Press Releases

ELRIG UK Announces Profs Ijeoma Uchegbu and Marcus Schindler as Keynote Speakers at Drug Discovery 2024

Drug Discovery 2024: Connecting Minds, Transforming Science, Empowering Community will take place at ExCeL London from 2–3 October

 

Cambridge, UK, 2 May 2024: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK, a not-for-profit, volunteer-led organisation for the drug discovery community, today announced the keynote speakers for its flagship conference, Drug Discovery 2024: Ijeoma Uchegbu FMedSci, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at University College London (UCL) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Nanomerics, and Marcus Schindler PhD, CSO and Executive Vice President of Research and Early Development at Novo Nordisk.

 

ELRIG Drug Discovery 2024 takes place from 2–3 October at ExCeL London and will focus on connecting minds, transforming science and empowering community. The event is free to attend and promises 2,000 delegates the opportunity to hear from more than 100 speakers across 14 scientific tracks presented in collaboration with Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, Royal Society of Chemistry, SBi2 and SLAS. This year’s topics include therapeutic themes, such as mechanisms of ageing and cell and gene therapy, alongside more practical aspects of drug discovery encompassing advances in assay design, high-content imaging, small molecules, target identification, disease modelling and therapeutic translation, as well as discussions around innovation and collaboration in the sector. There will also be a TechTheatre covering sustainability in drug discovery, and robotics, automation and AI, as well as 260 posters and over 200 exhibitors. Early-stage companies will have the opportunity to exhibit as part of the Breakthrough Zone, and early-career professionals can attend the dedicated ‘Network Like a Boss’ event and Learning Hub. ELRIG will also be hosting school students as part of its ‘Big Adventures in Tiny Lab Coats’ initiative.

 

Ijeoma Uchegbu is Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at UCL, a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a governor on the Wellcome board and Co-Founder and CSO of Nanomerics. She will also take up the position of President of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge later this year. Prof Uchegbu has served as Chair of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Scientific Secretary of the Controlled Release Society and UCL Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality. Her pioneering work on the mechanisms of drug transport led to the discovery of transformational peptide nanoparticles that can be delivered across the blood–brain barrier, namely enkephalin pain medicine candidate, Envelta™. She has been awarded various prizes for her work and is listed in Bloomsbury Publishing’s Who’s Who 2024. Prof Uchegbu will showcase how nanoparticles can be used to enhance efficacy and minimise off-targets effects during her talk on the first day.

Marcus Schindler was appointed Executive Vice President for Research and Early Development and CSO at Novo Nordisk in 2021. Prior to joining the company in 2018 as Senior Vice President for External Innovation and Strategy and later Senior Vice President for Global Drug Discovery, Prof

Schindler was Vice President, Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Innovative Medicines at AstraZeneca and Head of Research at (OSI) Prosidion. He also worked in various leadership roles at Boehringer Ingelheim, after having started his career with Glaxo Wellcome/GSK. Prof Schindler holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg. His keynote presentation will focus on therapeutic approaches for metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair, ELRIG UK, and Vice President Discovery Biology, AstraZeneca, said: “ELRIG is committed to delivering leading-edge scientific meetings on an open-access, and we are thrilled to bring Europe’s largest drug discovery conference to London. We’re proud to present an outstanding lineup of speakers at this year’s event and very much look forward to having two distinguished scientists, Profs Uchegbu and Schindler, share their insights with us during the keynote talks. In addition, we have a wide range of other learning, networking, exhibition and award opportunities available to help transform research and empower the drug discovery community.”

 

Ijeoma Uchegbu FMedSci, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience, UCL, and CSO, Nanomerics, said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be asked to open the ELRIG conference this year. I love to discover and learn how medicines work and to convey this to the broader audience.”

 

Marcus Schindler PhD, CSO and Executive Vice President of Research and Early Development, Novo Nordisk, said: “It will be my great pleasure to give a keynote presentation at Drug Discovery 2024, an event that seeks to bring together talented scientists, dedicated to investigating the medicines of tomorrow.”

 

Registration is now open. Please visit https://elrig.org/portfolio/drug-discovery-2024/ for further information

ELRIG UK and SRG Announce Partnership to Advance Life Science Professionals in Drug Discovery

Partnership endorses mission to facilitate career progression and support life science industry growth

Cambridge and London, UK, 16 April 2024: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK, a not-for-profit, volunteer-led organisation for the drug discovery community, today entered into a partnership with SRG, leaders in life science recruitment, to support the advancement of science professionals in their careers.

The partnership offers the ELRIG community access to career opportunities and provides organisations of all sizes with SRG’s specialist talent solutions to help grow the life science sector. In particular, early career professionals (ECPs) in industry and academia can attend forums and networking events where they can meet, and learn the skills needed to help them advance their careers in drug discovery.

 

ELRIG brings together academic and biopharma industry experts and thought leaders to exchange ideas and information through the provision of free-to-attend scientific meetings and conferences. Its primary objective is to provide leading-edge knowledge to the life sciences community on an open-access basis. As part of the ELRIG events programme, there are a range of activities designed specifically for ECPs. SRG, powered by Impellam Group, are experts in finding the specialist skills needed to support biotech and pharmaceutical research. They help life science companies — from start-ups to big pharma — to find, attract and nurture emerging talent, and aim to ensure outstanding career prospects for candidates. Together ELRIG and SRG will provide support to life science professionals that will allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the industry, select the right career path, and develop the tools needed to progress, while helping the drug discovery industry to flourish.

 

Sanj Kumar, CEO, ELRIG UK, said: “ELRIG and SRG have a shared ambition to advance the careers of early-stage professionals in drug discovery. ELRIG will provide the opportunities for ECPs to connect, whilst SRG can help them to expand their skillset and progress in their careers. Building such networks is an imperative as they navigate the myriad of collaboration and career options ahead of them. We are delighted to be working with the team at SRG, who bring 30 years of industry experience supporting scientific endeavours to this exciting collaboration.”

 

Andrew Turner, Managing Director, SRG, said: “As technological innovations accelerate, new fields emerge, and competition intensifies, the demand for professionals within STEM industries continues to outpace the available talent pool. Our partnership with ELRIG, an organisation that shares our passion for innovation, will focus on talent enablement, and supporting the advancement of science professionals at each stage of their career. ELRIG’s commitment to enabling early talent aligns wonderfully with the work that we perform across the life sciences sector to create opportunities for future generations. Together, we are creating world-class communities that empower individuals and businesses to shape tomorrow’s world.”

 

ECPs are invited to attend the webinar “AI at the Frontier: Empowering Early Career Professionals in Drug Discovery” at 1pm BST on 24 April 2024: https://elrig.org/portfolio/webinar-april-2024-ai-at-the-frontier-empowering-ecps-in-drug-discovery/

For further information about ELRIG’s ECP network, please visit: https://elrig.org/early-career-professionals/

For further information about SRG’s career opportunities, visit: https://www.srgtalent.com/job-seekers

ELRIG UK announces keynote speakers and programme for ‘Advances in Cell-based Screening in Drug Discovery 2024′

Cambridge, UK, 26 March 2024: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK announces the programme and keynote speakers for ‘Advances in Cell-based Screening in Drug Discovery 2024’ on 15-16 May at AstraZeneca’s Gothenburg site in Sweden.

The conference is a popular fixture in ELRIG’s scientific calendar, bringing together scientists across the techniques and disciplines in cell-based screening to discuss the latest tools to enable research.

We are delighted that Gitte Neubauer (GSK, VP, Omics Technologies & Head of Cellzome) and Spencer Shorte (Institut Pasteur, Scientific Director, Center for Technological Resources and Research) will be introducing each day with their keynote presentations.

Cell-based assays are utilised at all stages of drug discovery to explore disease mechanisms and to identify novel molecular therapeutics. To achieve this, the field is continuously looking for improvements in cell reagents, assay formats, and readouts to ensure disease-relevant contexts, aiming at improving translation to human physiology. The scientific tracks cover the breadth of the field:

Track 1 – The power of the single cell – how microfluidics & OMICS enable a step change in data generation from individual cells.

Track 2 – The promise of advanced cell models – the path to ‘business as usual’ , and the paradigm shift to NAMs (new approach methodologies/non-animal models) .

Track 3 – Maximising outputs – how next-generation endpoints, and the use of biosensor are feeding a new wave of multiparametric data generation.

Track 4 – New technologies – a look under the hood of new leading automation platforms and how they are revolutionising drug discovery.

The scientific content is supported by a lively Exhibition Hall featuring the latest technologies from scientific vendors, an informative poster session, ‘the amazing journey’ – a tour of the AstraZeneca R&D facility and an Early Career Professionals session on ‘Navigating career challenges to unlock success’.

To find out more information and to register please visit https://elrig.org/portfolio/advances-in-cell-based-screening-in-drug-discovery-2024/

For media information and press enquiries email Sanj Kumar at ELRIG UK at sanj.kumar@elrig.org or phone 07860 892944.

EDITORS NOTES

Since incorporation in 2004, ELRIG has consolidated its reputation as a best in industry UK-based not-for-profit volunteer-led organisation, operated by and for the life sciences community, and dedicated to the delivery of leading-edge scientific meetings and conferences on an open-access basis for optimum accessibility across all levels of its 22,000-strong global community.

The Board delegates its tasks to a series of Work Groups, who work with the ELRIG team to ensure it achieves its objectives.

ELRIG continuously strives to advance its ED&I and sustainability strategic pillars, to both inspire and align with the ESG strategies of its delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and all other stakeholders.

For more information, visit the ELRIG website or follow on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

ELRIG UK Establishes Innovation Work Group to Support New Businesses

Group aims to support start-up businesses while expanding the ELRIG community

Cambridge, UK, 19 February 2024: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK has formalised its Innovation Work Group, which has been in planning stages since 2023.

The Group aims to extend access to high-quality life sciences and drug discovery across a more diverse and inclusive network by better supporting new start-ups and early-stage businesses that need an inroad and a platform to contribute and grow.

Its objectives will align ELRIG’s ethos of accessibility to all and the promotion of engagement and collaboration, by minimising barriers to invaluable event participation and networking for emerging innovators and thought leaders, while ensuring the needs of all community members are considered and their perspectives are represented.

The Innovation Work Group is chaired by Del Trezise, ELRIG Board Member, consultant and Technology Scout, Sartorius AG.

Del added ‘ High innovation early stage companies are critical contributors to the drug discovery ecosystem – its a great privilege and exciting endeavour for the Work Group to shape the way that ELRIG and our partners support this community’

The debut initiative of the Group is the launch of a TechBio Breakthrough Zone (TBBZ) at the upcoming Research & Innovation 2024: Accelerating Future Drug Discovery meeting, on 20th-21st March, at the University of Manchester. Participants in the TBBZ will be given tabletop stand which can be scientific, promotional or a combination of both, where they can deliver flash presentations to stand visitors, while also taking full advantage of all the meeting sessions they wish to attend, all for £500.

In addition, the Innovation Competition represents a compelling opportunity for participants to demonstrate their expertise, highlight their potential and establish their brand presence in the sector. Entrants must submit an application form with an abstract describing their innovation in 300 words by Friday 1st March. The winner will be informed by Friday 8th March, allowing time for them to prepare and deliver a 10-minute presentation in the auditorium on 21st March after the keynote speaker. The winning company will also have their £500 fee refunded.

Looking further forward to Drug Discovery 2024 (London, 2-3 October), there will be an enhanced programme, the TBBZ will have more space and will have a dedicated theatre programme allowing TBBZ participants to present and to learn from entrepreneurs and support agencies in life sciences.

“Driven by our ethos of open access for all levels of the life sciences and drug discovery communities, we want to offer dedicated spaces where these entrepreneurial action takers and go-getters can introduce themselves and make keys contacts, at an accessible price point that isn’t out of reach for newly formed businesses,” explained Sanj Kumar, CEO of ELRIG. “With the inclusion of market-leading educational content, flash presentations and innovation prizes, we aim to help these businesses to scale up, realise their full potential, and contribute to current and future scientific and technological innovations through the Innovation Work Group”

 

 

 

For media information and press enquiries email Sanj Kumar at ELRIG UK at sanj.kumar@elrig.org or phone 07860 892944.

EDITORS NOTES

Since incorporation in 2004, ELRIG has consolidated its reputation as a best in industry UK-based not-for-profit volunteer-led organisation, operated by and for the life sciences community, and dedicated to the delivery of leading-edge scientific meetings and conferences on an open-access basis for optimum accessibility across all levels of its 22,000-strong global community.

The Board delegates its tasks to a series of Work Groups, who work with the ELRIG team to ensure it achieves its objectives.

ELRIG continuously strives to advance its ED&I and sustainability strategic pillars, to both inspire and align with the ESG strategies of its delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and all other stakeholders.

For more information, visit the ELRIG website or follow on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

ELRIG UK Announces

Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan as Keynote Speakers at Research and Innovation 2024

  • ELRIG Research and Innovation 2024 takes place from 20–21 March in Manchester, UK
  • Key topics include oncology, antimicrobial resistance, mass spectrometry, proteomics and animal-free drug discovery
  • Launch of TechBio Breakthrough Zone offers young companies an opportunity to showcase innovations
  • Award available to early career professionals making an impact on the community

Cambridge, UK, 08 February 2024: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the keynote speakers for its upcoming Research and Innovation conference taking place at the University of Manchester from 20–21 March. Steve Bates OBE FMedSci CEO, BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of R&D and Drug Development, FasT BioPharma will lead this year’s event which will focus on accelerating drug discovery.

This free-to-attend event will bring together scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to discuss how emerging biology and innovative technologies are pioneering the medicines of tomorrow and helping to enable the next generation of therapeutics. It will comprise four main sessions covering animal-free technologies, oncology drug discovery, tackling antimicrobial resistance as well as advances in mass spectrometry techniques and proteomics. There will also be a trade show and exhibition, a poster competition, and a host of networking opportunities.

Steve Bates leads the BIA, the UK’s trade association for innovative life science companies. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia, and is committed to next-generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. He serves on the UK Government’s Life Sciences Council and Vaccine Taskforce as well as the UK Biosecurity Leadership Council. Steve has helped enable effective industrial incentives, like the Biomedical Catalyst, and forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and China. Before joining the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and was advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was appointed an OBE for services to innovation in 2017 and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science in 2020.

Dr Anderson Ryan is the scientific co-founder of FasT BioPharma, an oncology-focussed start-up, where he leads the R&D programme. Prior to this he served as VP Head of Oncology at Mission Therapeutics, Head of Translational Science at Medicines Discovery Catapult and worked in a number of roles at AstraZeneca, including leading translational science programmes across a broad range of preclinical and clinical oncology indications. Anderson was previously a lecturer in cancer studies at the University of Manchester, and Associate Professor and Senior MRC Group Leader in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, investigating new therapeutic approaches in lung cancer. He has trained more than 20 post-graduate students, published over 200 scientific papers and 12 patents, and acts as an oncology/drug-development reviewer for key funders, including CRUK, UKRI and Innovate UK.

ELRIG will be launching the TechBio Breakthrough Zone at Research and Innovation 2024. The new exhibition space provides young companies with the opportunity to present their technology and connect with potential customers and collaborators. There is also an opportunity to nominate early-career professionals for ELRIG’s Impact Award which will recognise an individual for their scientific contribution and its impact on early-stage drug discovery.

Sarah Brockbank, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Strategy Leader—Complex Medicines, Medicines Discovery Catapult, said: “We have an outstanding line up of speakers covering key focus areas in drug discovery and development. These world-leading experts will share their insights and experiences on the challenges and opportunities in the field, and we are honoured to have Steve Bates and Dr Anderson Ryan on board as keynote speakers.”

 

Roger Clark, Conference Director, ELRIG UK and Head of High Throughput Screening, Charles River Laboratories, said: “We look forward to welcoming scientists from academia and industry to the University of Manchester, celebrating its bicentenary this year — the perfect setting to share bold ideas to accelerate future drug discovery and reflect upon the transformative achievements that have paved the way for new generation therapeutics.”  

Steve Bates OBE FMedSci, CEO, BioIndustry Association, said: “I’m delighted to be speaking at ELRIG Research and Innovation this year. The event presents an excellent opportunity for the vibrant life sciences industry to connect, collaborate and discuss the latest innovations. This is vital to the success of the community as we strive towards the discovery and development of new medicines to cure more patients around the world.”

Dr Anderson Ryan, Co-founder and Head of R&D and Drug Development, FasT BioPharma: “The organisers have put together a terrific line up packed with interesting talks, poster presentations, exhibitors and networking opportunities. I’m proud to be presenting at such an exciting event, providing researchers and entrepreneurs with a host of opportunities to discover emerging biology and cutting-edge technologies, including those from young companies.”

 

For further information about Research and Innovation 2024, please visit: https://elrig.org/portfolio/research-innovation-2024/


ELRIG UK Establishes Engagement Strategy Work Group

Group aims to improve access to scientific programmes and grow ELRIG community

Cambridge, UK, 14 September 2023: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the formation of its Engagement Strategy Work Group (ESWG). The group will provide strategic direction and guidance to help ensure the ELRIG community continues to grow and thrive. It aims to engage audiences in different ways, beyond face-to-face events, broadening access to high-quality science across a more diverse and inclusive network.

ELRIG is a not-for-profit, volunteer-led community, comprising a diverse global network of over 22,000 life science professionals from biopharma, CRO’s, academia or with vendor companies. ELRIG aims to bring the life science and drug discovery communities together to learn, share, connect, innovate, and collaborate, on an open-access basis through the provision of conferences, networking events, webinars, and digital content. The board delegates its tasks to a series of work groups, who work with the ELRIG team to ensure it achieves these objectives.

The ESWG will focus on developing and implementing a cohesive digital content strategy, social media presence and media partnerships, improving accessibility and inclusivity, and

creating additional value from its scientific content. It will make key recommendations that support the strategic pillars of the organization and strive to ensure that the perspectives of all its community members are considered and represented in discussion and decisions.

Dr Chris Williams, ELRIG Board Member and Founder & Managing Director, Questae Coaching & Consulting, will lead the ESWG. She has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry having worked at Pfizer, UCB, Ipsen and the NHS demonstrating a breadth of scientific, project, business, and change management experience. Dr Williams will be supported by ELRIG’s Sanj Kumar, CEO, and Emily Norman, Marketing & Communications Manager, and volunteers from across the scientific community: Abby George, Senior Content Editor at BioStrata; Alison Rawlinson, Head of Marketing at Qkine; Kayvan Richter, Research Communications and Marketing Manager at Cancer Research UK; Dr Michelle Ricketts, Managing Director at Codon Communications; and Dr Sophie Rose, Head of Business Development, Europe at Metrion Biosciences.

“Driven by the philosophy of sustainability and accessibility, we want to make sure that our scientific content can be reached by those not able to attend our events. Whilst not being there in person means people don’t benefit from the spontaneity and networking that happens, we want to promote access and digital connectivity to enhance application of scientific and technological innovations wherever you are. We are aiming to provide platforms for scientific exchange that resonate whether you are an early career professional, academic, entrepreneur or pharma/biotech leader. This mentality has provoked the change to a more strategic look at different ways to engage our community through the ESWG,” said Dr Chris Williams, Engagement Strategy Work Group Lead, ELRIG UK, and Founder & Managing Director, Questae Coaching & Consulting.

“As ever, we are truly thankful to our volunteer members who have stepped forward to join this team and are open to other applications from those who believe they can bring these philosophies to life across our community,” she added.

The formation of the ESWG follows the reorganization of ELRIG’s governance and work group structure earlier this year which saw Saleha Patel, Associate Principal Scientist, Emerging Innovations, Discovery Sciences, R&D at AstraZeneca, selected as Chair of Scientific Programme Work Group, and Nick Clare, Interim Chief Business Officer and VP of Strategic Alliances at DefiniGEN, appointed as Vendor Strategy Work Group Lead.

Emily Norman, Marketing & Communications Manager, ELRIG UK, said: “We are passionate about engaging our members in the high-quality content we provide and committed to delivering complementary scientific programmes that are relevant and respond to the needs of our diverse network. The newly formed Engagement Strategy team will work alongside all ELRIG’s Work Groups to improve access to the scientific content from our conferences and networking events through digital platforms, publications, and media partnerships, as well as promote inclusivity, collaboration, and sustainability. In doing so, we hope to widen our reach into the life sciences community, attracting new members to our events and into the ELRIG organization.”

 For further information about ELRIG’s Work Groups, please visit:

https://elrig.org/workgroups/ or meet the team at Drug Discovery 2023 taking place in Liverpool, UK from 18–19 October.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Dr Chris Williams, Engagement Strategy Work Group Lead, ELRIG UK, and

Founder & Managing Director, Questae Coaching & Consulting

Emily Norman, Marketing & Communications Manager, ELRIG UK ELRIG UK’s Engagement Strategy Work Group. Left to right: (first row) Sanj Kumar, Emily Norman, Dr Chris Williams, Kayvan Richter, (second row) Dr Sophie Rose, Dr Michelle Ricketts, Alison Rawlinson, Abby Edwards  

Please contact Codon Communications for high-resolution images.

ELRIG UK

Sanj Kumar

Tel: +44 7860 892944

Email: sanj.kumar@elrig.org

Codon Communications

Dr Michelle Ricketts

Tel: +44 7789 053885

Email: michelle.ricketts@codoncommunications.com


ELRIG UK announces a reorganisation within its governance.

London, UK, 28 June 2023: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced a reorganisation of the governance and workgroup structure bringing together the Science Strategy and Networking Events Workgroups into one Scientific Programme Workgroup under the leadership of Saleha Patel (Associate Principal Scientist, Emerging Innovations Unit, AstraZeneca).ELRIG UK would like to acknowledge the efforts and support of Katy Kettleborough (Translation Challenge Leader, Chronic respiratory Infections, Lifearc) who, at the end of the year, is stepping is stepping down from both her role as chair of the Science Strategy Workgroup and from the ELRIG Board to focus on other commitments. ELRIG is dependent on the support of volunteers within the Life Sciences community and is very grateful to all who have given their time supporting the two workgroups alongside their careers.

 

Katy’s work establishing ELRIG Conferences as industry-leading opportunities to learn about emerging topics in drug discovery is highly valued. Saleha has chaired the Networking Events Workgroup since 2019 and is also a Director on the ELRIG Board. She has developed a complementary programme of successful one-day Forums that now regularly feature alongside Networking meetings and Conferences in the ELRIG calendar. The merging of the workgroups will bring together these two programme streams; aligning the scientific content, leveraging the full expertise and networks of our volunteers and continuing to deliver high quality scientific content to our ELRIG community.

 

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Senior Director of Screening and Sample Management at GSK, said: Over recent years ELRIG’s program of scientific events has grown and we are engaging a wider community and breadth of subject matter than ever before. In particular, we have seen huge demand for one day meetings on dedicated topics, making high quality science accessible to the ELRIG community in their local geography. We have responded to the demand for these events by creating our Forums, which are now a core part of our events calendar. It is therefore the right time to combine our legacy Science Strategy and Networking Events Workgroups into a Scientific Programme Workgroup with accountability to define the complete programme of Scientific events – including our larger Conferences, one day Forums and informal Networking Events. I am delighted that Saleha Patel will take on the leadership of this newly combined workgroup. Saleha has been pivotal in the development of our Forums and brings great energy and ideas to the Board. At this time Katy Kettleborough will step back from the ELRIG board to focus on her day job. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Katy for her leadership of the Science Strategy Workgroup for the last four years and her wider contributions to the ELRIG Board.

 

Saleha Patel, Board Director, newly appointed Chair of Scientific Programme Workgroup and Associate Principal Scientist, Emerging Innovations, Discovery Sciences, R&D, AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK, said: I am excited to take on this new role as Chair of the Scientific Programme Workgroup. ELRIG plays an important role in supporting the global life sciences eco-system; enabling opportunities to connect, collaborate and learn from each other. The joining of the Science Strategy and Networking Events Workgroups provides a unique opportunity in bringing together two groups of exceptional volunteers, and leaders, from across our industry in order to deliver our future scientific programme. I look forward to continuing our mission in bringing high quality scientific content to our community on an open access basis.

 

For more information about the ELRIG work groups, please visit: www.elrig.org/workgroups/


ELRIG UK Announces Prof Janet Hemingway and Dr Dave Powell as Keynote Speakers at Drug Discovery 2023 

ELRIG Drug Discovery 2023 at ACC Liverpool (18–19 October) to focus on diverse thinking and new perspectives 

Cambridge, UK, 06 June 2023: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the keynote speakers for Drug Discovery 2023, taking place at the ACC in Liverpool from 18–19 October. Prof Janet Hemingway CBE, FRS, Founding Director of Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), and Dr Dave Powell, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of LifeArc will lead this year’s event focussing on diverse thinking and new perspectives.  

The organization’s free-to-attend, flagship conference will cover a wide range of themes from ‘omics, and personalized medicine to chemistry; all focused on bringing new therapies from the lab to the patient.  

Janet Hemingway is Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the Founding Director of iiCON, a collaborative £230 million programme bringing together academic, industry and clinical partners to help transform the discovery and supply of anti-infectives and accelerate their journey to market. She is a senior technical advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and has been PI on projects in excess of £370 million. Prof Hemingway was Director of LSTM from 2001 to 2019 and she was awarded a CBE for services to the Control of Tropical Disease Vectors in 2012. 

Dave Powell joined LifeArc as CSO in 2022 as the next step in his 25 years in R&D. Prior to this he led the preclinical drug discovery and the phase lll antibiotic research programme at Summit Therapeutics. Dr Powell began his life sciences career at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK), gaining deep platform and project experience across numerous therapeutic areas, including neurosciences, oncology, and infectious disease. He also helped to start and then led the collaboration between GSK and the Francis Crick Institute in London. 

Drug Discovery 2023 will include presentations from leaders in their fields, a trade show and exhibition, a poster competition, tech theatres focussed on robotics and automation, and sustainability practices, a host of networking opportunities and a learning zone for early career professionals.  

The conference will run four parallel sessions each day focussed on: cellular technologies for drug discovery, transforming cancer drug discovery through diverse thinking and innovations, delving into the diversity of chemistry, driving molecules from concept to clinic, augmenting R&D with AI, biopharmaceutical discovery, translating ideas into therapies, hit identification and screening, and chemistry enabling drug discovery from start to clinic. 

 

Sanj Kumar, CEO, ELRIG UK said: ELRIG is dedicated to delivering great scientific content with diversity and inclusivity built in, and the calibre of talks at this year’s event are testament to that. The keynote speakers are such influential and highly respected scientists in their respective fields. We are delighted to have them lead the scientific programme at Drug Discovery 2023 and support us in driving collaboration across the scientific community as we continue to grow our diverse network. 

 

Prof Janet Hemingway, Founding Director, iiCON said:It’s an honour to be presenting at this year’s Drug Discovery event in Liverpool. I look forward to connecting with thought leaders, sharing insights, and gaining new perspectives on key areas of importance in the field and future directions for novel therapeutics.” 

 

Dr Dave Powell, CSO, LifeArc said:I’m passionate about discovery innovation but also about how we can train and prepare the next generation of drug discovery scientists. So, I’m proud to be presenting at ELRIG’s flagship event this year where new ideas and technology are always to the fore, but importantly ELRIG Drug Discovery is a highly approachable conference for our younger colleagues as well.” 

For a full listing of speakers and sessions, to register or book an exhibition stand, please visit:https://elrig.org/portfolio/drug-discovery-2023/  


ELRIG UK Appoints Nick Clare to Board as Vendor Strategy Work Group Lead

Cambridge, UK, 11 May 2023: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the appointment of Nick Clare to the ELRIG board. He will chair and lead the Vendor Strategy Work Group to help ensure the vendors’ perspectives and interests are represented within the ELRIG board.

ELRIG aims to bring the life science and drug discovery communities accessible, high-quality scientific content and events with the support of its vendors. The board is comprised of a diverse group of individuals, representing all facets of the ELRIG community, as well as having the skills and experience needed to manage a learned society. This includes commercial representation within its governance structure to ensure its strategy is aligned with the needs of the vendor community.

Nick has two decades of industrial life science experience across a variety of scientific and commercial roles in large pharma and startups. He is currently Regional Sales Manager (Head of Europe) at Synthego and in recent years, he has supported scientists in selecting tools and workflows in stem cells and CRISPR applications to help drive the discovery of new treatments. Nick was elected to sit on the General Committee of ELRIG in 2021 to support the organisation’s Networking Work Group. Prior to this, Nick worked as a scientist and lab head in R&D, leading projects to establish cell/genetic models for drug discovery and disease modelling.

Nick Clare, Vendor Strategy Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Regional Sales Manager at Synthego said: “I appreciate the quality of science available through ELRIG; it is free to access and enables us all to grow together. I want to bring a stronger voice on behalf of the vendor by helping them to provide their expertise and share different ways of thinking about science, while continuing to support ELRIG’s events. The more we collaborate with the vendors, the more we can enable the drug discovery community to progress therapeutic candidates through to the clinic.”

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GSK, said: “Nick’s experience, both in his day job at Synthego and from his involvement with our Networking Work Group, make him an excellent candidate to take on this role. With his help, we aim to better align ELRIG’s strategy with the needs of the vendor community, and ensure our scientific programme is well-connected with the exhibitors at our events.”

For more information about the ELRIG Board, please click here.

To download this Press Release click here


ELRIG UK establishes Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr Chas Bountra, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell to help deliver current and impactful scientific content to life science and drug discovery communities
  • Dr Catherine Kettleborough to chair SAB, supported by Melanie Leveridge, Sanj Kumar, and Dr Saleha Patel
  • Dr Antje Grotz to receive the Early Career Professional Impact Award at ELRIG UK’s Research and Innovation (29–30 March 2022 in Oxford, UK)

York, UK, 17th March 2022: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of senior drug discovery experts: Dr Chas Bountra OBE, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees OBE, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell. The SAB will help the organisation continue to deliver reliable, cutting-edge content to the life science and drug discovery communities, driving collaboration and knowledge exchange between academic and biopharma industry thought-leaders.

The newly formed SAB will be chaired by Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, and supported by Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sanj Kumar, General Manager at ELRIG UK, and Dr Saleha Patel, Networking Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca.

Dr Catherine Kettleborough has over 25 years’ experience working at the interface of academic research and biopharma. As Head of Biology at LifeArc’s Centre for Translational Sciences, Dr Kettleborough oversees reagent and assay development, screening, and target validation to support hit-to-lead and antibody discovery projects for novel drug targets identified by academic research groups globally. Prior to her current role, she was Assistant Director of Applied Research at MRC Technology where she managed the Assay Development and Screening Group.

Dr Chas Bountra OBE is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Professor of Translational Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medicines Discovery in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Dr Bountra was VP and Head of Biology at GSK where he led the identification of over 40 clinical candidates for gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, and neuro-psychiatric diseases. Dr Bountra advises on a range of academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery programmes, and he is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies.

Dr Richard Eglen has over 40 years’ experience in executive management positions across pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology industries, and he is currently Senior Advisor to a leading private equity firm that specialises in healthcare, Arsenal Capital Partners. He is also a Fellow of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) and previously held senior roles at Corning Life Sciences, PerkinElmer, DiscoveRx Corp (now Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services), and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Dr Eglen has broad experience in drug discovery, having worked on key drug targets, as well as in developing technologies for cell and gene therapy, cell culture, high-throughput screening, cellular imaging and biomarker detection.

Steve Rees OBE is VP of Discovery Biology at AstraZeneca with responsibility for functional genomics, reagent and assay development, and cell and gene therapies. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Rees worked at GSK for 24 years in various roles. He is currently an Industry Trustee of the British Pharmaceutical Society (BPS) Council and works to actively promote networking, educational, and mentoring opportunities for drug discovery scientists. Rees is also the former Chair of ELRIG UK and member of the SLAS Board of Directors, and has led multiple international collaborations and external partnerships, including the creation of the Cambridge COVID-19 Test Centre.

Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart has more than 20 years’ experience in senior academic and industry leadership roles, with a focus on drug discovery and the translation of early research innovation into drug discovery programmes. She is currently CSO at C4X Discovery and, prior to this, was Senior Director of Alliances for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the strategic development and management of academic alliances. In senior leadership positions at Imperial College London, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Stanford University-Takeda Alliance for Innovative Medicines, Dr Tralau-Stewart built drug discovery portfolios through to Phase III clinical studies. She is currently a Fellow of the SLAS and the Royal Society of Chemistry, as well as a Member of the BPS.

Dr Ian Waddell is CSO for CUMULUS Oncology, with over 35 years’ experience in project, line, and matrix management in the pharmaceutical industry. In his previous role as Director of Discovery Medicine and Translational Science at AstraZeneca, Dr Waddell managed research groups in cardiovascular and oncology disease areas, and, as Head of Biology in the Drug Discovery Unit of the CRUK Manchester Institute, he led a team that identified three clinical drug candidates. He was also CSO (Early Discovery) at Charles River Laboratories, where he supported its rapid growth as the Company began to focus on new modalities. Dr Waddell works closely with Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline, said: “We are pleased to welcome this talented team of industry experts to our newly formed SAB. Their extensive expertise and knowledge across the drug discovery field will support ELRIG UK to ensure the content we deliver to our community of over 12,000 drug discovery scientists remains at the forefront of scientific research and industry trends.”

Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader and SAB Chair at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, commented: “The appointment of the new SAB will be fundamental in our mission to ensuring the highest quality of scientific content and to bring the life science and drug discovery communities together to learn, connect, and collaborate, on an open access basis. We look forward to working closely with this exceptional group to reinforce our core values and efforts.”

The Research & Innovation Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022

The ELRIG Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022 is designed to recognise and celebrate ECPs that are having a positive impact on preclinical drug discovery. Dr Antje Grotz, Postdoctoral Fellow at AstraZeneca has been selected to receive this years’ award in recognition of her work performing a genome-wide CRISPR screen of human pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction to understand the molecular mechanisms mediating Type 2 diabetes risk, as well as for her efforts as an ECP at AstraZeneca and various science festivals. Dr Grotz will deliver a presentation at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event taking place in Oxford, UK from 29–30 March.

Dr Mark Soave, ECP Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at OMass Therapeutics, added: The ECP Impact award looks to highlight our future leaders by recognising the delivery of impactful science and technology, and we are delighted that Dr Antje Grotz is this years’ recipient. We look forward to celebrating her well-deserved achievement at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation later this month.”

For more information on ELRIG UK’s SAB, please visit https://elrig.org/about/governance/scientific-advisory-board/

For more details on the ECP Impact Award, please visit https://elrig.org/early-career-professionals/, and to learn more on ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event, please visit https://elrig.org/portfolio/research-innovation-2022/.

Read the Press Release Here

ELRIG’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences, especially the area of drug discovery, that has had a positive impact on the industry and/or benefited the global community.

  • Steve Rees to give a presentation titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at the opening of Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting.

York, UK, 5th October 2021: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced it will award its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Rees, previous ELRIG Chair, former ELRIG Board Member and Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D at AstraZeneca.

The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences that has had a positive impact on the industry, was pivotal to a key scientific breakthrough, and/or benefited the global community.  Earlier this year Steve, along with seven other AstraZeneca employees, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to science and the COVID-19 response.  By choosing Steve as the recipient of ELRIG’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, ELRIG recognises not only his work done in the response to COVID-19, but also his wider contribution to the drug discovery industry and the ELRIG community.

To celebrate the award, Steve will present a talk titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at ELRIG’s Drug Discovery 2021—a free-to-attend, in-person event which will take place at the ACC Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Senior Director of Screening and Sample Management at GlaxoSmithKline said: “I’m delighted that after a unanimous vote by ELRIG’s board that Steve is the first recipient of this award, in recognition of all his contributions to industry, life sciences and as importantly, to ELRIG and the ELRIG community. We felt that it was even more appropriate to award Steve this year after his recognition in the Birthday Honours List and are honoured that he will present during the opening keynote session of the Drug Discovery 2021.” 

Steve Rees, Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “ I am truly honoured that you have nominated me as the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. ELRIG plays a unique and leading role in supporting collaboration and innovation in drug discovery and I am proud of my long-standing association with this great organisation. I feel privileged to have been given this award and I am delighted to accept. Thank You!

Read the Press Release Here

Psychiatry Medicines Discovery Champion Wins Prestigious Industry Award

  • ELRIG’s Impact Award, supported by SelectScience, is presented to an Early Career Professional who has made a significant impact in the drug discovery community.
  • This year’s recipient, Dr Laura Ajram of Medicines Discovery Catapult, will give a podium presentation titled “Mind the gap… making a career out of building bridges” at Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) has landed the prestigious ELRIG Early Career Impact Award 2021.

The ELRIG (European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group) Early Career Professional Impact Award, recognises and celebrates the achievements of early-career professionals (ECP) who have made a clear, demonstrable impact on the wider scientific community.

Dr Laura Ajram was awarded the accolade due to her outstanding work in the inception and management of MDC’s Psychiatry Consortium; a pioneering collaboration between medical charities, pharma and healthcare organisations, focusing on novel drug discovery in mental health.

Laura, who holds a PhD in Translational Neuropharmacology from King’s College London, has used her expertise in the field to implement a highly engaging and innovative framework which has led to the funding of collaborative psychiatric drug discovery projects, an area which has historically suffered from limited effective treatments and high patient need.

After joining MDC in 2019, Laura set about raising awareness of the Psychiatry Consortium on a global level engaging with industry leaders and delivering webinars to over 1,000 delegates worldwide. Since then, Laura has gone on to lead the development of the Psychiatry Consortium’s first-ever project, a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the Earlham Institute and global pharma companies Biogen Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim. The project investigates a new drug target for the treatment of schizophrenia and has generated significant data so far.

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC, said: “I am very proud to win the ELRIG Early Career Impact Award as it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a reflection of the great strides the Psychiatry Consortium has taken since its inception 2 years ago. My role as Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC sees me work with scientists to make exciting mental health focussed research happen, and it is incredibly encouraging to see leadership and facilitation of collaborations within the drug discovery space being recognised in this way.

“I am driven by a desire to bring people together in collaboration to offer different perspectives and make research even stronger. Through the Psychiatry Consortium, we are seeing the benefits of this approach. It is great that ELRIG acknowledge all the roles that play a part in delivering exciting science, and I hope that by winning this award I inspire others to actively engage in meaningful research collaborations that could lead to the drug discovery breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

Dr Nicola Heron, Chief Business Officer at MDC, said: “It is wonderful that Laura has been recognised by the ELRIG awards for all of her hard work, dedication and expertise in establishing the Psychiatry Consortium at MDC. Laura is exactly the kind of vibrant and passionate talent we strive to attract and nurture at MDC. I absolutely applaud her commitment to collaboration and passion for translating much-needed mental health treatments from research to the clinic.

“I am delighted for Laura, and on behalf of MDC would like to congratulate her on this much-deserved accolade.”

Dr Del Trezise, ELRIG’s Early Career Professional Workgroup Chair and Board Director added: “ELRIG’s ECP Impact Award has become a highly regarded and prestigious prize. We are delighted to add Laura to our list of impressive previous winners. The impact of her work on the Psychiatry drug discovery community has been tremendous and is exactly the type of contribution we are looking to recognise.”

As well as receiving the award, Laura will be invited to give a 20-minute presentation of her work on Wednesday 20th October at 9:50AM (UK time) at ELRIG’s flagship Drug Discovery 2021 face-to-face meeting.

The Psychiatry Consortium is currently seeking project proposals which focus on the validation of novel molecular drug-targets for mental health conditions. The deadline for applications is 13.00 (BST) on 8th October 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the Psychiatry Consortium website: www.psychiatryconsortium.org.

ELRIG UK establishes Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr Chas Bountra, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell to help deliver current and impactful scientific content to life science and drug discovery communities
  • Dr Catherine Kettleborough to chair SAB, supported by Melanie Leveridge, Sanj Kumar, and Dr Saleha Patel
  • Dr Antje Grotz to receive the Early Career Professional Impact Award at ELRIG UK’s Research and Innovation (29–30 March 2022 in Oxford, UK)

York, UK, 17th March 2022: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of senior drug discovery experts: Dr Chas Bountra OBE, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees OBE, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell. The SAB will help the organisation continue to deliver reliable, cutting-edge content to the life science and drug discovery communities, driving collaboration and knowledge exchange between academic and biopharma industry thought-leaders.

The newly formed SAB will be chaired by Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, and supported by Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sanj Kumar, General Manager at ELRIG UK, and Dr Saleha Patel, Networking Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca.

Dr Catherine Kettleborough has over 25 years’ experience working at the interface of academic research and biopharma. As Head of Biology at LifeArc’s Centre for Translational Sciences, Dr Kettleborough oversees reagent and assay development, screening, and target validation to support hit-to-lead and antibody discovery projects for novel drug targets identified by academic research groups globally. Prior to her current role, she was Assistant Director of Applied Research at MRC Technology where she managed the Assay Development and Screening Group.

Dr Chas Bountra OBE is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Professor of Translational Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medicines Discovery in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Dr Bountra was VP and Head of Biology at GSK where he led the identification of over 40 clinical candidates for gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, and neuro-psychiatric diseases. Dr Bountra advises on a range of academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery programmes, and he is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies.

Dr Richard Eglen has over 40 years’ experience in executive management positions across pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology industries, and he is currently Senior Advisor to a leading private equity firm that specialises in healthcare, Arsenal Capital Partners. He is also a Fellow of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) and previously held senior roles at Corning Life Sciences, PerkinElmer, DiscoveRx Corp (now Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services), and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Dr Eglen has broad experience in drug discovery, having worked on key drug targets, as well as in developing technologies for cell and gene therapy, cell culture, high-throughput screening, cellular imaging and biomarker detection.

Steve Rees OBE is VP of Discovery Biology at AstraZeneca with responsibility for functional genomics, reagent and assay development, and cell and gene therapies. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Rees worked at GSK for 24 years in various roles. He is currently an Industry Trustee of the British Pharmaceutical Society (BPS) Council and works to actively promote networking, educational, and mentoring opportunities for drug discovery scientists. Rees is also the former Chair of ELRIG UK and member of the SLAS Board of Directors, and has led multiple international collaborations and external partnerships, including the creation of the Cambridge COVID-19 Test Centre.

Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart has more than 20 years’ experience in senior academic and industry leadership roles, with a focus on drug discovery and the translation of early research innovation into drug discovery programmes. She is currently CSO at C4X Discovery and, prior to this, was Senior Director of Alliances for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the strategic development and management of academic alliances. In senior leadership positions at Imperial College London, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Stanford University-Takeda Alliance for Innovative Medicines, Dr Tralau-Stewart built drug discovery portfolios through to Phase III clinical studies. She is currently a Fellow of the SLAS and the Royal Society of Chemistry, as well as a Member of the BPS.

Dr Ian Waddell is CSO for CUMULUS Oncology, with over 35 years’ experience in project, line, and matrix management in the pharmaceutical industry. In his previous role as Director of Discovery Medicine and Translational Science at AstraZeneca, Dr Waddell managed research groups in cardiovascular and oncology disease areas, and, as Head of Biology in the Drug Discovery Unit of the CRUK Manchester Institute, he led a team that identified three clinical drug candidates. He was also CSO (Early Discovery) at Charles River Laboratories, where he supported its rapid growth as the Company began to focus on new modalities. Dr Waddell works closely with Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline, said: “We are pleased to welcome this talented team of industry experts to our newly formed SAB. Their extensive expertise and knowledge across the drug discovery field will support ELRIG UK to ensure the content we deliver to our community of over 12,000 drug discovery scientists remains at the forefront of scientific research and industry trends.”

Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader and SAB Chair at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, commented: “The appointment of the new SAB will be fundamental in our mission to ensuring the highest quality of scientific content and to bring the life science and drug discovery communities together to learn, connect, and collaborate, on an open access basis. We look forward to working closely with this exceptional group to reinforce our core values and efforts.”

The Research & Innovation Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022

The ELRIG Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022 is designed to recognise and celebrate ECPs that are having a positive impact on preclinical drug discovery. Dr Antje Grotz, Postdoctoral Fellow at AstraZeneca has been selected to receive this years’ award in recognition of her work performing a genome-wide CRISPR screen of human pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction to understand the molecular mechanisms mediating Type 2 diabetes risk, as well as for her efforts as an ECP at AstraZeneca and various science festivals. Dr Grotz will deliver a presentation at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event taking place in Oxford, UK from 29–30 March.

Dr Mark Soave, ECP Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at OMass Therapeutics, added: The ECP Impact award looks to highlight our future leaders by recognising the delivery of impactful science and technology, and we are delighted that Dr Antje Grotz is this years’ recipient. We look forward to celebrating her well-deserved achievement at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation later this month.”

For more information on ELRIG UK’s SAB, please visit https://elrig.org/about/governance/scientific-advisory-board/

For more details on the ECP Impact Award, please visit https://elrig.org/early-career-professionals/, and to learn more on ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event, please visit https://elrig.org/portfolio/research-innovation-2022/.

Read the Press Release Here

ELRIG’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences, especially the area of drug discovery, that has had a positive impact on the industry and/or benefited the global community.

  • Steve Rees to give a presentation titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at the opening of Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting.

York, UK, 5th October 2021: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced it will award its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Rees, previous ELRIG Chair, former ELRIG Board Member and Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D at AstraZeneca.

The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences that has had a positive impact on the industry, was pivotal to a key scientific breakthrough, and/or benefited the global community.  Earlier this year Steve, along with seven other AstraZeneca employees, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to science and the COVID-19 response.  By choosing Steve as the recipient of ELRIG’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, ELRIG recognises not only his work done in the response to COVID-19, but also his wider contribution to the drug discovery industry and the ELRIG community.

To celebrate the award, Steve will present a talk titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at ELRIG’s Drug Discovery 2021—a free-to-attend, in-person event which will take place at the ACC Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Senior Director of Screening and Sample Management at GlaxoSmithKline said: “I’m delighted that after a unanimous vote by ELRIG’s board that Steve is the first recipient of this award, in recognition of all his contributions to industry, life sciences and as importantly, to ELRIG and the ELRIG community. We felt that it was even more appropriate to award Steve this year after his recognition in the Birthday Honours List and are honoured that he will present during the opening keynote session of the Drug Discovery 2021.” 

Steve Rees, Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “ I am truly honoured that you have nominated me as the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. ELRIG plays a unique and leading role in supporting collaboration and innovation in drug discovery and I am proud of my long-standing association with this great organisation. I feel privileged to have been given this award and I am delighted to accept. Thank You!

Read the Press Release Here

Psychiatry Medicines Discovery Champion Wins Prestigious Industry Award

  • ELRIG’s Impact Award, supported by SelectScience, is presented to an Early Career Professional who has made a significant impact in the drug discovery community.
  • This year’s recipient, Dr Laura Ajram of Medicines Discovery Catapult, will give a podium presentation titled “Mind the gap… making a career out of building bridges” at Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) has landed the prestigious ELRIG Early Career Impact Award 2021.

The ELRIG (European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group) Early Career Professional Impact Award, recognises and celebrates the achievements of early-career professionals (ECP) who have made a clear, demonstrable impact on the wider scientific community.

Dr Laura Ajram was awarded the accolade due to her outstanding work in the inception and management of MDC’s Psychiatry Consortium; a pioneering collaboration between medical charities, pharma and healthcare organisations, focusing on novel drug discovery in mental health.

Laura, who holds a PhD in Translational Neuropharmacology from King’s College London, has used her expertise in the field to implement a highly engaging and innovative framework which has led to the funding of collaborative psychiatric drug discovery projects, an area which has historically suffered from limited effective treatments and high patient need.

After joining MDC in 2019, Laura set about raising awareness of the Psychiatry Consortium on a global level engaging with industry leaders and delivering webinars to over 1,000 delegates worldwide. Since then, Laura has gone on to lead the development of the Psychiatry Consortium’s first-ever project, a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the Earlham Institute and global pharma companies Biogen Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim. The project investigates a new drug target for the treatment of schizophrenia and has generated significant data so far.

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC, said: “I am very proud to win the ELRIG Early Career Impact Award as it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a reflection of the great strides the Psychiatry Consortium has taken since its inception 2 years ago. My role as Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC sees me work with scientists to make exciting mental health focussed research happen, and it is incredibly encouraging to see leadership and facilitation of collaborations within the drug discovery space being recognised in this way.

“I am driven by a desire to bring people together in collaboration to offer different perspectives and make research even stronger. Through the Psychiatry Consortium, we are seeing the benefits of this approach. It is great that ELRIG acknowledge all the roles that play a part in delivering exciting science, and I hope that by winning this award I inspire others to actively engage in meaningful research collaborations that could lead to the drug discovery breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

Dr Nicola Heron, Chief Business Officer at MDC, said: “It is wonderful that Laura has been recognised by the ELRIG awards for all of her hard work, dedication and expertise in establishing the Psychiatry Consortium at MDC. Laura is exactly the kind of vibrant and passionate talent we strive to attract and nurture at MDC. I absolutely applaud her commitment to collaboration and passion for translating much-needed mental health treatments from research to the clinic.

“I am delighted for Laura, and on behalf of MDC would like to congratulate her on this much-deserved accolade.”

Dr Del Trezise, ELRIG’s Early Career Professional Workgroup Chair and Board Director added: “ELRIG’s ECP Impact Award has become a highly regarded and prestigious prize. We are delighted to add Laura to our list of impressive previous winners. The impact of her work on the Psychiatry drug discovery community has been tremendous and is exactly the type of contribution we are looking to recognise.”

As well as receiving the award, Laura will be invited to give a 20-minute presentation of her work on Wednesday 20th October at 9:50AM (UK time) at ELRIG’s flagship Drug Discovery 2021 face-to-face meeting.

The Psychiatry Consortium is currently seeking project proposals which focus on the validation of novel molecular drug-targets for mental health conditions. The deadline for applications is 13.00 (BST) on 8th October 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the Psychiatry Consortium website: www.psychiatryconsortium.org.

ELRIG UK establishes Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr Chas Bountra, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell to help deliver current and impactful scientific content to life science and drug discovery communities
  • Dr Catherine Kettleborough to chair SAB, supported by Melanie Leveridge, Sanj Kumar, and Dr Saleha Patel
  • Dr Antje Grotz to receive the Early Career Professional Impact Award at ELRIG UK’s Research and Innovation (29–30 March 2022 in Oxford, UK)

York, UK, 17th March 2022: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of senior drug discovery experts: Dr Chas Bountra OBE, Dr Richard Eglen, Steve Rees OBE, Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart, and Dr Ian Waddell. The SAB will help the organisation continue to deliver reliable, cutting-edge content to the life science and drug discovery communities, driving collaboration and knowledge exchange between academic and biopharma industry thought-leaders.

The newly formed SAB will be chaired by Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, and supported by Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sanj Kumar, General Manager at ELRIG UK, and Dr Saleha Patel, Networking Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca.

Dr Catherine Kettleborough has over 25 years’ experience working at the interface of academic research and biopharma. As Head of Biology at LifeArc’s Centre for Translational Sciences, Dr Kettleborough oversees reagent and assay development, screening, and target validation to support hit-to-lead and antibody discovery projects for novel drug targets identified by academic research groups globally. Prior to her current role, she was Assistant Director of Applied Research at MRC Technology where she managed the Assay Development and Screening Group.

Dr Chas Bountra OBE is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Professor of Translational Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medicines Discovery in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Dr Bountra was VP and Head of Biology at GSK where he led the identification of over 40 clinical candidates for gastro-intestinal, inflammatory, and neuro-psychiatric diseases. Dr Bountra advises on a range of academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery programmes, and he is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies.

Dr Richard Eglen has over 40 years’ experience in executive management positions across pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology industries, and he is currently Senior Advisor to a leading private equity firm that specialises in healthcare, Arsenal Capital Partners. He is also a Fellow of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) and previously held senior roles at Corning Life Sciences, PerkinElmer, DiscoveRx Corp (now Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services), and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Dr Eglen has broad experience in drug discovery, having worked on key drug targets, as well as in developing technologies for cell and gene therapy, cell culture, high-throughput screening, cellular imaging and biomarker detection.

Steve Rees OBE is VP of Discovery Biology at AstraZeneca with responsibility for functional genomics, reagent and assay development, and cell and gene therapies. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Rees worked at GSK for 24 years in various roles. He is currently an Industry Trustee of the British Pharmaceutical Society (BPS) Council and works to actively promote networking, educational, and mentoring opportunities for drug discovery scientists. Rees is also the former Chair of ELRIG UK and member of the SLAS Board of Directors, and has led multiple international collaborations and external partnerships, including the creation of the Cambridge COVID-19 Test Centre.

Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart has more than 20 years’ experience in senior academic and industry leadership roles, with a focus on drug discovery and the translation of early research innovation into drug discovery programmes. She is currently CSO at C4X Discovery and, prior to this, was Senior Director of Alliances for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the strategic development and management of academic alliances. In senior leadership positions at Imperial College London, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Stanford University-Takeda Alliance for Innovative Medicines, Dr Tralau-Stewart built drug discovery portfolios through to Phase III clinical studies. She is currently a Fellow of the SLAS and the Royal Society of Chemistry, as well as a Member of the BPS.

Dr Ian Waddell is CSO for CUMULUS Oncology, with over 35 years’ experience in project, line, and matrix management in the pharmaceutical industry. In his previous role as Director of Discovery Medicine and Translational Science at AstraZeneca, Dr Waddell managed research groups in cardiovascular and oncology disease areas, and, as Head of Biology in the Drug Discovery Unit of the CRUK Manchester Institute, he led a team that identified three clinical drug candidates. He was also CSO (Early Discovery) at Charles River Laboratories, where he supported its rapid growth as the Company began to focus on new modalities. Dr Waddell works closely with Alzheimer’s Research UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Head of Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology, and Global Compound Management at GlaxoSmithKline, said: “We are pleased to welcome this talented team of industry experts to our newly formed SAB. Their extensive expertise and knowledge across the drug discovery field will support ELRIG UK to ensure the content we deliver to our community of over 12,000 drug discovery scientists remains at the forefront of scientific research and industry trends.”

Dr Catherine Kettleborough, Science Strategy Work Group Leader and SAB Chair at ELRIG UK and Head of Biology at LifeArc, commented: “The appointment of the new SAB will be fundamental in our mission to ensuring the highest quality of scientific content and to bring the life science and drug discovery communities together to learn, connect, and collaborate, on an open access basis. We look forward to working closely with this exceptional group to reinforce our core values and efforts.”

The Research & Innovation Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022

The ELRIG Early Career Professional (ECP) Impact Award 2022 is designed to recognise and celebrate ECPs that are having a positive impact on preclinical drug discovery. Dr Antje Grotz, Postdoctoral Fellow at AstraZeneca has been selected to receive this years’ award in recognition of her work performing a genome-wide CRISPR screen of human pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction to understand the molecular mechanisms mediating Type 2 diabetes risk, as well as for her efforts as an ECP at AstraZeneca and various science festivals. Dr Grotz will deliver a presentation at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event taking place in Oxford, UK from 29–30 March.

Dr Mark Soave, ECP Work Group Leader at ELRIG UK and Senior Scientist at OMass Therapeutics, added: The ECP Impact award looks to highlight our future leaders by recognising the delivery of impactful science and technology, and we are delighted that Dr Antje Grotz is this years’ recipient. We look forward to celebrating her well-deserved achievement at ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation later this month.”

For more information on ELRIG UK’s SAB, please visit https://elrig.org/about/governance/scientific-advisory-board/

For more details on the ECP Impact Award, please visit https://elrig.org/early-career-professionals/, and to learn more on ELRIG UK’s Research & Innovation event, please visit https://elrig.org/portfolio/research-innovation-2022/.

Read the Press Release Here

ELRIG’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences, especially the area of drug discovery, that has had a positive impact on the industry and/or benefited the global community.

  • Steve Rees to give a presentation titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at the opening of Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting.

York, UK, 5th October 2021: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced it will award its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Rees, previous ELRIG Chair, former ELRIG Board Member and Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D at AstraZeneca.

The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life sciences that has had a positive impact on the industry, was pivotal to a key scientific breakthrough, and/or benefited the global community.  Earlier this year Steve, along with seven other AstraZeneca employees, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to science and the COVID-19 response.  By choosing Steve as the recipient of ELRIG’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, ELRIG recognises not only his work done in the response to COVID-19, but also his wider contribution to the drug discovery industry and the ELRIG community.

To celebrate the award, Steve will present a talk titled “A Career In Drug Discovery” at ELRIG’s Drug Discovery 2021—a free-to-attend, in-person event which will take place at the ACC Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October.

Melanie Leveridge, Chair of ELRIG UK, and Senior Director of Screening and Sample Management at GlaxoSmithKline said: “I’m delighted that after a unanimous vote by ELRIG’s board that Steve is the first recipient of this award, in recognition of all his contributions to industry, life sciences and as importantly, to ELRIG and the ELRIG community. We felt that it was even more appropriate to award Steve this year after his recognition in the Birthday Honours List and are honoured that he will present during the opening keynote session of the Drug Discovery 2021.” 

Steve Rees, Vice President, Discovery Biology, R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “ I am truly honoured that you have nominated me as the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. ELRIG plays a unique and leading role in supporting collaboration and innovation in drug discovery and I am proud of my long-standing association with this great organisation. I feel privileged to have been given this award and I am delighted to accept. Thank You!

Read the Press Release Here

Psychiatry Medicines Discovery Champion Wins Prestigious Industry Award

  • ELRIG’s Impact Award, supported by SelectScience, is presented to an Early Career Professional who has made a significant impact in the drug discovery community.
  • This year’s recipient, Dr Laura Ajram of Medicines Discovery Catapult, will give a podium presentation titled “Mind the gap… making a career out of building bridges” at Drug Discovery 2021, ELRIG’s face-to-face flagship meeting

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) has landed the prestigious ELRIG Early Career Impact Award 2021.

The ELRIG (European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group) Early Career Professional Impact Award, recognises and celebrates the achievements of early-career professionals (ECP) who have made a clear, demonstrable impact on the wider scientific community.

Dr Laura Ajram was awarded the accolade due to her outstanding work in the inception and management of MDC’s Psychiatry Consortium; a pioneering collaboration between medical charities, pharma and healthcare organisations, focusing on novel drug discovery in mental health.

Laura, who holds a PhD in Translational Neuropharmacology from King’s College London, has used her expertise in the field to implement a highly engaging and innovative framework which has led to the funding of collaborative psychiatric drug discovery projects, an area which has historically suffered from limited effective treatments and high patient need.

After joining MDC in 2019, Laura set about raising awareness of the Psychiatry Consortium on a global level engaging with industry leaders and delivering webinars to over 1,000 delegates worldwide. Since then, Laura has gone on to lead the development of the Psychiatry Consortium’s first-ever project, a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the Earlham Institute and global pharma companies Biogen Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim. The project investigates a new drug target for the treatment of schizophrenia and has generated significant data so far.

Dr. Laura Ajram, Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC, said: “I am very proud to win the ELRIG Early Career Impact Award as it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a reflection of the great strides the Psychiatry Consortium has taken since its inception 2 years ago. My role as Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager at MDC sees me work with scientists to make exciting mental health focussed research happen, and it is incredibly encouraging to see leadership and facilitation of collaborations within the drug discovery space being recognised in this way.

“I am driven by a desire to bring people together in collaboration to offer different perspectives and make research even stronger. Through the Psychiatry Consortium, we are seeing the benefits of this approach. It is great that ELRIG acknowledge all the roles that play a part in delivering exciting science, and I hope that by winning this award I inspire others to actively engage in meaningful research collaborations that could lead to the drug discovery breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

Dr Nicola Heron, Chief Business Officer at MDC, said: “It is wonderful that Laura has been recognised by the ELRIG awards for all of her hard work, dedication and expertise in establishing the Psychiatry Consortium at MDC. Laura is exactly the kind of vibrant and passionate talent we strive to attract and nurture at MDC. I absolutely applaud her commitment to collaboration and passion for translating much-needed mental health treatments from research to the clinic.

“I am delighted for Laura, and on behalf of MDC would like to congratulate her on this much-deserved accolade.”

Dr Del Trezise, ELRIG’s Early Career Professional Workgroup Chair and Board Director added: “ELRIG’s ECP Impact Award has become a highly regarded and prestigious prize. We are delighted to add Laura to our list of impressive previous winners. The impact of her work on the Psychiatry drug discovery community has been tremendous and is exactly the type of contribution we are looking to recognise.”

As well as receiving the award, Laura will be invited to give a 20-minute presentation of her work on Wednesday 20th October at 9:50AM (UK time) at ELRIG’s flagship Drug Discovery 2021 face-to-face meeting.

The Psychiatry Consortium is currently seeking project proposals which focus on the validation of novel molecular drug-targets for mental health conditions. The deadline for applications is 13.00 (BST) on 8th October 2021. For more information and to apply, visit the Psychiatry Consortium website: www.psychiatryconsortium.org.

ELRIG UK Launches Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Guiding Principles at Drug Discovery 2021

  • ELRIG’s EDI Guiding Principles promote inclusivity and collaboration in the drug discovery community and research design
  • EDIS to present EDI workshops at Drug Discovery 2021

York, UK, 21 September 2021: The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced it will launch its equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) guiding principles at Drug Discovery 2021. The principles were developed with the support of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS), a coalition of organisations working to improve EDI within the science and health research sectors, and the ELRIG community. To promote the initiative, EDIS will host a series of EDI workshops at Drug Discovery 2021—a free-to-attend, in-person event which will take place at the Exhibition Centre ACC in Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October.

ELRIG UK aims to be an inclusive organisation that provides high-quality and accessible content to a diverse scientific community. The EDI guiding principles have been developed to implement this initiative, and promote inclusivity, engagement, and collaboration in the drug discovery field. To ensure representative principles, external guidance and viewpoints were collated following an EDI workshop discussion, which included panellists from EDIS as well as pharma, research institutes, academia, and scientific journals from across the ELRIG community, which comprises of over 12,000 life science professionals.

To further strengthen the EDI initiative within the drug discovery community, EDIS will host a series of workshops at ELRIG UK’s Drug Discovery 2021, led by Dr Lilian Hunt, EDIS Lead. The programme includes:

  • Inclusive Research and Experimental Design – Tuesday 19th October, 12:30 to 13:30
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Awareness to Action – Wednesday 20th October, 13:00 to 14:00
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Expectations and Impact in Procurement – Wednesday 20th October, 8:00 to 8:30

Clare Viney, Board Member of ELRIG UK, Chair of People & Culture Work Group and CEO of The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), said: “ELRIG UK is committed to ensuring that our events continue to be representative of our diverse community. We have worked closely with EDIS to develop our EDI guiding principles, and we are proud to present these at Drug Discovery 2021 event. This is widely recognised as Europe’s largest meeting place on drug discovery applications and represents a significant opportunity to raise awareness of the initiative and improve inclusivity and collaboration throughout the drug discovery community.”

Dr Lilian Hunt, EDIS Lead, said: “EDI remains a critical focus for the life science and health research sectors and an increasing number of organisations are working to improve culture and research. As an established leader in the field, ELRIG UK is well positioned to drive significant change for equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the drug discovery community, as well as inclusive research and experimental design. We are pleased to work alongside the team in supporting its EDI initiative at this year’s Drug Discovery event.”

To attend these workshops, register for ELRIG Drug Discovery 2021 Here

 Follow ELRIG on Twitter (@ELRIG_UK) and LinkedIn (ELRIG UK) for updates on this event, and more.

ELRIG UK Announces Drug Discovery 2021 Event to Host SLAS’s Innovation AveNEW

The European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) UK today announced the programme details for Drug Discovery 2021, which will take place at the Exhibition Centre ACC in Liverpool, UK, from 19–20 October. The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), a US-based organisation dedicated to advancing life sciences discovery, technology and collaboration, will host its popular Innovation AveNEW to showcase emerging innovations and companies. The free-to-attend, in-person event, aims to provide a platform to re-connect, re-invent, and re-imagine drug discovery with experts from industry, academia and global pharmaceutical organisations.

ELRIG UK’s Drug Discovery returns as a face-to-face meeting place with a mission to engage quality discussions on key issues and future directions in preclinical drug discovery. The event expects to attract over 1000 delegates, with exhibitions from 100 vendors, and will implement actions to ensure a COVID-safe environment for attendees, such as COVID passports and a coloured lanyard system to show preferred levels of social distancing.

This year will celebrate the continuing success of the scientific community and provide several networking opportunities over the two-day event, to drive collaborations between academic and biopharma industry thought-leaders, as well as early career professionals. The programme includes insightful sessions on new approaches in infection biology diseases, advances in biomarkers and diagnostics, approaches to drugging RNA, innovative screening and strategies to enhance drug discovery, disruptive technologies, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as well as leading research from the British Pharmacological Society.

This year’s event is also host to SLAS’s Innovation AveNEW, which is designed to promote start-ups and emerging companies by awarding free-of-charge exhibition space, travel and hotel accommodations and access to a network of potential business partners, life science researchers, and purchasing decision-makers. To further elevate the new product, service, or company, selected companies have the opportunity to record an episode of the SLAS New Matter podcast and receive on-demand access to an SLAS entrepreneurial workshop. The top ranked applicant will receive an additional opportunity to participate in the SLAS Conference & Exhibition in Boston (5–9 February 2022) or in Dublin (24–27 May 2022).

This last year has seen unprecedented scientific progress, and ELRIG UK is committed to ensuring that our events provide highly relevant networking opportunities and content to support this continued success. ELRIG Drug Discovery is widely recognised as Europe’s largest meeting place on the application of drug discovery, and we are proud to partner with SLAS, an organisation at the industry forefront, to promote the most exciting emerging products, services and companies in Europe.”

Sanj Kumar, General Manager, ELRIG UK

Vicki Loise, CEO of SLAS, said: “The companies selected for our Innovation AveNEW are given the opportunity to raise awareness of their new company, product or service to a global audience. At SLAS, we are very pleased to partner with ELRIG UK, and we are confident that the inclusion of our Innovation AveNEW in this year’s Drug Discovery programme will complement its mission to provide freely accessibly scientific content, promotion and networking opportunities.”

ELRIG UK Announces The Launch Of Free-To-Access Web-Based
Resources To Support Its Early Career Professional Community

To observe and celebrate the third anniversary of the formation of ELRIG’s Early Career Professional (ECP) Work Group, ELRIG have launched the web-based “Career Zone”, a digital site devoted to ELRIG’s ECP community, which will provide resources aimed at helping an ECP member to develop in their current career or to progress to their next role.

ELRIG’s ECP Work Group, led by Dr. Del Tresize, ELRIG Board member and Business Development Sartorius, was established in 2018 to support ELRIG members who were early in their drug discovery or industrial career, as well as potential drug discovery scientists in schools, academies, and universities across the continent. The aim was to help new scientists and ECP’s in achieving their full career potential, as well as to bring fresh ideas, perspectives, and energy to every ELRIG event.

“Today’s Career Zone launch is the realization of the vision of the founding members of the ECP Work Group, who very early on realized that the ELRIG ECP community needed support.”, said Dr. Tresize. “In 2018 we gathered a diverse group of people, representative of our community, including PhD students, scientific recruiters, and entrepreneurs, to plan out how our vision would be implemented. The Career Zone is the fruition of those plans.”

Emma Howarth, Managing Director of Langton Howarth Ltd., Scientific Recruiter & Entrepreneur, said “Over the years, ELRIG’s ECP Work Group has developed a program of activities, such as CV writing workshops and “Meet the Boss” networking activities, to help ECPs to grow their own career prospecting knowledge and to meet with industry experts to develop their contact network”.

In addition, to the event activities, ELRIG also decided to ensure that all workgroups, ELRIG’s General Committee (it’s advisory board) and its governing Board, all had ECP members. “Having an ECP perspective on our communications, events and decision making has been really valuable” said Dr Chris Williams, ELRIG Board member, Head of ELRIG Marketing Communications Working Group and Founder of Questae Coaching & Consulting Ltd. “Our newer members and sub-group are not only contributing to how we should market our events but are also providing really interesting content that resonates with our other ECP members and has resulted in the formation of the Career Zone.”

The launch of the Career Zone, which contains training resources, employment vacancies and other ELRIG ECP content, precedes ELRIG’s major annual event, its globally renowned Drug Discovery conference, which will return as a COVID safe, face-to-face meeting in the autumn of 2021. This year’s meeting will celebrate the innovation and efforts of the life science industry and its many scientific successes, for the period of the pandemic. ECP activities include CV and science communication workshops, as well as a speed networking event with senior members of the drug discovery community.

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