New event set to take place in Swedish biotech hub

Lund University

A new event, which will include presentations by Nobel laureates, is set to showcase the best of pharmacology.

The Lund Spring Symposium, which takes place from May 24 to 26 at the Palaestra et Odeum in Lund, Sweden, aims to raise the profile of pharmacology as a cross-functional discipline in the 21st Century and to provide a forum to facilitate collaborations across academia and industry.

Lund, a city in southern Sweden, is home to the Medicon Village biotech hub and Ideon life science cluster. It is also home to one of the largest universities in Scandinavia, Lund University. The city also boasts two major research tools, MAX-IV and ESS.

One of the organizers of the event, Prof. Lars Grundemar, from the medical faculty at Lund University, said the event will feature high-profile international and local researchers and entrepreneurs, who will deliver front-line research presentations. 

“A common denominator across all presenters is their inspirational and transforming research that is providing the basis for a number of therapeutic applications,” Grundemar said.

With a calendar already filled with biotech events, what prompted setting up a new symposium? 

“Being a native of Lund I am excited if I can help stimulate medical/life science research in Lund. I have a clinical and medical research background, working many years in major pharma across countries and was offered to become an adjunct professor in pharmacology and industrial R&D competence that could be of benefit for Lund University. In this spirit I have dedicated my part time professorship to help increase the profile of pharmacology and cross functional collaborations between basic research and entrepreneurs,” Grundemar said.

He added that the gathering will be an exclusive opportunity for scientists, entrepreneurs and life science investors to broaden their horizons of cutting-edge science in an engaging and interactive forum.

Grundemar said the event will be of relevance to a wide range of potential attendees, including academic and industrial scientists, academic life science graduate students and postdocs, academic and industrial leaders and decision makers, academic and industrial entrepreneurs, life science investors, healthcare providers, physicians and other medical researchers, life science SMEs and major pharma representatives.

Ground-breaking discoveries

The program during the Lund Spring Symposium features many internationally-renowned speakers.

Brian Kobilka, recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012 is among the presenters, as is Robert Langer, co-founder of the pharmaceutical company Moderna, which developed one of the covid vaccines. Drew Weissman, one of the researchers whose discoveries led to the pharmaceutical company Biontech’s COVID vaccine, will also be a guest speaker. Local speakers have built successful enterprises from mainly academic discoveries.

Other speakers include representatives from Pfizer, Vanderbilt University and ETH Zurich.

There will also be a poster session.

Awards during the Lund Spring Symposium

An awards ceremony is also a highlight of the event, and Grundemar said this will recognize  high profile researchers and entrepreneurs who have made a major difference through life science innovations with global impact.

The Award for Special Achievement is being given to Professor Craig Crews at Yale University, for his work on the use of targeted protein degradation, which has resulted in the development of the first PROTAC-drug candidates, ARV-110 and ARV-471, to treat cancer.

The Bengt Samuelsson Award is given to Professor Brian Kobilka, Stanford University, for his work with the structure and activity of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR’s), in particular the determination of the β2-adrenergic receptor, while the Distinguished Service Award goes to Professor Robert Langer, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for his multifaceted contributions to medicine and biotechnology. 

Professor Jude Samulski, from the University of North Carolina, receives the Sune Bergström Award for his pioneering work in gene therapy and adeno-associated virus vectors in the field of pharmacology and molecular virology, the Arvid Carlsson Award is destined for Professor Sarah Tabrizi, University College London, for her work on mechanisms of cellular neurodegeneration, especially Huntington’s disease, its mechanistic pathobiology, biomarkers, and novel therapeutics.

The Therapeutic Achievement Award is being given to Professor Drew Weissman, from the University of Pennsylvania; for his contributions to RNA biology. 

Early bird registration for the Lund Spring Symposium ends on March 1. 

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