School content and expected outcomes

The first edition of the Advanced school in Drug Research and Development, entitled “Integrating Structural and Biophysical Data in Drug Discovery in the AI Era” is specifically addressed to PhD students and professionals interested in achieving a firm grasp of the latest developments of computer-aided drug design and biophysical methods in drug discovery.

The program of the school is developed in two integrated thematic areas addressed by frontal lessons and workshops (in presence) and online activities, focused on the meeting point between in silico simulations and experimental approaches to drug design and discovery.

  • The first thematic area provides an overview on the most relevant approaches and techniques currently used in computational drug design. Lessons and practical workshops (organized in collaborations with SCHRODINGER and ACELLERA) will be focused on Structure-based drug design approaches (docking, molecular dynamics simulations, free-energy perturbations) as well as on Chemoinformatics with particular emphasis given to the use of Artificial Intelligence in scenarios of compound profiling and de novo design.
  • The second thematic area will face the most significant methodological and technological advances in the field of biophysical methods applied to the field of drug discovery. Frontal lessons will come into contact with orthogonal and yet complementary approaches such as fluorimetry, mass spectrometry, NMR, surface plasmon resonance, and microscale thermophoresis. A practical workshop, organized in a wet research laboratory collaboration with TECAN, will drive the participants in the world of TR-FRET assays for drug discovery applications. 



Expected outcomes

The international and multi-disciplinary approach of the school will ensure a stimulating environment, in which the participants will meet different aspects of the drug design and development processes.

In addition to lectures by experts, during the workshops the participants will get in touch with real cases presented and discussed by people working in the field, promoting the exchange of experiences, and the consolidation of the topics discussed during the seminars.