RSC Pakistan 1st International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

18-19 October 2018


The RSC Pakistan 1st International Conference on Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery was successfully co-organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry and COMSTECH. The Quaid-i-Azam University, Abdul Wali Khan University, Punjab University and Women’s University, Swabi, also supported the Conference. The Conference was held between 18-19 October 2018 at the COMSTECH Secretariat in Islamabad. It was participated in by a team of 13 renowned scientists from Oxford University and other UK institutions (University College London, Bristol University, and Liverpool John Moores University). The conference was also attended by twelve scientists from eight OIC countries besides Pakistan. These included Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman and Palestine. Over two hundred local academics, researchers and students from 13 cities and 40 institutions actively participated and presented oral talks and poster presentations.

Muhammad Azam Khan Swati
Federal Minister for Science
and Technology, Pakistan.

Sir John Holman
Immediate Past President,
The Royal Society of Chemistry, UK.

The Inaugural reception ( Click here for Inaugural photographs ) of the Conference was graced by the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan Swati as the Chief Guest. The honourable Minister appreciated the commitment shown by the foreign faculty from European and OIC countries to attend the conference. He expressed his keen desire to be presented with tangible proposals from this Conference that may help promote medicinal research in Pakistan.

The Conference had a total of 6 sessions that focussed on various aspects of latest research in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. A total of 32 oral presentations, and 74 poster presentations were made. (Click here for Conference Programme ). Speakers from UK, Pakistan and other OIC countries described their most recent work in the area.

Dr. Khurshid Hasanain
Adviser COMSTECH.

Dr. Amjad Khan
Program Chair.

Prof. Dr. Micheal McDonough
FRS, Oxford University, UK.

Prof. Dr. Grant Churchill
Oxford University, UK.

Prof. Dr. Tim Claridge
Oxford University, UK.

Prof. Dr. Michael Heinrich
University College London, UK.

Dr. Rana Sanyal
Bogazici University, Turkey.


These talks also focussed on the challenges faced by scientists as well as by societies in providing affordable medicines to the world’s burgeoning population in the wake of the emerging anti-microbial resistance and newly emerging diseases. ( Click here for Speakers’ photographs) (Click here for posters session photographs)

Prof. Chas Bountra, Pro-Rector (Innovation) of Oxford University, identified the key priorities in medicinal research viz. need for novel effective treatments, increasing the affordability and safety of medicines and treatments. It was also highlighted that the cost of producing new drugs is becoming unaffordable particularly so due to the secrecy features inherent in commercial research.

This frequently leads to duplication of commercial research and ensuing costs. More collective and socially organized efforts for new drug discovery were suggested as an urgent need of the times. University-Industry linkages and the impediments to the same in Pakistan and other OIC countries were also discussed in detail.

Sir John Holman, the Recent Past President of the Royal Society spoke on the occasion and stressed the need for continued scientific collaborations between the scientists in OIC countries and their counterparts in Europe. He lauded the serious work that was presented by Pakistani scientists at the Conference and the promise it displayed for actual medicines. He lauded the efforts of COMSTECH (Click here for Members of COMSTECH Organizing Committee) for providing an excellent atmosphere and hospitality for the Conference.

On the side lines of the main conference a discussion was held between OIC participants (Click here for OIC speakers and participants pictures) and COMSTECH on the need to expand mutual collaborations and activities in this field. It was decided that an informal network of OIC scientists in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery would be formed with the goal of forging collaborations, promoting exchange visits, and provision of analytical support facilities at the more advanced OIC centres. Various steps for promoting University Industry linkages were also discussed. COMSTECH would prepare the Minutes of the said Meeting and share the same with the participants. COMSTECH would also follow up on the various proposals suggested by the participants with regards to establishing the agreed informal network.

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