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Engineering drug discovery: process and passion

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Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

792 Elizabeth Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Australia

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Engineering is the application of science and mathematics to solve problems. Drug discovery and development is a challenging undertaking. Recent estimates put the cost at nearly 3 billion US dollars for every new therapeutic that clears the preclinical and clinical hurdles to become registered for use in patients. There is no doubt that the discovery and development of new therapeutics poses problems amenable to scientific and mathematical solutions, but engineering alone is often insufficient to predictably generate solutions. Failures in therapeutic development outnumber successes by manifold. In this scenario there is a role for passion to drive efforts against the overwhelming odds. Alastair will discuss recent developments in therapeutics for lung diseases, highlighting the long and precarious path to success, learning from failures and introduce new developments from his group’s work on drugs that target the master regulator of cellular circadian rhythms.

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Professor Alastair Stewart PhD FBPharmS

Alastair Stewart is a Professor of Pharmacology, Co-Director of the Lung Health Research Centre Director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Centre for Personalised Therapeutic Technologies at the University of Melbourne and Chief Scientific Officer of TianLi Biotech, a newly formed company developing anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic drugs. His research interests focus on tissue remodelling and a quest for discovery and development of novel drugs targeting tissue remodelling and inflammation. He is developing and applying the concept of Mechanopharmacology in drug discovery and ultra-high content, sub-acute disease modelling, drug screening and lead qualification. He is currently Vice President of the Asia Pacific Federation of Pharmacologists. He promotes interdisciplinary research through leadership roles on Editorial Boards including Frontiers in Translational Pharmacology, Current Opinion in Pharmacology and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy


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Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

792 Elizabeth Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Australia

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