Biophysical methods in drug discovery


National course. The course is open for current and potential facility users such as PhD students, postdocs, group leaders and core facility staff in need of skills in biophysical methods, within all Swedish universities. Priority will be given to researchers already involved in specific drug discovery projects, but participants with a broad interest in the techniques and their application for life science research are also welcome to apply, and can attend if space allows.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own research questions, protein samples and data to analyse. It should be stated in the application and the course leaders will select those deemed suitable as case studies for the course.

This course is supported by SciLifeLab and run by the SciLifeLab Biophysical Screening and Characterization facility, in Uppsala.
The Protein Expression and Characterization facility and the Protein Science Facility in Stockholm will also be involved.

Application page

Important dates

Application open: February 1, 2018

Application deadline: May 26, 2018

Confirmation to accepted participants: June 4, 2018

If you don’t receive information according to the dates above, contact education@scilifelab.uu.se

Contact information for questions regarding the course curriculum: helena.danielson@kemi.uu.se

Social program and course fee

The course fee, 1800:-, includes the social program with coffee breaks, lunches and a course dinner. The course fee will be invoiced after the completion of the course. NOTE – Uppsala University cannot invoice individuals.

Course content

The purpose of the course is to provide participants with a deeper knowledge of different biophysical techniques used for characterising protein-ligand interactions in drug discovery projects. A large part of the course will be dedicated to discussions on how to set up relevant experiments and analyze acquired data.

It will cover a range of biophysical methods used to characterize interactions between drug target proteins and potential inhibitory compounds, and how to use the information for lead generation. The methods include, but are not limited to those offered at the three SciLifeLab facilities, two of which are within the Drug Discovery and Development platform. New developments within the field will be discussed.

Topics will include:

  • Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) biosensor analysis
  • X-ray crystallography and in silico–based structural design of ligands
  • Differential scanning fluorimetry
  • Isothermal Calorimetry
  • Microscale thermophoresis
  • Light scattering
  • Protein-based NMR techniques

The course consists of lectures with active discussion from the participants, computer exercises, and demonstrations in the form of laboratory experiments. Time will be given for analysis of student’s own data.
Participation in all parts of the course and completion of required exercises is mandatory in order for the students to get credit for the course.

Course literature

Handouts and material online.

Entry requirements

Priority will be given to researchers involved in specific drug discovery projects, which are to be briefly described upon application. Participants interested in bringing samples or data for analysis must state this in the application.
The course will be held at an advanced level, assuming that participants have a master degree or equivalent in a life science discipline. It aims to be relevant for a broad research community, and not just PhD students or researchers who already work with the techniques presented.

A limited number of participants will be admitted. Selection criteria include correct entry requirements, motivation to attend the course as well as gender and geographical balance.