Innovation, collaboration, opportunity: what you might have missed at ELRIG 2022 events

If one thing defines the life sciences industry, it’s the relentless pursuit of new discoveries. But while these discoveries often span a variety of areas and applications, the recipe for success remains the same: combining the latest technologies, deep collaboration, and a diversity of ideas and insights.

For 20 years, ELRIG has brought the life sciences and drug discovery communities together to foster these critical pillars of discovery and innovation. And our annual program of world-class, open-access events and conferences has long been at the heart of this effort.

Looking back, it’s clear 2022 more than lived up to these expectations. In fact, 2022 saw some of the most successful ELRIG events to date.

Over the course of the year, we saw

  • more than 3000 attendees flood our event floors, with every single event being oversubscribed and registration sessions having to shut early
  • jam-packed programs across 16 events, with 52 Sessions Chairs chairing 17 topic tracks, 18 keynotes, and 136 industry-leading speakers, giving attendees the latest insights into the cutting edge of life sciences innovation
  • a continued commitment to face-to-face knowledge-sharing, with all our events being in-person and the vast majority of speakers attending events onsite
  • a record number of onsite vendor booth sales, helping connect researchers with the latest path-shaping technologies
  • a thriving and fruitful environment for early career professionals (ECPs), with over 1/3 of 2022 attendees occupying this category

And that’s not all. 2022 was a standout year for advancing our equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiative, launched back in October 2021. We’re proud that our expert speaker line up continues to better reflect the diversity of our community, with a 50:50 gender balance of speakers and a growing proportion of non-white contributors.

Now that’s a huge amount to be excited about. But if you didn’t get the chance to join us this year, don’t worry. Here, we summarize the key events, topics, and takeaways from the 2022 program, noting how you can easily catch up on all the insights you might have missed.

Research & Innovation: the digital age ushers in novel modalities

Kicking off the 2022 event calendar was our two-day Research & Innovation (R&I) event, which provides a forum to present and discuss emerging opportunities in drug discovery research.

This year, we delved into what drives pioneering science and how emerging technologies enable its translation into successful therapies. Knowledgeable speakers from a range of disciplines shared their expertise on four timely topics:

  • OMICS technology innovations
  • The future of therapeutic genome engineering
  • Drug discovery in the digital age
  • RNA therapeutics & RNA targets at the forefront

We were grateful to have Rachel Haurwitz, CEO of Caribou Biosciences, and Jackie Hunter, Board Director of BenevolentAI, join us as our plenary keynotes for the event, sharing their experiences and perspectives on genome-edited therapies and the power of artificial intelligence in drug discovery.

And of course, R&I provided ample opportunity for our community to network, share ideas, and scout new opportunities. The large exhibition hall, breakout sessions, and poster exhibitions saw 74 ECPs and industry veterans alike mingling and sharing ideas in the safe, supportive, and nurturing environment that has come to define ELRIG events.

Find out more about the R&I event and take advantage of the free recordings of all the insight-packed talks from 2022.

Advances in Cell-Based Screening in Drug Discovery: Overcoming critical roadblocks

Next on the 2022 schedule was our fourth Advances in Cell Based Profiling in Drug Discovery meeting, where we brought together leading scientists from academia, industry, and the vendor community to discuss current and future formats for cell-based assays.

This year’s speakers spanned a wealth of globally renowned organizations and institutions — from GlaxoSmithKline to Imperial College London — shining the spotlight on five key advances in (and applications of) cell-based screening:

  • Enabling advanced cell models in profiling
  • Towards a complete temporal and spatial understanding of cellular responses
  • Designing cell profiling support for therapeutic OLIGO discovery
  • The rise of high throughput protein MS in cellular profiling
  • Using Biology for Fingerprinting Compounds

One of the highlights was keynote speaker Dr Janine Scholefield’s presentation, where the audience learned about the latest strategies to establish more physiologically relevant, Afro-centric pharmacovigilance cellular models.

Fancy a deeper dive deeper dive into these timely talking points? Then check out this blog post, read through our interview with Dr Scholefield, or watch some of the presentation recordings online — all free to access and just a few clicks away.

New modalities in pharmacology & Drug Discovery

The New Modalities in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery event saw us team up with the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), giving our attendees the chance to learn what’s next for new pharmacological tools and therapies.

And the agenda was something to marvel at — from Steve Rees’s (VP of Discovery Biology, AstraZeneca) plenary presentation on the armoury of transformative opportunities presented by novel modalities, to a host of other presentations on modalities such as PROTACS and antisense oligonucleotides.

In usual ELRIG style, bespoke training sessions from high-profile speakers also gave ECPs a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge, forge fruitful partnerships, and elevate their profile. Meanwhile, poster presentations, panel discussions, and networking receptions enabled us to celebrate community successes while fostering ever-deeper knowledge-sharing.

Simply put, the event was a resounding success — but don’t just take our word for it. Check out the recorded presentations for yourself on our website and get up to date on the latest in pharmacological and drug discovery innovation.

Drug Discovery: reigniting a revolution in the life sciences

In 2022, the Drug Discovery event set its sights on restarting the life sciences revolution. And it delivered.

Not only did we partner with the BPS, the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to share the highest quality science, but we also brought event attendees an unprecedented diversity of timely topics and talks

The two-day event featured eight info-packed tracks on subjects ranging from high content imaging (HCI) through to developments in preclinical models and cell and gene therapies. Two of the many memorable highlights were the presentation from Molly Stevens, Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College London, on new technologies for the design and characterisation of nanomedicines, and the talk from Rab Prinjha, VP Head of Immunology Research Unit at GlaxoSmithKline, on how genomic advances are improving target identification.

The insights shared at Drug Discovery were rivalled only by the wealth of technologies on show. More than 120 exhibitors packed out the exhibition floor, giving attendees the chance to get hands-on access to the latest innovations and fuel their next scientific breakthrough.

Drug Discovery was also the place to be for ECPs looking to make career-boosting connections and get recognized. Our ever-popular ‘Network like a Boss’ session directly connected ECPs with mentor-minded industry experts.

And, as usual, we recognized the immense value that ECPs bring to the scientific innovation ecosystem with our Best ECP Poster award and annual Early Career Professional Impact award. Antonia Molloy of Aston University took home the 2022 Best ECP Poster award for her poster ‘Applying droplet fluidics to mycobacterial drug discovery’, and Dr Shaun Pennington of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, won the 2022 Early Career Professional Impact award for his efforts in developing various screening platforms to better understand and target SARS-CoV-2.

Naturally, there’s too much Drug Discovery excitement to share in this blog alone. So be sure to check out a deeper retrospective on the event in this blog, and take advantage of free access to the presentation recordings on our website. What are you waiting for?

Don’t miss your chance to connect, collaborate, and thrive in 2023

2022 was the year of the life sciences revolution, driven by a renewed industry-wide effort to put the most advanced technologies and discoveries to the service of human health. We’re proud to have helped facilitate the revolution with an action-packed event program, supported by the best minds in science, and serving a dedicated community.

But, as we look to 2023, a new theme is emerging: the need for ever-greater levels of diversity — in insight, approach, and technology — to continue tackling the toughest sector challenges.

Don’t miss you chance to be a part of that journey. Join our mailing list today and be first to hear about our insight-rich, career-boosting ELRIG 2023 events.