Ajay Chandgude: Messel Travel Bursary Recipient from Proteinaise 2015

04 June 2015

5 Jun 2015

Ajay Chandgude was awarded a Travel Bursary, funded by SCI’s Messel Trust fund, to support the costs of his attendance at Proteinase 2015: 9th RSC / SCI symposium on proteinase inhibitor design. Here, he reports on his attendance at the international conference for researchers working in the field of protease inhibitors, which took place in Basel in April 2015, and explains how, thanks to his attendance at this conference, new collaborations may be born.

‘This event took place in the very elegant Novartis campus in Basel. The conference attracted key speakers from pioneer companies in the field of protease inhibitor from all over the world. All of the talks were enlightening, as speakers presenting a novel inhibitors of proteinase. This helped me to understand how the drug discovery program is a multidisciplinary effort and how the drug discovery process works from the original idea to the clinical trials.

‘The talk from Dr. Palovich (GlaxoSmithKline), and Dr. Flohr (Novartis) gave a detailed view of the drug discovery from early development, SAR studies to clinical development. The talk given by Prof. Charles Craik, showed Multiplex substrate profiling by mass spectrometry (MSP-MS) technique and how it can be applied to studying enzymes in a wide variety of diseases. As I am still in the early stages of a research career, listening to several talks gave me the occasion to improve knowledge in the area of proteinase, especially in the type of analytical methods that would best suit the current project.

‘Attending the symposium gave me the opportunity to present results of my research, in a poster format and in a flash presentation. The flash poster presentations from all speakers help to understand their work and so their posters. My short talk was appreciated by many other speakers which also helped to attract more researchers to my poster; with the result that company leaders from Novartis, GSK showed their interest in our research and are hoping for future collaborations.

‘Throughout the conference, there were plenty of in-depth discussions with other scientists which also help for networking. This expanded my knowledge and broadened my horizons in the proteinase field about the latest findings and trending topics in this area as well as what industry is interested in at the moment.

‘The conference dinner was held in the Zunftsaal of the Restaurant Schlüsselzunft, which is the oldest guild house in the city. Zunftsaal features ancient windows, pictures, wood carvings, valuable wall and ceiling paintings. The dinner provides opportunities for face-to-face discussion with other experts not only about scientific work, but also about some personal life experience, for example I had a nice conversation with Dr Laura about Spanish culture and Spanish cities which I should visit.

‘In conclusion, my experience at the conference has been wonderful. It has broadened my horizons and increased and reinforced my contacts in the industry. I believe this conference experience will bring me many benefits for my future study and career development. It was great to have those encouraging and valuable comments which will reassure the success of my research in the future.

‘I would like to thank my supervisor, Prof Dr Domling, for giving me the opportunity to attend such a significant meeting, as well as for all the other opportunities and guidance he has provided over the last two years of my PhD stay. Finally, thank you very much to the SCI Messel Trust and the SCI Fine Chemicals Group for their financial contribution towards travelling to this wonderful conference'.

Ajay Chandgude,
University of Groningen

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