The Singapore Peptide Society hosted the 7th International Peptide Symposium (IPS2015) from December 9th-11th at Biopolis, Singapore. The symposium was organized with an intention to promote advancement of education and scientific study of chemistry, biochemistry, biology and pharmacology of peptides.
Dr. Tom L. Blundell is a renowned scientist who has worked on molecular and structural biology of growth factors, receptor activation and DNA repair emphasized on targeting peptide-protein interactions with peptides. “Gaining selectivity in the design of chemical tools and therapeutic agents has proved hard to achieve, and interest is increasingly focusing on targeting the protein-protein interfaces of multi-protein assemblies that regulate them. The nature of the deep pockets in these proteins provide anchor sites for peptides as they cooperatively fold on the globular partner. Peptide-binding sites have proved to be easier to target”, said Dr. Tom Blundell.
“One of the most vexing problems in life science is that of undruggability, the difficulty of targeting certain biological macromolecules in vivo using existing drug or ligand discovery technologies. It has been estimated that as many as 80-90% of all potential targets, including many that have been extensively validated in humans and in animal models, are un-druggable”, said Dr. Gregory L. Verdine.
The Verdine laboratory works towards developing powerful new chemistry-based platform technologies to address these un-druggable targets. Their lab focuses on cell-penetrating mini proteins : molecules that possess the ability to target large flat surfaces, but like small molecules, are fully synthetic and hence can be modified at will.
These talks was followed by a series of twelve sessions, covering varied topics in peptide science including drug design, peptide synthesis, structural-functional studies, peptide therapeutics, proteomics and two memorial sessions for notable scientists: Dr. Shumpei Sakakibara and Dr. Robert Schwyzer.
Overall,the conference was well-received with a participation of over 500. It served as a wonderful platform to showcase leading research works in peptide science by local as well as international scientists.
The conference was sponsored jointly by the Singapore Peptide and Proteins Society, American Peptide Society , the European Peptide Society, the Australian Peptide Association, the Chinese Peptide Society, the Japanese Peptide Society, the Korean Peptide Society and the Indian Peptide Society. The Singapore Peptide and Proteins Society is the host society for the 2015 Congress.