An Intensive Course on Translating Research into Drugs


Presented by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

February 6-8, 2011  ●  San Diego, CA


The Alzheimerís Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) held its 5th Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration: An Intensive Course on Translating Research into Drugs in San Diego, CA on February 6-8, 2011.  This annual didactic conference is focused on training scientists on the process of translating research findings into treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.  Approximately 145 scientists from academia, industry and goverment, across career levels and disciplines, attended.   In addition, to foster the growth of the next generation of drug discovery researchers, the ADDF awarded 26 scholarships to young investigator to attend the conference and present posters of their research. 

The conference commenced with plenary speaker, Berislav Zlokovic from Rochester University, who spoke about the biology of the blood-brain barrier with relevance to central nervous system drug discovery.   Sessions of the conference focused on medicinal chemistry for biologists, early phases of drug discovery Ė from high throughput screening through lead optimization to pre-clinical proof of concept, and preparing the scientific and regulatory requirements for clinical trials. The conference also covered pertinent issues related to technology transfer and working with industry partners as well as real-world case studies across the neurodegenerative disease spectrum (Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, ALS and Multiple Sclerosis).

The conference also included ample time for networking for investigators to exchange ideas and foster the future collaborations needed for successful drug discovery programs.  A full meeting summary and tutorial, including a listing of the relevant resources presented in the conference, will be posted on the conference website as will video casts of the presentations. 

This meeting was made possible through the successful collaboration among government, industry and multiple disease foundations:  Cooperative Agreement 2U13AG031125 from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Merck Research Laboratories; Biogen Idec; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonís Research; Beyond Batten Disease Foundation; JSW Life Sciences; Fast Forward LLC; ALS Therapy Development Institute; and Novus Biologics. 

  • Train a cadre of interdisciplinary scientists in the principles of drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease;

  • Provide a platform to exchange ideas, knowledge and resources about drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease;

  • Stimulate pre-clinical research in the discovery and testing of novel compounds aimed at the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease; and

  • Build public-private partnerships that will accelerate drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease.


Kurt R. Brunden, PhD, University of Pennsylvania  

Neil Buckholtz, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Kathleen Denis, PhD, The Rockefeller University

Howard Fillit, MD, Alzheimerís Drug Discovery Foundation

Brian Fiske, PhD, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonís Research  

William Matthew, PhD, National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Lorenzo Refolo, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Suzana Petanceska, PhD, National Institute on Aging

Todd Sherer, PhD, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonís Research

Diana Shineman, PhD, Alzheimerís Drug Discovery Foundation

Edward Spack, PhD, Fast Forward, LLC

D. Martin Watterson, PhD, Northwestern University

  • Academic and industry scientists engaged in drug discovery research for neurodegenerative disease or CNS

  • Business development and licensing professionals

  • Alliance management professionals

  • Venture capitalists and other investors

2007, 2008, 2008, 2009, 2010 PROGRAMS

All pages will open in new windows:

2010 Program

2009 Program

2008 Program

2007 Program


The 2011 Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration Conference presentations are available on demand.  Click here to view the 2011 videocasts and here to view the 2010 ones.


The Drug Discovery for Neurodegeneration conference is presented by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), the only public charity solely dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and cognitive aging. 


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