During the third day of School 1, which was held at NHRF on December 7th 2018, students had the opportunity to hear more information about neurotrophin copycats from Prof. Theodora Calogeropoulou. She explained which ligands for neurotrophin receptors are discovered until now and why is the 17-spiro substituted steroidal scaffold one of the topics of the research for the Euroneurotrophin project.
Prof. Christophe Rochais held the presentation about synthetic methodologies and medicinal chemistry toolboxes. In his presentation, Prof. Rochais explained to the students some of the potential synthetic pathways for obtaining neurotrophin small molecule mimetics and the methods used for developing the good synthetic procedure. At the end of the presentation, students were divided into small groups and each group got a compound to identify its synthetic route and conditions from commercially available sources using Reaxys website. Four ERSs (Daniele Narducci, Alessia Latorrata, Paolo Giaccio and Mirjana Antonijevic) tutored each group during this exercise in order to help other students to understand each part of the synthetic procedure. Students got an insight in small part of synthetic chemistry and how complex it can be, how does the process of discovering a good synthetic route looks like and what are the new procedures in drug discovery.
The 1st EuroNeurotrophin Training Week started with the workshop on Computer-Aided Drug Design, which took place on the 5th – 6th of December, 2018, at the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens. HITS and NHRF gave to the ESRs an overview of molecular modeling theory and applications, while the ESRs had the opportunity of a hands-on experience on the molecular modeling software of Schrӧdinger, LLC. During the workshop, the ESRs had practicals on several computational techniques, such as visualization of neurotrophin receptors and their agonists, energy minimization of small molecules, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations of neurotrophins. This training enabled ESRs to familiarise themselves with the structural features of neurotrophins and their receptors. Also, NHRF provided ESRs with an introduction on Saturation-Transfer Difference NMR theory and applications on neurotrophins.
We gratefully acknowledge the provision of free academic licenses of Schrödinger suite and technical support by Schrödinger, LLC for School 1 "Computer-Assisted Drug Design, Synthesis and Isolation from Natural Sources of Neurotrophin Mimetics”, held in Athens, Greece, 5-10 December 2018
The EuroNeurotrophin Kick-off Meeting is set to be held on the 23. and 24. January 2018 in Athens, Greece. The National Hellenic Research Foundation will host the two-day event.
The EuroNeurotrophin coordinator attended the ITN 2017 Coordinators’ Info Day, organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA) and held in Brussels on December 11, 2017.
The meeting gave the opportunity to the coordinators to discuss the details for the implementation of the MSCA ITN projects and to pose questions to the REA officers. Presentations were given regarding the eligibility and recruitment of researchers, financial management and reporting requirements as well as ethics, IP and open access issues.
Moreover, during the meeting, the EuroNeurotrophin coordinator had the opportunity to meet the Project Officer, who provided valuable information for the management of the EuroNeurotrophin project
The EuroNeurotrophin proposal has been evaluated positively and will therefore receive funding from the Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 765704.