EFMC Awards 2024 - Laureates announced

The EFMC is excited to announce the names of the 2024 Award winners. We are proud that, this year again, the awardees could be chosen from a large selection of outstanding medicinal chemists and chemical biologists.

Dr Laurent Meijer (Perha Pharmaceuticals, France)

For his unparalleled achievements in the discovery and development of kinase inhibitors derived from natural sources, both within his academic and biotech endeavors. His groundbreaking work in discovering and developing pharmacological inhibitors has not only advanced fundamental research on protein kinases but also holds promise for addressing various diseases, from cancers to neurological disorders. Dr. Meijer's commitment to innovation and collaboration makes him a deserving candidate for this prestigious award, and his contributions continue to inspire medicinal chemists across Europe and beyond.

Prof. Stuart Conway (University of California, Los Angeles, United States) 

For his pioneering contribution in medicinal chemistry and epigenetics that has reshaped our understanding of disease treatment. Stuart's groundbreaking research on bromodomain inhibitors has paved the way for new cancer therapies, while his efforts in parasitology offer hope for neglected tropical diseases. Beyond his scientific achievements, Stuart's advocacy for diversity and inclusion in academia sets a powerful example for us all. Today, we honor not only his scientific brilliance but also his commitment to building a more equitable future.

Prof. Véronique Gouverneur (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) 

For her ground-breaking contributions to the field of fluorine (19F and 18F) chemistry for applications in medicine and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging. With over 45 fluorination reactions invented, including groundbreaking methods for 18F-radiolabeling, her contributions have bridged the gap between theory and practice, driving forward crucial technologies for the benefit of society. Prof. Gouverneur's exceptional leadership, coupled with her unwavering commitment to mentorship and training, cements her legacy as a transformative figure in the scientific community. She is truly deserving of recognition as one of the foremost organic chemists globally.

All 3 awards consist of a diploma, € 7.500 and an invitation to give a headline presentation at the EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry.

The 2024 Awards will be presented at the XXVIII EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2024), scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy on September 1-5, 2024

EFMC Prizes 2024 - Laureates announced

The EFMC is happy to announce the names of the 2024 Prize winners, aiming to acknowledge and recognise outstanding young medicinal chemists and chemical biologists (≤ 12 years after PhD) working in European industry and academia.

The selection committee designated Prof. Rebecca Buller (Zhaw School of Life Science and Facility Management,Switzerlandas the winner of the 2024 EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist or Chemical Biologist in Academia

Dr Martin Empting (Helmholtz-Institute f. Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany) and Prof. Elisabeth Rexen Ulven (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) have been recognised as the most meritorious runners-up. 

The selection committee designated Dr Samuele Cazzamalli (Philochem AG, Switzerlandas the winner of the 2024 EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist or Chemical Biologist in Industry

Dr Ranganath Gopalakrishnan (AstraZeneca, Sweden) and Dr Zoe Henley (GSK, United Kingdom) have been recognised as the most meritorious runners-up.

The two Prizes are given annually and consists of a diploma€ 1.000 and an invitation for a short presentation at an EFMC symposium

For the 2024 edition, the prize-winners are invited to give an oral communications at the XXVIII EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2024), scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy on September 1-5, 2024. Two additional nominees are also identified and acknowledged as most meritorious runners-up.

EFMC-YSN PhD Prize 2024 Awarded

For the fifth edition of the prize, the selection committee designated Dr Raphael Steimbach (Servier) as the winner of the 2024 EFMC-YSN PhD Prize, sponsored by Selvita.

Dr Jennifer Müller (ETH Zürich) has been designated as the most meritorious runner-up. Following a decision from the jury, an extraordinary honorary mention was also given to Dr Sébastien Depienne (Ghent University).

The prize, now kindly sponsored by Selvita, will consist of a diploma1.000€ and an invitation to deliver an oral communication at the EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists' Symposium (EFMC-YMCS). The 2024 winner will also receive a free registration and a 500€ travel grant to attend both the XXVIII EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2024) and the 11th EFMC Young Medicinal Chemists' Symposium (EFMC-YMCS 2024) which will take place in Rome, Italy on September 1-5 & September 5-6, 2024.

Craig M. Crews awardee of the 2024 IUPAC-Richter Prize

Craig M. Crews is Professor of MCDB and Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at Yale University. His discovery and implementation of the PROTACs technology revolutionized the field by identifying a new method for affecting protein function. The fact that this technology has been widely adapted and investigated not only within the pharmaceutical industry, but also in academia, demonstrates the significance and impact of this work. While no drugs have yet been approved, several are in development and these molecules are progressing, because they are effective and safe. He also played a key role in the discovery of carfilzomib, an approved proteasome inhibitor for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

The acceptance lecture will be held in Rome, Italy (Sept. 1-5, 2024) at the XXVIII EFMC International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry.

This year marks the tenth occasion of the IUPAC-Richter Prize, which was established in 2005 by the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and Richter PLC. Awarded biannually, the awardee is announced by the IUPAC following nominations and the decision of an independent international Selection Committee.

The awardee receives $10 000, which is sponsored by Richter PLC,  and a plaque, which is presented by IUPAC.

The previous awardees were : 2006 : Malcolm FG Stevens (UK), 2008,  Jan Heeres (Belgium), 2010 :  Arun Ghosh (USA),  2012 : Stephen Hanessian (Canada),  2014 :  Helmut Buschmann (Germany), 2016 : Michael Sofia (USA), 2018 : Peter Grootenhuis (USA), 2020 : John Macor (USA) and 2022 : Michael E. Jung (USA).

EFMC Statement on EU Proposal to Ban PFAS

The EU, through the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), has launched a proposal that aims to extensively restrict the manufacture, supply, and use of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS include a vast range of fluoroalkyl materials, ranging from simple fluorinated reagents and starting materials used in drug discovery and development (including the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients), to thermoplastic polymers found in laboratory commodities such as stirring bars or O-rings. Several PFAS are environmental pollutants and some of them have detrimental effects on human health. Their extensive use throughout the society, combined with the low reactivity displayed by many fluoroalkyl chemicals, magnifies the potential for accumulation in the environment and contamination of food and water supplies.

However, the entire ban of these materials can lead to major disruptions in all research, development, and innovation activities related to medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Ultimately, it can have long-term implications on the innovation potential of EU research.

Importantly, there are currently a significant number of compounds in clinical use or in Phase III of clinical trials (the last stage before approval and marketing) containing fluorinated groups such as CF3 and CF2, or combination of both, in their structure. These are life-saving compounds, and thus a transition period should be considered to enable a detailed analysis of the socio-economic impacts of a ban in the short-term and to find efficient, safe and economically viable alternatives.

Course Material on Best Practices in Medicinal Chemistry

Wondering how researchers work in other companies or in academia? Are there important trends or new technologies that you may have missed? Looking for general guidelines or tips and tricks on important topics in drug discovery?

EFMC is tackling this challenge with a team of experienced practitioners from industry and academia, and is sharing training and course materials in several formats: freely accessible webinars on the EFMC youtube channel, educational slide decks and case studies.

These are freely accessible for personal use or for use in further training or teaching material, so have a look and spread the news! 

  • Validating Chemical Probes

What are chemical probes and why are they important? Chemical probes are designed to selectively address a biological question; this is distinctly different from a drug, which is designed to produce a clinical outcome! Simple guidelines can be used to generate high-quality chemical probes and obtain reliable data to further our understanding of human biology and disease.

Link to the material.

  • Phenotypic Drug Discovery (PDD)

Recent years have seen a renaissance of Phenotypic drug discovery (PPD) with novel screening technologies and a track record that is thought to match or surpass that of target-centric approaches. We present a view on best practices to consider when running phenotypic drug discovery campaigns to increase the chance of success of these black box approachs.

Link to the material.

  • Hit Generation

Hit Generation is a crucial step of all drug discovery campaigns that will determine the speed and chance of success of identifying drug candidates.

We cover the essential approaches for hit generation and the opportunities and challenges they come with. We then provide guidance on how to validate hits to ensure medicinal chemistry is only performed on compounds and scaffolds that engage the target of interest and have the desired mode of action. Finally, we discuss the design of integrated hit generation strategies that combine several approaches to maximize the chance of identifying high quality starting points.

Link to the material.

EFMC Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine

As we reached the tragic first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, EFMC renews its strong condemnation of the actions taken by the Russian government and expresses its support to the scientific community and to the Ukrainian people.

Being an independent learned society supporting all members of the medicinal chemistry and chemical biology community, EFMC however believes that scientific researchers in Russia should not be outcasted because of the actions of their government. True to our principles, we aim towards promoting cooperation and encouraging exchanges between scientific researchers in Europe and around the World.

Chemistry Europe Signs Collaboration Agreement with EFMC

Chemistry Europe journals ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem to become official journals of European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC)

Weinheim, Germany; Bern, Switzerland; April 5, 2022 — Chemistry Europe, an association of 16 chemical societies from 15 European countries publishing a family of high-quality scholarly chemistry journals, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year collaboration with the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC), an independent association representing 29 scientific organizations from 25 European countries to advance the science of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Under the terms of the agreement, the Chemistry Europe journals ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem will become official journals of EFMC.

The collaboration agreement aims to increase the visibility of ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem, bring valuable additional benefits to readers, authors, and early-career researchers, and thus strengthen the science of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem will become official journals of EFMC but continue to be owned by Chemistry Europe. The journals will display the label "official journal of EFMC" on their covers.

“We are looking forward to starting our collaboration with the EFMC. Our partnership is not only expected to increase the visibility of our journals ChemMedChem and ChemBioChem, but more importantly to strengthen the impact of the research of the European scientific community of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology on the wider global scenario. A number of exciting editorial projects will be developed within this agreement, also highlighting the contribution of young researchers.” says Professor Gianluca Farinola, Chemistry Europe Council Member in charge of ChemMedChem and Vice President of Società Chimica Italiana.

“We are very happy for this new step in the collaboration with Chemistry Europe, which allows for a broader dissemination and visibility of the excellent research carried out by the medicinal chemistry and chemical biology communities across Europe”, says Professor Rui Moreira, President of the EFMC.

Chemistry Europe publishes 19 high-quality scientific chemistry journals covering a very wide range of disciplines and supports scientists at every stage of their careers. EFMC promotes and strengthens the science of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology by organizing symposia and short courses, sponsoring meetings and schools, publishing on relevant topics, and presenting awards and prizes. The collaboration underscores the commitment of Chemistry Europe and EFMC to strengthen the scientific excellence of chemistry researchers from around the world.


Media Contact:
Dr. Vera Koester
Editor in Chief ChemistryViews (The Magazine of Chemistry Europe)
++49(0)172 3999 826

Mr Brieuc Matagne
EFMC Administrative Secretariat

About Chemistry Europe

Founded in 1995, Chemistry Europe is an association of 16 chemical societies from 15 European countries, representing over 75,000 chemists. It publishes a family of high-quality scholarly chemistry journals, covering a very broad range of disciplines. Wiley-VCH is their publisher.

The mission of Chemistry Europe is to evaluate, publish, disseminate, and amplify the scientific excellence of chemistry researchers from around the globe in high-quality publications. It supports its members at every stage of their careers as they strive to solve the challenges that impact humankind. In all its work, Chemistry Europe values integrity, openness, diversity, cooperation, and freedom of thought.

About European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC)

The European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology (EFMC) is an independent association founded in December 1969 that represents 29 scientific organizations from 25 European countries. Its objective is to advance the science of medicinal chemistry & chemical biology by promoting cooperation and encouraging strong links between the national adhering organizations in order to deepen contacts and exchanges between medicinal chemists & chemical biologists in Europe and around the World. EFMC fulfills this objective by organizing symposia and short courses, by sponsoring meetings and medicinal chemistry schools, by publishing on relevant topics and by conferring awards and prizes.

About Wiley-VCH

Originally founded in 1921 as Verlag Chemie, Wiley-VCH plays an important role in providing scientists, engineers, and economists with high-quality information. Its integration within the global John Wiley & Sons Group since 1996 allows the company to distribute its program in every country on this planet. Our strength is based on our joint endeavors and success with people all over the world. From the very beginning, the publishing program covers most areas of the natural sciences, such as chemistry, physics, life sciences, medicine, engineering, and now also economics. While such information has traditionally been published in the form of journals, databases, reference works and books, online and offline services are now becoming increasingly important, alongside inter- and transdisciplinary portals. The company's staff in Weinheim, Berlin, and Zurich represent the foundation of all our services with their professional expertise and experience.

EFMC supports the "Stick to Science" Initiative

EFMC is proud to support the ‘Stick to Science’ campaign, launched on 8 February, urging EU leaders, as well as the UK and Swiss governments, to place science collaboration before politics, and to quickly reach the UK’s and Switzerland’s association to Horizon Europe. Since the launch, the campaign has reached close to 4 million people on Twitter, and gathered a total of over 3400 signatures.

If you haven’t signed up to the initiative yet, please do so! These signatures are important in ensuring that we get the attention of European leaders and secure association to Horizon Europe. The initiative is open for all to sign, both as an individual or as an organisation on the dedicated website.

The site also includes a range of resources for supporters, including suggested social media posts, banners and email signature templates.

A Job/PhD or Post-Doc position to offer in medicinal chemistry or chemical biology? Use the EFMC Job Portal

The posting of Job/PhD & Post-Doc offers is free and is available for any Med Chem related jobs, in industry as well as academic positions.

Job posting is now made even simplier, 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 "MedChemWatch".