International Conference on Emerging Trends in Drug Discovery
The Computational Chemistry Research Group ( AmritaCCG) of Computational Engineering and Networking, Amrita University, Coimbatore campus organized an international conference on Emerging Trends in Drug Discovery, AICAD14 from July 23- 27, 2014. The conference was co-sponsored by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi and the Department of Sciences, School of Engineering, Coimbatore were the co-organizers. About 400 participants enrolled for the program.
The major objectives of the conference included:
- Make an "industry-scientists-academics" collaboration to meet the major challenges of drug discovery,
- Familiarize with modern trends and challenges of drug discovery,
- Provide a platform for discussion on challenges faced by the drug discovery industry and to emerge out with feasible solution,
- Present the world with the frontiers of drug discovery & research from bench side to the clinic.
A two day Pre-conference Training (PCT) and hands on experience on Computer Aided Drug Design was held from July 23-24, 2014. About 48 participants attended the training and workshop conducted by the CCRG. The workshop highlights include Computer Aided Drug Design, Pharmacogenomics, Phytochemicals and Personalized Drug Design.
T. K. Jose IAS, Chairman, Coconut Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, inaugurated the conference. Dr. D. M. Vasudevan, Former Dean, Health Sciences Campus, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi; Dr. T. Murli Nair, Indiana University USA; Dr. Pawan Dhar, Shiv Nadar University, UP; Dr. Sabitha M., Principal, Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi; Prof. K. P. Soman, Chair, AICADD-14, Dr. P K Krishnan Namboori, Executive Coordinator, AICADD-14 were among the distinguished dignitaries who graced the occasion with their presence.
The conference was the platform for 5 plenary sessions, 16 technical sessions, 11 invited talks, 23 poster presentations, 35 research paper presentations, a Sci Tech exhibition of ideas & products related to drug design & delivery systems and a social awareness program for the school children, Inspire day for Budding Scientists. The march past of participants along with powerful band by the band teams of Amrita Vidyalayams was another attraction of the inaugural function of the exhibition.
The conference provided a rare opportunity for extensive discussion among the participants to identify the emerging trends in drug discovery. A Google discussion group named AICADD 2014 Workshop has been initialled as a primary measure for extending further discussions and continuing the collaboration. The members accepted to improvise their research in a holistic manner by taking the principles of Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Allopathy. Most of the members agreed to seek the possibility of a patient specified personalized drug designing strategy. The participants of the conference agreed to extend collaboration in the academic and research activities in future.
Dr. Kathirvel, Joint Director, DRDO was the chief guest for the valedictory function.
All the abstracts of papers presented in the conference have been included in the conference souvenir’ and selected research papers will be published in the Scopus listed Elsevier’s Procedia Chemistry proceedings. The conference also saw cultural programs featuring Kathakali by Dr. Sadanam Harikumar & team, Kalari by CVN Kalari Sangham, Palaghat, Kerala and Mamangam, a dance program by students of Amrita Center for Computational Engineering and Networking (CEN).
Mathrubhumi and The Indian Express were the major media partners supported by Amrita School of Communication, Coimbatore and Multimedia team of Amrita School of Engineering.