-ISCB 2023)
    Basel, Switzerland | November 16-18, 2023

To apply for an EFMC grant, please fill in the application form and upload your CV, publication list, abstract, motivation letter, and support letter from the supervisor.

More information, deadlines, and application on


In this edition, our #Iamamedicinalchemist is Prof. Maria Emilia Sousa (University of Porto, Portugal).

Get to know her better by reading the interview below:

How did you get interested in Medicinal Chemistry?

Although I come from a family of Pharmacists (grandmother, mother, aunt, sister) after graduation in Pharmaceutical Sciences I experienced ERASMUS in the lab of Pedro Pérez at University of Huelva; Spain and “fell in love” with organic synthesis. The connection between organic and pharmaceuticals felt “natural” and synthetic. I did my PhD at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto on "Design and synthesis of antitumor xanthones"

I started my academic career along with my PhD project at Porto and after PhD did short trainings at Universidade São Carlos Brazil with Quezia Cass on enantioseparation studies

Where are you currently working and what is your current position?

I’m currently researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR) and Associate Professor with Habilitation of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto.

Mostly besides teaching I’m engage in supervision, administration, outreach activities, capturing financial support, establishing and coordinating collaborations.

How would you explain what your research area is to non-scientists?

Normally, in outreach activities in schools showing some molecular models and useful microorganism in Petri plates helps to explain the drug resistance problem; but to capture the attention of young audiences I choose to show the villains and my student the heroes.

What do you like best about your work?                      

Creativity, the possibility of testing our hypothesis. Particularly in research, a good “chemical toolbox”, with a nice set of reactions, structure elucidation, analysis, and making decisions.

How would you describe yourself as a supervisor?

I currently supervise 2 posdocs, 3 PhD students and co-supervise other 5 PhD. These students are at different stages, finishing and starting and they need my full commitment. I see myself as a facilitator, in overcoming resistance (not bacterial… drawbacks that can appear in the process).

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in your scientific career?

My greatest achievements are normally the last ones… organising a meeting last month gave the opportunity to young researchers of presenting their work and to attend in person after two years of virtual meetings.

Which of your papers are you most proud of and why?

In Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.10.004 we started our focus on overcoming anticancer drug resistance inspired in existing drugs and now we are moving to antimicrobial drug resistance and marine natural products as for example in RSC Advances, 2020, 10, 31187 – 31204

What are the features of a successful PhD student or postdoc?

To embrace Science, not to be closed in their own projects but to share and acquire different knowledge and collaborations.

What would you like to ask from other medicinal chemists?

Collaborations, strong and focus collaborations are cherished.

Have you experienced any unfair situations during your scientific career?

Not really…but we must respect decisions that sometimes are unfair at least from our point of view, but should not give up and do our best because our efforts will be recognised; resilience not only in research.

What is the most embarrassing thing you have done in the lab while doing experiments, e.g. explosions?

After performing the last step of the total synthesis of a natural product, I used the wrong centrifuge tubes in a purification step and the compound spread through the apparatus; It takes a dose of resilience and problem-solving to overcome limitations.

What are your recommendations for a book, podcast, website, blog, YouTube channel or film?

I still appreciate a practical book for new research students: Advanced Practical Organic Chemistry, By John Leonard, Barry Lygo, Garry Procter

Which scientist do you admire the most and why?

I would say my supervisor, Professor Madalena Pinto for her joy and contagious enthusiasm; and my students, brave young generation.

Which field of medicinal chemistry do you consider the most promising for the future?

Selective bioactivation; new bioactivation mechanisms unveil

What would you expect to be the next major breakthrough in medicinal chemistry?

The interception of chemistry and biology has render major breakthroughs in the last years; now physics and other sciences will sure contribute to increase the interdisciplinary science that is medicinal chemistry, we are assisting to major breakthrough with light-mediated mechanisms.


The EFMC’s communication team has been established to help promoting Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology in Europe and around the globe, with the aim to create a shared network, and inspire young future scientists.

On our endeavour to make both disciplines better known, we have launched the project "I am a Medicinal Chemist/Chemical Biologist", where we interview chemists working in the field.

You want to share your story with us!? Answer the questionnaire and contact the Communication Team (


The posting of Job/PhD & Post-Doc open positions is free and is available for any MedChemBio related job, for example, industry and academic positions.

Job posting is now made even simpler, you only have to provide the URL of the job application. 

Once reviewed, the position will be available on the EFMC website and in the monthly newsletter "MedChemBioWatch". 


The MedChem Division of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) would like to invite you to the next #MedChemCASES online seminar which will be held on February 15 by Dr Brian Lanman (Amgen).

The topic of the webinar will be “Inhibiting KRAS:  Strategies, Structures, and Lessons Learned in the Invention of Sotorasib”

KRAS is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancer. Despite more than three decades of research, indirect approaches targeting KRAS-mutant cancers have largely failed to show clinical benefit, and direct approaches have historically been stymied by the apparently ‘undruggable’ nature of KRAS.  In this case study, I’ll describe efforts at Amgen to identify cysteine-reactive molecules capable of selectively inhibiting a prevalent mutated form of KRAS, KRASG12C.  These efforts leveraged iterative screening and structural biology studies, property-based optimization, and careful process engineering to deliver a highly potent and selective covalent inhibitor of KRASG12C: sotorasib (LUMAKRAS®/LUMYKRAS®).  I'll also describe structural insights into the allosteric inhibition of KRASG12C and their implications for inhibitor efficacy and selectivity.

Register for free here.

#GDCh (MedChem Division), #NextGenMedChem.



The Organizing Committee cordially invites you to attend the 19th Hellenic Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (HSMC-19) which will be held on March 9-11, 2023, in the University of Patras, Conference and Cultural Centre.

The Symposium is organized by the Hellenic Society of Medicinal Chemistry (HSMC) and the Section of Medicinal Chemistry-Pharmacognosy of the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras.

Deadline for Abstract Submission (Oral) and Early-Bird registration is February 10, 2023!

Renowned International Speakers from France, Italy, Germany and Spain together with established Greek colleagues from universities all over Greece will share their scientific experience, expertise and knowledge with all delegates and they will exchange opinions.  

Scientific Committee recommends abstracts submission (Oral or Poster) through and encourages scientists to present their scientific work and share their achievements with delegates from all over the world.  

For live or digital attendance, you may register through All delegates (live or digital attendance) will get Certificate of Attendance.

The venue of the symposium is in the Conference and Cultural Centre of the University of Patras, a pole for international conferences and the main tool for the development of the cultural life of the region.

Looking forward to welcoming you at Patras for a memorable Symposium in a friendly and warn atmosphere in which we will share our love for Medicinal Chemistry.


The German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG) cordially invite you to attend the annual meeting on ´Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry´ April 3 - 5, 2023, in Vienna, Austria.

The international symposium will focus on current developments, novel approaches and cutting-edge technologies in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug research with sessions on 

  • First Disclosures & Medicinal Chemistry Highlights
  • Molecular Glues & Degraders
  • RNA-Modifying Enzymes
  • Translational Science Case Studies
  • New Chemical Technologies
  • Young Investigators.

The scientific program will include lectures, and poster presentations. It is the goal of the organizers to make this meeting an event of scientific excellence, attractive to both industrial and academic scientists in Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, and related fields of research.

More information and registration available here.


The BMCS is pleased to announce some upcoming events:

  • 7th RSC-BMCS Mastering Medicinal Chemistry
  • 7th RSC-BMCS / SCI Symposium on Ion Channels as Therapeutic Targets
  • 10th SCI/RSC Kinase Symposium on Inhibitor Design
  • 3rd Synthesis in Drug Discovery and Development
  • 3rd RSC Anglo-Nordic Medicinal Chemistry Symposium

7th RSC-BMCS Mastering Medicinal Chemistry

22nd March 2023, Burlington House


Synopsis: Mastering Medicinal Chemistry VII is the latest in an ongoing series of conferences intended to provide expert advice and guidance to new practitioners in the field of drug discovery. It has been said that “there are two types of drug discovery programmes: those that hit serious problems and those that are going to hit serious problems”. Anticipating and preparing for such problems thus accelerates the delivery of new medicines: this event will feature presentations from experienced ‘drug-hunters’ in both industry and academia, who will talk about the challenges faced in modern drug discovery and will share best practice common to all successful medicinal chemists.

7th RSC-BMCS / SCI Symposium on Ion Channels as Therapeutic Targets
27th and 28th March 2023, Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge


Synopsis:  Ion channels are important targets for therapeutic intervention due to their extensive roles in human physiology and the pathophysiology of disease. Many successful drugs targeting this gene family have been discovered for diseases such as hypertension, epilepsy and neuropathic pain.

This symposium, the 7th in an ongoing series, will showcase the most recent advances to aid the design of new ion channel therapeutics and promote interaction between scientists with a shared interest in the field of ion channel drug discovery.


10th SCI/RSC Kinase Symposium on Inhibitor Design

9thand 10th May 2023, SCI, London, UK


Synopsis:  With more than 70 FDA-approved small molecules, the field of kinase inhibition continues to attract significant investment from the drug discovery and development community. The 10th SCI/RSC symposium on kinases will encompass plenary lectures on emergent topics and case studies of ongoing programmes as well as successful past programmes. A range of topics including new screening approaches, brain penetrant kinase inhibitors, induced protein degradation, allosteric inhibitors and kinase inhibition for immuno-oncology will be covered, along with views and perspectives on the future of kinase inhibitor research


3rd Synthesis in Drug Discovery and Development

23rd – 24th May 2023, Virtual

Poster abstract closing date is 22nd February, 2023


Synopsis:  Synthesis is at the heart of drug discovery and development. The industry has increasingly demanded higher quality clinical candidates and has sought to exploit less druggable biological targets. Densely functionalised small molecules with a high degree of synthetic complexity are often the result of these demands. Successful programmes therefore require the application of innovative synthesis in all stages of discovery and development. The medicinal chemist’s toolbox is also enhanced by the introduction of novel bioisosteres, often made available only through the application of new synthetic methods. This symposium aimed to celebrate the crucial role of synthesis in the success of drug discovery and development


3rd RSC Anglo-Nordic Medicinal Chemistry Symposium

13th-16th June 2023, Hotel Comwell Borupgaard, Snekkersten, Denmark

Deadline for poster abstracts is 4th May 2023


Synopsis:  Organised with Nordic affiliations, the scientific programme will feature themed lectures, focusing on medicinal chemistry and related technologies and disciplines across a range of drug targets and modalities. A distinguishing feature of this symposium is the collegiate style which encourages an atmosphere of information sharing and learning.




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February 28, 2023
Virtual Event
14th EFMC-YSN MedChemBioOnline

April 23-26, 2023
Oegstgeest, The Netherlands
17th EFMC Short Course on Medicinal Chemistry

June 10-13, 2023
Boston, United States
ACSMEDI-EFMC Medicinal Chemistry Frontiers

September 3-7, 2023
Zagreb, Croatia
IX International Symposium on Advances in Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ASMC)

September 7-8, 2023
Zagreb, Croatia
10th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists' Symposium (EFMC-YMCS)

November 16-18, 2023
Basel, Switzerland
EFMC International Symposium on Chemical Biology (EFMC-ISCB)


March 9-11, 2023
Patras, Greece (Hybrid Symposium)
19th Hellenic Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (HSMC-19)

March 22, 2023
London, United Kingdom
The BMCS Mastering MedChem VII: 7th RSC-BMCS symposium on mastering medicinal chemistry

March 27-28, 2023
Cambridge, United Kingdom
7th RSC-BMCS/SCI Symposium on Ion Channels as Therapeutic Targets

April 27, 2023
Hatfield, United Kingdom
34th Medicinal Chemistry in Eastern England (Hatfield symposium)

May 21-24, 2023
Siena, Italy
IX European Workshop in Drug Synthesis (EWDSy)

May 23-24, 2023
Virtual Event
3rd Synthesis in Drug Discovery and Development

June 13-16, 2023
Snekkersten, Denmark
3rd RSC BMCS Anglo-Nordic MedChem

July 5-7, 2023
Lille, France
57th International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry (RICT 2023)


June 19-21, 2023
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
VIII SEQT Summer School

July 2-6, 2023
Urbino, Italy
European School of Medicinal Chemistry (ESMEC)

September 10-15, 2023
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Summer School Drug Design


PostDoc position in Medicinal Chemistry, Institut Pasteur de Lille, FRANCE
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PhD position in Medicinal Chemistry, University Côte d'Azur, FRANCE
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Applications Scientist, Schrödinger, FRANCE
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