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2nd Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Symposium – Facing Novel Challenges in Drug Discovery

15/05/2019 - 17/05/2019, Barcelona, Spain
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Abstract Submission: 10/01/2019
Acceptance Notification: 01/03/2019
Early Bird Registration before: 08/03/2019
Late Registration after: 06/05/2019
Covering author registration: 27/03/2019

Registration for #MMCS2019 is now open!

Check our fees and important dates here.

Welcome from the Chairs

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the "2nd Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (MMCS): Facing Novel Challenges in Drug Discovery" to be held in Barcelona, Spain, 15–17 May 2019.

The conference is organized by MDPI, the publisher of the open-access journal Molecules and follows the very successful one-day meeting,"Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (MMCS): Emerging Drug Discovery Approaches against Infectious Diseases", held in September 2017 at the School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the University of Barcelona, Spain, which turned out to be a very fruitful forum for discussion on the specific topic of anti-infective drug discovery, in an excellent atmosphere created by the more than 70 attendees from 20 countries.

Encouraged by the great success of the initial small-format monographic MMCS2017, the three-day MMCS2019 will grow naturally by addressing a larger audience and essentially all topics of medicinal chemistry. The MMCS2019 will be organized into a number of thematic sessions on medicinal chemistry of particularly challenging diseases, novel and revisited drug discovery approaches, and medicinal chemistry stories about recently implemented projects in any area not covered in the other sessions, from target and hit identification to hit-to-lead optimization, tuning of physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties, preclinical and clinical development, etc.

Two prominent and inspiring keynote speakers per session will share the program with a number of selected oral communications, especially by young researchers. The program will be complemented by poster presentations, and social events on the second day of the conference.

More details to be announced soon!

Prof. Diego Muñoz-Torrero
Editor-in-Chief of the Medicinal Chemistry Section of Molecules
MMCS2019 Chair

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Download the conference poster here.

Sponsored By

Conference Secretariat

Dr. Lucia Russo
Dr. Sara Martínez
Ms. Judith Wu
Email :
Tel. +34 93 639 7662

Sponsoring Opportunities

For information regarding sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact Mr. George Andrianou.
Tel.: + 34 93 639 7662

Conference Chairs

F Javier Luque

Departament of Nutrition, Food Sciences and Gastronomy, Campus Torribera , University of Barcelona, Spain. Website

F. Javier Luque is a Professor from the University of Barcelona (UB) and member of the Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB) and Institute of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (IQTC). He has a broad expertise in the analysis of structure and function of biological macromolecules and the study of biomolecular interactions using various computational and bioinformatical methods. He is a member of the Computational Biology and Drug Design research group.

Diego Muñoz-Torrero

Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, and Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB), University of Barcelona, Spain. Website

Prof. Diego Muñoz-Torrero is Associate Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona (UB). He is Head of the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and belongs to the Governing Board of the Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB). He belongs to the editorial advisory board of several medicinal chemistry journals and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the MDPI journal Molecules.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Xavier Barril

ICREA , IBUB and Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Spain. Website

Targeting Novel Allosteric Sites with Confidence: Methods and Applications
Prof. Barril’s research focuses on the discovery of bioactive molecules exploiting unusual mechanisms of action through a combined use of computational and experimental techniques. He is a well-known expert in the field of structure-based drug discovery, with more than 70 scientific publications. He has a strong focus on applied research: 8 patents, scientist at Vernalis (2002-2005), co-founder of Minoryx Therapeutics (2011-2017), CSO at Gain Therapeutics (2018-).

Prof. Dr. Alessio Ciulli

Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, UK. Website

Alessio Ciulli holds the Personal Chair of Chemical and Structural Biology at the University of Dundee. His research interests are on the development of small molecules targeting protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and inducing protein degradation. His group has made significant contributions to selective chemical intervention on important PPI targets. Initially in collaboration with the Crews Lab, they pioneered the structure-guided design of drug-like ligands for the von Hippel-Lindau E3 ligase. More recently, Alessio’s Lab has illuminated important structural and mechanistic insights into the molecular recognition and mode of action of PROTAC degrader molecules. Alessio obtained his PhD in Chemical Biology (University of Cambridge, 2006) studying weak protein-ligand interactions. Following post-doctoral research on fragment-based drug design, and an HFSP visiting Fellowship at Yale University, he returned to Cambridge in 2010. In 2013 Alessio moved his laboratory to Dundee and was promoted to Professor in October 2016.

Prof. Dr. Rebecca Deprez-Poulain

Institut Pasteur de Lille – INSERM, University of Lille, France. Website

Kinetic Target-Guided Synthesis as a Tool for Drug-Discovery: Successes, Challenges and Applications to Metalloproteases
Pr. R. Deprez-Poulain, PhD, PharmD, is Full Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery at the School of Pharmacy in Lille. She did her PhD under the supervision of Pr Tartar (1996-1999) on combinatorial chemistry. Her expertise is in inhibition of metalloproteases, hydroxamates and kinetic-target guided synthesis (KTGS). She disclosed the first inhibitors of PfAM1, the first inhibitors of IDE tested in vivo and discovered by KTGS and several plasma-stability studies of hydroxamates. She has been awarded the joined French Society of Medicinal Chemistry (SCT) & Servier Prize (2009. She has published 52 papers in peer-reviewed international journals (J. Med. Chem, Nat. Comm., The Lancet…). She was a member of the IOC of the 2016 EFMC-ISMC, and is part of the SAB of the SCT. She has been nominated member of the Institut Universitaire de France in 2015. Her team is part of the drug discovery lab affiliated to the University of Lille, the Institut Pasteur de Lille and INSERM.

Dr. Eva Estébanez-Perpiñá

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine, Faculty of Biology, and IBUB, University of Barcelona, Spain. Website

Dr. Estébanez studied Biochemistry at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She did her PhD with Prof. Robert Huber (Nobel Laureate) at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry (Munich). She did her postdoc with Prof. Robert Fletterick at the University California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is group leader at the Institute of Biomedicine, University of Barcelona (IBUB) thanks to the fellowships Ramón y Cajal and Marie Curie IRG (2009). She is Associate Professor since 2015

Prof. Dr. Christa E. Müller

Pharmaceutical Chemistry I, Pharmaceutical Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. Website

Christa Müller studied pharmacy at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry from the same university. After a postdoctoral stay with John W. Daly (1989-1990 and 1992) at the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institutes of Health, USA, in 1994 she completed her habilitation thesis at the University of Tübingen, and became Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Würzburg University. Since 1998 she is full professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Bonn University. She is a co-founder of the Pharma-Center Bonn, and has ca. 400 publications in the field of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. Her scientific interests are focused on the medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology of purine-binding membrane proteins (purine receptors, ectonucleotidases) and lipid-activated orphan G protein-coupled receptors. Disease indications include neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Prof. Dr. Stephen Neidle

The School of Pharmacy, University College London, UK. Website

Stephen Neidle’s interests are primarily in the chemistry and biology of novel nucleic acid structure and recognition by small molecules, and in exploiting this information for the rational design of novel therapeutic agents. He has published over 500 papers and reviews, and 14 patents, and has written and edited a number of books on nucleic acids, drug-DNA interactions and cancer drug discovery. His current h index is 86 (Web of Science) and 98 (Google Scholar).

Prof. Dr. Barry V. L. Potter

Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, UK. Website

Barry Potter studied Chemistry at Oxford, completing a DPhil on phosphoryl transfer stereochemistry, receiving a DSc in 1993. After postdocs in Oxford and Göttingen at a Max-Planck-Institute, he was lecturer in Biological Chemistry at Leicester, won a Lister Institute Fellowship and moved to the chair of Medicinal Chemistry at Bath. His research is in enzymology, signal transduction chemistry and anticancer drug discovery. He has brought his drugs to multiple human clinical trials with clinical benefit, published over 500 papers, is inventor of 45 granted US patents, and serves on many editorial boards. In 2015 he moved to Oxford as Professor of Medicinal & Biological Chemistry. He has won four RSC medals, the GlaxoSmithKline International Achievement Award and the 2018 Tu Youyou Award. He was 2012 European Life Science Awards Investigator of the Year, held the 2016 RSC-BMCS Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship and was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences and Academia Europaea.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Rademann

Institute of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Free University of Berlin, Germany. Website

How Proteins Catalyze the Formation of their Ligands: Fragment Ligations Furnish Powerful Chemical Tools to Validate Proteins as Drug Targets
Dr. Jörg Rademann holds the chair of Medicinal Chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin at the Institute of Pharmacy. His research is focused on the development of chemical and biochemical methods of fragment-based drug discovery. These works have furnished potent chemical tools for the validation of drug targets in the signaling of cancer cells, including specific inhibitors of the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2, the transcription factor STAT5, fragment-based inhibitors of viral proteases and compounds for targeting carbohydrate-protein interactions.

Professor Santiago Vázquez

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, and IBUB, University of Barcelona, Spain. Website

"Polycyclic Hydrocarbons: from a Curiosity for Organic Chemists to a Useful Scaffold for Medicinal Chemists"
Dr Vázquez is a Professor in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry in the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) since 2005 and a founder member of the Institute of Biomedicine of the UB (IBUB). He was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University College London (1998-2000) and a Ramón y Cajal Fellow (2001-2005). His research is focused on the synthesis of channel blockers -human NMDA and P2X7, M2 channel of influenza virus- and enzyme inhibitors -11b-HSD1 inhibitors and soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors.

Prof. Dr. Yi Sun

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, USA. Website
Institute of Translational Medicine, Zhejiang University, China.

Sag/Rbx2 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase: from Target Validation to Drug Discovery
Professor Sun obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and did his postdoc at the National Cancer Institute. Following 8 years of tenure in Parke-Davis/Pfizer as Research Fellow, he joined the faculty of University of Michigan in 2003 and was promoted to tenured full professor and Director of the Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology in 2008. He also became a Professor and Dean at the Institute of Translational Medicine, Zhejiang University, China in 2014. His main research focus is to validate SAG/RBX2 Cullin Ring E3 Ligase as valid cancer target, and to discover its small molecule inhibitors for cancer treatment. He authored 206 peer reviewed articles, published in several prestigious journals, including Dev Cell, eLife, J Cell Biol, J Clin Invest, Mol Cell, Nature Communications, PNAS, and Can Res. He serves as editorial board member of eight scientific journals. In 2012, he was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Prof. Dr. Mark von Itzstein

Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia. Website

Targeting Viral Neuraminidase Function in the Discovery of Novel Antivirals
Prof von Itzstein is the Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics and has research interests in chemical glycobiology, rational drug design, medicinal chemistry, enzymes in organic synthesis, enzyme mechanisms, new synthetic methods and biochemistry of carbohydrate-recognising proteins. His research is targets viruses, drug-resistant bacteria and several cancers. Prof von Itzstein and his group designed, synthesised and evaluated the first designer anti-influenza drug, Relenza.


The registration fee includes attendance to all conference sessions, morning/afternoon coffee breaks and lunches, conference bag and program book.

Participation to the conference is considered final only once the registration fees have been paid. The number of participants is limited: once the number of paid registrations reaches the maximum number of participants, unpaid registrations will be cancelled.

Please note that, in order to finalize the scientific program in due time, at least one registration by anyone of the authors, denoted as Covering Author, is required to cover the presentation and publication of any accepted abstract. Covering Author registration deadline is 27 March 2019. Your abstract will be withdrawn if you do not complete the registration by this date.

Authors with multiple contributions: Please note that one author registration will cover only ONE accepted paper. Authors presenting more than 1 contribution without a co-author registered are required to pay a surcharge of €50 per additional abstract (e.g., 1 author with 2 abstracts: registration fee + 50 euro; 2 authors with 3 abstracts: 2 registration fees + 50 euro; etc.).

Conference Dinner: A Gala Dinner will be served on Thursday, 16th May. Please note that the conference fee does not include this social event. Therefore, if you plan to attend the dinner, please make sure you select this extra when registering to the conference (Price per person: €50).

Other social/networking events to be announced soon!

Price early Price normal Price late Required documents
Academic 450.00 EUR 550.00 EUR 650.00 EUR
Student 300.00 EUR 300.00 EUR 400.00 EUR Scanned copy or photograph of your current student ID card.
Editorial Board Members/Guest Editors of Molecules 300.00 EUR 400.00 EUR 500.00 EUR
Non-academic 750.00 EUR 900.00 EUR 1000.00 EUR
Early price valid until: 08/03/2019   Late price valid from: 06/05/2019  

Cancellation policy

Cancellation of paid registrations is possible under the terms listed below:

> 2 months before the conference Full refund but 60 EUR are retained for administration
> 1 month before the conference Refund 50% of the applying fees
> 2 weeks before the conference Refund 25% of the applying fees
< 2 weeks before the conference No refund

Payment methods

Wire transfer, Credit card

Currencies accepted by this conference

Euro, Swiss franc

Venue, Travel and Accommodation



Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and is Spain's second largest city, with a population of over one and half million people (over five million in the whole province).

This city, located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, has a rich and diverse history, with its roots dating back to Roman times when it was a settlement called ‘Barcino’.

In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought about a massive upturn in its tourism industry.

This had the effect of changing the city in ways that are still felt today, with neighborhoods that were renovated, updates to the public transportation system, and an intense focus on modern design, that permeates all aspects of life in Barcelona, from public buildings to something as simple as a park bench or an event poster.

For visitors, this has translated into the very modern, yet incredibly old city you see now in the 21st century, where new elements work to both preserve and celebrate both the city’s heritage and origins.

Barcelona is plenty of outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches. The city is also very walkable, with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations.

For a complete overview, see


The AXA Convention Centre is located in a vibrant modern zone of the city, next to the main road and with easy access from the airport, as well as the urban and suburban areas.

It is part of the "L'Illa Diagonal", a modern complex which include a shopping centre, two 4-stars hotels, several offices, a sports centre, a public park and a parking with 2500 places.


We want your stay in Barcelona during the conference to be as good as possible. With that in mind, we have agreed a 10% discount with several hotels to make your accommodation choice easier.

We are delighted to announce that the following hotels will offer a discounted price for all attendees to the 2nd Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Symposium:

  • Oriente Atiram and Meson Castilla Atiram: Located in Las Ramblas, have a fantastic central location, next to Plaza Catalunya and the famous Boqueria market, 25 minutes away (by metro) from the conference venue.
  • Arenas Atiram: The Arenas Atiram Hotel offers a highly personalized service together with very friendly, elegant facilities, only a few meters away from the conference venue.
  • Tres Torres Atiram: Located in the center of one of the best residential neighborhoods of Barcelona, next to the distinguished commercial and leisure districts Diagonal Avenue, 2 km away from the conference venue.

Please add the discount code ‘MMCS2019’ while making your reservation.

To ensure availability, we encourage you to book your accommodation as soon as possible.

Conference Program

The program of the 2nd Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Symposium (MMCS2019) is being assembled. The final program will be fully available by April 2019.

Program Structure
Wednesday 15 May 2019 Thursday 16 May 2019 Friday 17 May 2019



Program Overview and Introduction

Chairs: Diego Muñoz-Torrero
& Javier Luque

S1. Molecules against Cancer

S3. In the Pursuit of Novel Drugs and Molecular Targets (sponsored by IBUB)

S4. New Avenues in Kinetic Target-Guided Synthesis

Coffee Break

Coffee Break
& Poster Session
Coffee Break
& Poster Session

S1. Molecules against Cancer

S3. In the Pursuit of Novel Drugs and Molecular Targets

Conference Group Photograph

S4. New Avenues in Kinetic Target-Guided Synthesis

Lunch Lunch Lunch

Best Posters Presentations

S2. Targeting Protein Degradation in Drug Discovery

S3. In the Pursuit of Novel Drugs and Molecular Targets

S5. Medicinal Chemistry Tales
Coffee Break

Social Events

Coffee Break

S2. Targeting Protein Degradation in Drug Discovery

S5. Medicinal Chemistry Tales
Awards Ceremony
& Closing Remarks

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Conference Sponsors



Media partners