Protein Kinase 2009: Signalling Success, UK, 17-18 May 2009

Having thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd RSC-SCI Symposium on Kinase Inhibitor Design two years ago, I was excited about attending this year’s conference at AstraZeneca. My PhD project explores how point mutations confer drug resistance in BCR-Abl and the talks given at the Protein Kinase symposiums are always very relevant to my research.

The quality of the presentations over the two days was exceptional and I really enjoyed talking to other researchers during the poster session and discussing their work. Similarly it was fantastic to get some feedback on my poster and see peoples interest in my project.

I learnt so much over the two days it would be impossible to list, but the talks I enjoyed the most would have to be 'Design, synthesis and evaluation of VX-322, a novel FLT-3 inhibitor for the treatment of AML' by Robert Davies of Vertex and 'Solution conformations of and dynamics of ABL kinase-inhibitor complexes determined by NMR' by Wolfgang Jahnke of Novartis. The first fascinated me as although I’ve studied Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia (CML) I have not looked at how AML is caused. The talk by Wolfgang Jahnke was excellent as not only did he demonstrate a very elegant use of NMR but also described in detail how the myristoyl group in Abl is responsible for autoinhibition, something I’ve been looking at very recently.

I was pleased that the talks were not limited to cancer therapeutics but included the use of kinase inhibitors for other diseases such as diabetes, as it easy to forget that kinases are relevant in various medical problems and not just oncology.

I’d like to thank SCI for giving me the opportunity to attend Protein Kinase 2009 and look forward to the next symposium.

Genevieve Clapton
University of Southampton

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