Issue Date: November 24, 2014
Shanghai Chapter Shines
The ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in Shanghai put on a winner with the 1st International Symposium of Chemistry & Life Sciences, held on Oct. 16–17 in Jiangyin, in Jiangsu province, China. With about 125 attendees, the meeting highlighted the challenges and opportunities in drug discovery for cancer and infectious diseases. An international slate of speakers, led by Nobel Laureate and Harvard University emeritus chemistry professor E. J. Corey, described trends and new approaches to discovering drugs for cancer and infectious diseases.
“Infectious diseases and cancer are two major disease classes in China,” said Jingye Zhou, a principal scientist at the Lilly China R&D Center and the chair of the ACS Shanghai chapter. “The symposium shone some light on the R&D work that could help patients in China and worldwide.”
The chapter partnered with the E. J. Corey Institute of Biomedical Research (CIBR), in Jiangyin, in organizing the meeting. CIBR is a nonprofit research organization nominally founded by Corey and a group of Chinese returnees and funded by the Jiangyin local government and Jiangsu province. Its mission is to make a difference in the treatment and diagnosis of disease, specifically tuberculosis.
In presenting a “superoverview” of cancer, Corey described the disease as caused by cascading dysregulation when things go wrong in the highly ordered, very low entropy system that is the human body. “Cancer is an inevitable condition because of the imperfections of the body transiting from one state to another,” he said. “If we all were to live to a very old age and had otherwise perfect health, we would die of cancer.” The ultimate advance—the real prize—he said, is rapid methods for early diagnosis.
The symposium was “excellent” and “very interesting,” Corey told C&EN. “The folks in Jiangyin are delighted to have a connection with ACS. They see ACS as a premier organization that gives them a link to the outside world.”
“Many scientists in China are unable to attend ACS national meetings due to logistic hurdles,” Zhou told C&EN. “By creating a local ACS-organized symposium, we brought top-notch scientific exchange to a broad community in China. The symposium also enabled local ACS members to network with each other and with international speakers.”
- Chemical & Engineering News
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