Academic Drug Discovery Conference headed to Music City

Over the past several years, we’ve observed shifting times within the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, as companies try to determine the best way to fill both their pipelines and revenue streams while approaching and recovering from the patent cliff. One model that has emerged is using academic drug discovery to help complement or replace early stage R&D. Academic drug discovery has historically been criticized as academicians trying to “play” drug discovery scientist, however, as portions of industry have cut R&D, more academic institutions have acquired great talent with vast industry experience. This has helped educate academic institutions about how to set up a drug discovery effort. The Academic Drug Discovery Conference is the next step in helping to grow this network and science.

Not only will the 2013 ADDC Conference, which will be held Oct. 9-11 at the Music City Center in Nashville, allow for the open exchange of best practices between academic institutions, but it will also offer a chance for companies and universities to interact. One feature of this conference that may set it apart is the adaptation of partnering sessions, which are commonplace at business focused conferences. However, offering partnering sessions at the ADDC Conference will allow an additional level of access between industry and academic scientists as well as business groups. Having worked both on the scientific side of a drug discovery group, as well as the commercial licensing side, I can say that this mixed environment and the networking/educational opportunities will enable all participants a greater understanding of the complex issues that arise during drug development and commercialization.

Another unique aspect of the ADDC Conference is that it will also offer education to young professionals just entering their drug discovery careers. It is difficult to gain experience or knowledge about drug discovery from the classic doctoral graduate program. While more institutions either require or allow internships, or offer classes in drug discovery, the academic drug discovery conference will assist in elevating the education and expanding the professional and academic networks for all the young professionals who attend. All students who attend will have access to the partnering software and will be able to set up informational interviews with industry professionals to learn more about careers outside academia.

While all conference-goers will have differing interests and backgrounds, we are all ultimately working toward the common goal of creating new therapies that will positively impact society. This conference is especially exciting this year for the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery who is hosting the conference here in Music City. We look forward to inspiring discussions, opportunities to collaborate, and overall, a great conference.

If you haven't registered, but would like to, there is still plenty of time. Visit to learn more.