ACS New York Section

Biochemical Topical Discussion Group

2008 Annual Report

The Biochemical Topical Group of the New York Section of the American Chemical Society in collaboration with the Biochemical Pharmacology discussion Group (BPDG) of The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) had an exceptionally active and successful year. The combination represents a diverse group of scientists interested in biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical research, drug discovery and related areas.  Members are from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and from university and medical center research facilities across the Eastern United States.

We sponsored eight symposia in 2008, including two full-day symposia. They were held at the NYAS, without cost to our group. The NYAS moved from its mid-town location to its new spectacular home at 7 World Trade Center.

The topics and speakers for these symposia are selected by vote of the membership from approximately 25 potential programs proposed by members of the Steering Committee.  The proposed programs are based on many more submitted (any scientist may propose a program).  The scientists who suggest the topic then chair that meeting, with support from the Steering Committee.  This selection process results in arranging programs of special interest to the membership, with shared responsibilities for their success.  The Programs are announced each month in The Indicator to ensure that all New York and North Jersey ACS members are informed.  

Each half-day symposium included 5-6 speakers, and 8 scientists presented at the full-day February and September symposia. Coffee breaks in the middle of each session provided opportunities for interactions.  

Submitted by:
Barbara Petrack, Ph.D.
Chair, Biochemical Topical Group


January 22  
Rethinking Natural Products as a Source of Drug Leads

1:00 PM    Introduction and Symposium Theme
Takushi Kaneko, PhD, TB Alliance, New York, New York and
 Vincent Gullo, PhD, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey

1:15 PM    Developing a Drug-Like Natural Product Screening Library                             
Ronald J. Quinn, PhD, Eskitis Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

2:00 PM    Pathways for Natural Product Drug Discovery
Guy T. Carter, PhD, Wyeth Research, Pearl River, New York

2:45 PM    Coffee Break

3:05 PM    Turning the Tide of Natural Products Drug Discovery – Marine Microorganisms as a Source for New Drug Leads
Ray Lam, PhD, Nereus Pharmaceuticals Inc., San Diego, California

3:50 PM    Novel Approaches for Antibiotic Discovery:  Discovery of Platensimycin and Platencin
Sheo B. Singh, PhD, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey

4:35 PM    80 Great Years of Microbial Natural Products; Is There a Future?
Arnold L. Demain, PhD, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey

5:20 PM    Wrap-Up/Discussion

February 19  -  Full Day Symposium
From Molecules to Mind: Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis in CNS Diseases and Consequences
of Dysregulated Peripheral Feedback

8:55 AM    Introduction
Irina Antonijevic, Lundbeck Research USA Paramus, NJ

9:00 AM    Glucocorticoids, Chronic Stress, and Obesity
Mary F. Dallman, Department of Physiology, University of California San Francisco, CA

10.00 AM    Regulation of the HPA Axis by MCH Peptide: Control of Feeding and Responses to Stress           
Carlos Forray, Target Discovery and Assessment, Lundbeck Research USA, Paramus, NJ

11:00 AM    AM Break

11:30 AM    Neuropeptides and the Control of Anxiety Behavior
Zul Merali, Institute of Mental Health Research and Department of Psychiatry, School of  Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

12:30 PM    Lunch

1:30 PM    Obesity-Related Sleepiness and Fatigue: The Role of the Stress System and Cytokines
Alexandros Vgontzas, Sleep Research and Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA

2:30 PM    Stress, Glucocorticoids and the Hippocampus
Sonia Lupien,  McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

3:30 PM    PM Break

4:00 PM    Glucocorticoids Increase Amyloid -Beta and Tau Pathology in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Frank M. LaFerla Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA

5:00 PM    Closing Remarks
 David Riddell, Wyeth Discovery Neuroscience,  Princeton, NJ

March 25
Recent Advances in Central Oxytocin Research: Implications for Psychiatric Drug Development

1:00 – 1:10 PM    Introduction
                              Robert H. Ring (Wyeth Research, Princeton, NJ)

1:15 – 1:55 PM    Oxytocin is a Regulator of Emotionality, Stress Coping, and Social Behaviors: Manipulations Within the Rat Brain
                               Oliver J. Bosch (University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

2:00 – 2:40 PM    Oxytocin and Vasopressin: Tales from a Monogamous Mouse
                                C. Sue Carter (The Brain Body Center Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL)

2:45 – 3:15 PM    Coffee Break

3:20 – 4:00 PM    Intravenous and Intranasal Oxytocin Targets Social Cognition and Repetitive Behavior Domains in Autism: Behavioral and Functional Imaging Findings
                               Eric Hollander (Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, NY)

4:05 – 4:45 PM    Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Oxytocin Receptor Agonists for Treating Human CNS Disorders: A Focus on Anxiety Disorders
                                Robert H. Ring (Wyeth Research, Princeton, NJ)

4:50 – 5:00 PM    Closing Remarks
                                Becky Brockel (AstraZeneca)

April 22
New Targets in Atherosclerosis

1:00 pm    Introduction

1:15 pm    Current Approaches to Increase Reverse Cholesterol Transport
Richard Lawn, PhD, CV Therapeutics

2:00 pm    Transcriptional Mechanisms in the Control of Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis
Rajendra K. Tangirala, Ph.D, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

 2:45 pm    Coffee Break

3:15 pm    The 5-Lipoxygenase/Leukotriene Pathway: Pro and Con Arguments as a Target in Atherosclerosis
Colin D. Funk, PhD, Queen's University

4:00 pm    Inhibition of the Renin Angiotensin System Reduces Hypercholesterolemia-Induced Atherosclerosis
Alan Daugherty, PhD, University of Kentucky

 4:45 pm    Closing Remarks
  5:00 pm    Meeting Adjourns

May 27
DISC1 and the Developmental Hypothesis of Schizophrenia

1:00 PM    Introduction

1:15 PM    Centrosomal Pathway of DISC1 in Schizophrenia                                   
Akira Sawa, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

2:00 PM    Understanding the Function of DISC1 through the DISC1 Interactome
Nicholas Brandon, PhD, Wyeth Research, Princeton, New Jersey

2:45 PM    Coffee Break

3:15 PM    DISC1 and its Binding Partners: Impact on Schizophrenia-Related Clinical Traits
Katherine E. Burdick, PhD, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System,  Glen Oaks, New York

4:00 PM    A Mouse Mutagenesis Approach to Elucidating the Role of DISC1 in the Brain
Steven Clapcote, PhD, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

4:45 PM    Closing Remarks
5:00 PM    Adjourn

September 23 - Full Day Symposium  
Novel Approaches to 7-transmembrane Receptor Therapeutics

8:30 - 9:00 AM        Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:10 AM        Introduction

9:10 - 9:55 AM        An Allosteric Approach for the Modulation of Class A GPCRs: Potential New Therapeutics for Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease
 Craig Lindsley, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

9:55 – 10:40 AM        Molecular Determinants of GPCR Ligand-Biaised Signalling
Geneviève Oligny-Longpré, University of Montreal, Canada

10:40 – 11:00 AM        Refreshments

11:00 – 11:45 AM        Distinct b-Arrestin and G-protein Mediated Signaling Pathways
 Jonathan Violin, Duke University, NC

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM    GPCR Heterodimerization: Implications for Modulation of Signaling and Drug Development
    Lakshmi Devi, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY

12:30 – 1:30 PM        Luncheon

1:30 – 2:15 PM        Dopamine D2 Receptors form Higher Order Oligomers at Physiological Expression Levels
Jonathan Javitch, Columbia University, NY

2:15 – 3:00 PM        5HT2a/mGluR2 Heterodimerization in Schizophrenia
Jay Gingrich, Columbia University, NY

3:00 – 3:20 PM        Refreshments

3:20 – 4:05 PM        Regulation of Kappa Opioid Receptor Trafficking by GEC1
 Lee-Yuan Liu-Chen, Temple University School of Medicine, PA

4:05 – 4:50 PM        Pharmacological Chaperones: Therapeutic Potential for Hereditary Diseases
 Ken Valenzano, Amicus Therapeutics, NJ

4:50 – 5:00 PM        Closing Remarks

October 21
The Class PET: Accelerating CNS Drug Development with Molecular Imaging

1:00 – 1:10 PM    Introduction
Silke Miller (Lundbeck Research USA, Inc, Paramus, NJ))

1:15 – 1:55 PM    Functional Neuroimaging as a Roadmap for Drug Discovery and Drug Development: Current Status and Future Directions
Dean F. Wong (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes, Baltimore, MD)             

2:00 – 2:40 PM    Pharmacokinetic Imaging: A Non-invasive Method for Determining Drug Distribution and Action

2:45 – 3:15 PM    Coffee Break

3:20 – 4:00 PM    Targeting Treatment of Drug Abuse with Molecular Imaging
Stephen L. Dewey (New York University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY)

4:05 – 4:45 PM    Exploring Putatative CNS Drug Targets with PET. Examples and Recent Advances.
Svante Nyberg (AstraZeneca R&D, Södertälje, Sweden)

4:50 – 5:00 PM    Closing Remarks
Donna L. Maier (AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE)

December 9  
Tau and Beyond: Phosphorylation in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Peter Davies, Albert Einstein College of Medicine:
Phosphorylation of tau as an indicator of signal transduction in Alzheimer's disease

Paul Lombroso, Yale University:
STEP and Alzheimer's Disease

Steven Braithwaite, Wyeth Research:
JNKs in Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinsonism and Stroke

Break 3:00-3:30

Hilal Lashuel, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland:
The role of _-synuclein phosphorylation in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders: Mechanistic studies and therapeutic opportunities

Asa Abeliovich, Columbia University:
Analysis of the Parkinson's Gene LRRK2: Function and Dysfunction in Neurites


Selections for the 2009 BPDG Symposia
(selected from 29 submitted proposals)

Proposal 4: Protein Kinases:  Structure-Guided Drug Discovery

Proposal 7: Therapeutic Inhibition of BACE1 for the Treatment of Alzheimer's disease: Separating the Fantasy from the Reality.

Proposal 9: Accelerating Drug Development with Innovative Discovery Platforms

Proposal 11: Tau and Beyond: Phosphorylation in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Proposal 14: Emerging importance of predictive biomarkers in drug Development

Proposal 22: RNAi- A New Class of Biological Therapeutics (full day symposium)

Proposal 24: Is Alzheimer's disease Type 3 Diabetes???

In addition, we will host a special full day symposium : Expanding role of angiogenesis in cancer therapeutics: The Folkman Legacy