Over the recent years, drug discovery via high throughput screening (HTS) has moved beyond the boundaries of pharmaceutical companies and been successfully integrated into research programs of many academic institutes. These efforts have taken advantage of the availability of diverse libraries of small molecules, either as pure entities or natural product extracts. However, identification of candidate drugs benefits from an in-depth understanding of potential pitfalls of HTS, which can include (i), storage of compound libraries (ii), stability and cost of assay reagents (iii), robustness of the assay and (iv), access to bioinformatics to analyze the wealth of data that results from performing multiple assays on 250,000 – 500,000 compounds. Beyond these challenges, successful HTS is an iterative process requiring close co-operation with programs of structural biology, medicinal chemistry and clinical research.
With these issues in mind, the Innovative Approaches for Identification of Antiviral Agents Summer School (IAAASS) aims to provide an informal and interactive environment to review the application of HTS techniques to identification of novel and clinically-significant antiviral drugs. The Summer School is targeted to researchers at an early stage in their career, combining examples of drug discovery from internationally-recognized experts in the field with informal, small-group thematic discussion sessions. Evening sessions will allow students to present their work in the form of either a poster or oral presentations and receive feedback from their colleagues. The Organizing Committee welcomes you to the Sardegna Ricerche Research Park and to the Hotel Flamingo, Santa Margherita di Pula, located on the south tip of Sardinia, and looks forward to sharing with you their experience on current and future strategies for identifying novel antiviral agents targeted to clinically-significant diseases.