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Current trends in drug discovery – young scientists and tomorrow’s medicines

A joint meeting of the Society for Medicines Research and the British Pharmacological Society

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07 Jun 2018

Abstracts deadline: 23 Feb 2018

Registration deadline: 31 May 2018

London, UK - View map

  • Overview
  • Programme
  • Registration
  • Abstracts & Bursaries
  • Venue & Travel
  • Exhibition & Sponsorship

The British Pharmacology Society and The Society for Medicines Research are pleased to announce their first joint meeting, specifically targeted towards all young researchers from across the UK and Europe with an interest in drug discovery. 

The one-day programme will bring together presentations from both internationally recognised speakers and from young scientists giving them an opportunity to discuss their research through either oral or poster presentations. The final programme will be dictated by the range of presentations and posters submitted for consideration. If you would like to submit an abstract to give a presentation or present a poster please visit the 'Abstracts and Bursaries' tab. 

This meeting aims to:

  • Increase understanding of current trends in drug discovery in order to accelerate the development of new drug therapies
  • Aid evaluation and interpretation of drug properties and data to allow accurate reporting
  • Enhance young scientists understanding of the mechanisms of drug action and identification of ways of improving experimental design and the drug discovery process

The organisers expect that the three sessions will comprise of, one focused on biological aspects of drug discover, one on chemistry aspects and the third may cover a range of topics that might include ADMET/PK and the entrepreneurial opportunities within the life science sector.  Each session will include a plenary lecture from established drug discovery researchers. 

A key aspect of working in drug discovery is the interaction with scientists from other scientific disciplines and to understand the challenges that each discipline faces. This meeting will therefore provide a unique opportunity for young researchers to share their experience and to network with and learn from scientists from a wide range of disciplines outside their own.  It will also provide an opportunity to network with scientists with extensive experience of working in drug discovery.  

The meeting will be of particular interest to final year undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers working in all areas of biology, chemistry, chemical biology, genetics and drug distribution relevant to drug discovery and to early career scientists working in the charitable, biotech and pharmaceutical industry.  It will also be of interest to more established scientists enthusiastic about sharing their experience with the drug discovery scientists of the future

Download the meetings flyer

Plenary speakers:

How do we de-risk new or ‘undruggable’ targets, quickly?
Professor Chas Bountra, University of Oxford, UK

The kinetics of drug action; signalling in a new era
Professor Steven Charlton, The University of Nottingham, UK

Applying techniques in structure based drug discovery to G protein-coupled receptors
Dr Fiona Marshall, Heptares, UK

The final programme will be dictated by the range of presentations and posters submitted for consideration, however the plenary speakers and their presentation titles are listed above. If you would like to submit an abstract to give a presentation or present a poster please visit the Abstracts and Bursaries tab The full programme will be available in due course.  

Online registration will open shortly. To register your interest for this meeting and to be notified when registration has been opened, please email

If you have any questions in the meantime then please contact the BPS Office at or +44 (0)20 7239 0183.

Abstract submissions

The organisers encourage abstract submissions from final year undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers working in all areas of biology, chemistry, chemical biology, genetics and drug distribution relevant to drug discovery and from early career scientists working in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

A prize will be awarded for the best oral presentation and the best poster presentation given by a young scientist.

Oral presentation abstract submission deadline: Friday 23 February 2018
Poster presentation abstract submission deadline: Friday 30 March 2018 

Abstract requirements for authors
Abstract sample
Instructions for completing the online abstract form
Poster preperation guidelines


BPS member bursaries 

Bursaries are available to eligible members who are attending and presenting their work at the meeting. Eligible members are generally expected to have been a member of the Society for at least one year and must have submitted an abstract and be presenting in the poster and/or oral sessions at the meeting.

The maximum amount for individual bursaries and will usually be restricted to up to 75% of the aggregate cost of accommodation and travel for students and 50% for non-students. The maximum award is £750. Food and beverage costs and travel incidentals will not be reimbursed. Costs will be based on the Society’s assessment of the most economical mode of travel and a reasonable standard of accommodation.

Bursary submission deadline: Friday 30 March 2018 

The bursary submission system will open in due course.

SMR student bursaries​

Applications are open to full and part-time students in the UK who are registered for an undergraduate or post-graduate degree. Only one successful application per year will be accepted, and individual application forms must be received by the SMR Secretariat at least five weeks before the meeting to which they relate. 

No more than five bursaries will be awarded per meeting and the bursary will cover registration and (in some circumstances) a contribution towards travel costs. 

Applications must be supported by a signature of Head of Department. In the event that applications for bursaries exceed the available budget, the SMR Committee decision on which applications are successful will be final.

If you qualify and wish to apply, now go to the Application form

Contact the Secretariat for more details. 

BPS care support bursaries

Care support bursaries are also available to BPS members who have caring responsibilities and would benefit from financial support for caring costs. For further information, please click here

Meeting venue:

King's College London
Bush House
30 Aldwych


By underground

There are a number of tibe stations within walking distance of the venue:
  • Temple (District and Circle lines): 2 minute walk
  • Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines): 10 minute walk
  • Embankment (District, Circle and Bakerloo lines): 10 minute walk
  • Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern, Bakerloo, Waterloo & City lines): 12 minute walk
  • Holborn (Central and Picadilly lines): 12 minute walk
  • Chancery Lane (Central line): use exit 4 - 15 minute walk
By train
  • Charing Cross: 9 minute walk
  • Waterloo: 12 minute walk 
  • Waterloo East: 10 minute walk
  • Blackfriars: 12 minute walk
By bus
  • Buses stopping outside the university: 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, X68, 168, 171, 172, 176 (24 hour), 188, 243 (24 hour), 341 (24 hour), 521, RV1.
There is no public parking at the venue however there is a pay and display parking system that operates in nearby streets. We encourage delegates to use public transport to travel to the meeting. 
This well-regarded meeting provides an informal yet professional environment in which a select group of partners can highlight their products and services. For queries and to discuss the advertised opportunities, please contact Susanne Schweda at