Academic Drug Discovery Symposium Set by MichBio, URC

ANN ARBOR — Michigan’s second event to showcase the state’s academic drug R&D activities will be held Tuesday, Oct. 10 and hosted by Wayne State University.

The “Cutting Edge Drug Discovery & Development in Michigan Symposium” will feature how new therapeutic entities are being discovered and advanced from idea to clinical proof-of-concept at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University, which make up the University Research Corridor (URC).

Representatives from academia, industry, contract research organizations and others from the state’s biosciences community, will gather to discuss current academic drug discovery efforts and the future benefit to grow them into a partnered enterprise.

“The URC schools have each built significant drug discovery and development initiatives, coincident to supporting ongoing basic and translational research,” said Stephen Lanier, vice president of research at Wayne State University. “This activity not only includes expert faculty pursuing their research interests, but also former pharmaceutical scientists with tremendous experience in developing chemical leads into potential drug candidates. Michigan’s great legacy in pharmaceutical R&D and the existing biosciences support ecosystem is a huge asset as we develop the next therapeutic breakthroughs.”

John Lazo of the University of Virginia will present the keynote address, “The Challenges and Opportunities for Academic Drug Discovery Consortia.” Lazo holds several positions including director of the Fiske Drug Discovery Laboratory, as well as Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor in the UVa departments of pharmacology and chemistry, and associate director for basic sciences at the UVA Cancer Center. In addition, Lazo has been a past president of the Association for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics.

The one day symposium agenda also includes session presentations, panel discussions, poster presentations, exhibit opportunities, and a cocktail reception.

Session topics will feature research efforts in the natural products, gene therapy and small molecule drug spaces. In addition, an academic drug R&D project that has moved forward to commercialization, Millendo Therapeutics, will be featured.

Panel discussions will touch on the strengths that each of the URC drug discovery units exhibit, the opportunities for growth, and most importantly, the potential for formal partnership and synergy.

Exhibit table registration and poster abstracts must be submitted by Sept, 21.

Different registration rates are available for MichBio members, non-members, and academics (a student rate is also available). More event details, sponsorship information, and a link to register can be found at

This event is presented by the University Research Corridor and MichBio, and sponsored by the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

Michigan’s University Research Corridor is an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, focused on increasing economic prosperity and connecting Michigan to the world. Visit for more information.

MichBio is the trade association for Michigan’s biosciences and provides business services, resources and connections, information and news, promotion, and advocacy. MichBio members include bioscience companies, academic and clinical research institutions, bioscience service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.