“Protease Inhibitors in Drug Discovery” Conference Summary

Protease Inhibitors in Drug Discovery Conference was held on February 26-27, 2015 in San Diego, CA – hosted by GTCbio

CBR members, Dr. Dieter Bromme and his postdoctoral fellow, Preety Panwar, attended the Protease Inhibitors in Drug Discovery Conference, where Preety presented her research on “Exosite inhibitors targeting cathepsin K in osteoporosis”. Her travel was supported by the CBR PDF Travel Award.


Conference Summary

By Preety Panwar, PDF in Dr. Bromme lab, CBR

The theme for the meeting was protease inhibitors, which hold great therapeutic promise in areas, such as inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. It covered important research topics and brought together leading experts from industry and research in San Diego, CA. Attendees were basic researchers and scientists from both industry and academia to share recent advances in protease inhibitor research.

The keynote session summarized the application of small molecules to study protease function and potency of methyltransferase inhibitors as personalized cancer therapeutics. The significance of non-active site inhibitors of proteases was further emphasized by several speakers in the first session of conference. A number of allosteric and exosite inhibitors were introduced for caspases, cathepsins and metalloproteinases by Dr. Jeanne Hardy (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Dr. Dieter Bromme (University of British Columbia) and Dr. Rama Khokha (University Health Network, Ontario Cancer Institute). In the next session, the role of protease inhibitors in cancer therapy and cardiovascular diseases was discussed by different scientists and professors. The second day of the conference was mainly occupied in emphasizing the importance of protease inhibitors in infectious and inflammatory diseases. Highlights included presentations on dissecting and inhibiting anthrax I lethal factor exosite interactions by Benjamin Turk (Yale University) and new systems for discovery of metalloproteinase substrates by Rama Khokha (Ontario Cancer Institute).

Through this conference I had the opportunity to present my research on “exosite inhibitors targeting cathepsin K in osteoporosis” and to acquire useful feedback from senior scientists. It was a great platform to learn about new research findings that will support my future work. I would like to thank the Centre for Blood research (CBR) for providing me with “PDF Travel Award 2014-2015” to attend this conference.