Microsoft word - sspt 2011 meeting report.doc

Meeting report
The Swiss Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology (SSPT) is a roof society that includes the Swiss Society of Experimental Pharmacology (SSEP), the Swiss Society of Toxicology (SST), the Swiss Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (SSCPT) and the Swiss Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine (SSPM). One of the goals of the society is to support and promote common interests in pharmacological and toxicological questions in Switzerland. While most of the activity is taking place in the individual member societies, the common scientific meetings provide the ideal platform to show our common interests and to build a strong community. Moreover it provides the opportunity great opportunity for our young members to exchange their experience and knowledge and to participate in the competition of the prestigious NIBR poster and young investigator awards. This year’s meeting achieved without doubt this purpose. An outstanding scientific program, of interest to anybody in our community, was prepared by Dr. Michael Arand, Kaspar Vogt and Gabriele Weitz-Schmidt, and was appreciated by all participants. As the new president of the SSPT I would like to thank the organizers for the organization of this meeting. Importantly, such a meeting is only possible thanks to the generous financial support of our sponsors (KGF, EPHAR, British Society of Pharmacology, NIBR). Finally I would like to announce the date of the next SSPT spring meeting, which will take place in 2012: SSPT spring meeting 2012, April 19, 2012, in Bern

SSEP Symposium: Innovative Approaches in Experimental Pharmacology: Opportunities
and Challenges (organized by Dr. Gabriele Weitz-Schmidt, University of Basel)

The SSEP symposium was opened by Dr. Monica Campillos from the Helmholtz Center in
Munich, who talked about drug target identifications exploring known side effects. Dr. Campillos
impressively demonstrated that it is possible to use phenotypic side-effect similarities to infer
whether two drugs share a target. With the example of rabeprazole, an antiulcer proton pump
inhibitor, it was nicely demonstrated that it is possible to predict and validate novel nervous system
targets (i.e. dopamine receptor DRD3, and the serotonin receptor HTR1D). Then, Dr. Gisbert
from the ETH, introduced the audience to computer-based de novo design methods in
drug discovery. Using the program DOGS - Design Of Genuine Structures - Dr. Schneider
demonstrated that fragments of active molecules can be ‘shifted’ to design novel compound
structures. Further, Dr. Ulrich Hommel from the Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research,
Basel, gave a comprehensive overview on novel approaches in structure-based drug discovery, at
the example of protease inhibitors. Dr. Markus Rudin, from the ETH/University Zürich
familiarized the public with the possibilities to carry out multimodal imaging to study molecular
mechanisms in vivo. Thereby he demonstrated that it is possible to monitor HIF-1 expression in a
tumor using non-invasive fluorescence molecular tomography and to assess downstream events,
such as the induction of VEGF. Such imaging methods allow monitoring and characterizing of
certain tumors. Finally, Dr. Patrick Hunziker from the University of Basel provided a nice
overview on the state of Nanomedicine in pharmacological applications.
SST Symposium:
(organized by Dr. M. Arand, Past-President SSPT)
The SST Symposium was opened by a very fundamental presentation of Dr. Dr. Denis
(Genetics and Clinical Laboratory Medicine, University of Geneva) on the topic of
‘Clinical Toxicology and Mass Spectrometry’ highlighting the dramatic progress in the clinical
evaluation of patients’ serum chemistry in critical intoxication cases. In the subsequent
presentation, Dr. Martin Traebert from the Safety Pharmacology Department of Novartis) could
demonstrate that the use of human embryonic stem cells is a powerful tool to predict arrhythmia in
drug development. Dr. Helmut Segner (Animal Pathology, University of Bern) introduced the
audience to the bioaccumulation of xenobiotics in fish and emphasized the usefulness of prediction
from in vitro metabolism data. A comprehensive overview on the role of reactive metabolite
assessment in drug discovery and early development as integral part of drug safety was provided by
Dr. Axel Paehler (Drug Metabolism, Non-Clinical Safety Roche). Finally, the audience was
offered an exciting insight in the latest trends of drug misuse by Dr. Dr. Thomas Krämer (Legal
Medicine, University of Zurich) by his lecture: “From Room Odorizers, Plant Food and Bath Salts -
New Designer Drugs on The Rise”.
SSCPT/SSPM Joint Symposium:

The participants of the SSCPT/SSPM Joint Symposium were welcomed by Dr. Martin Traber,
Vice-President of the SSPM and Secretary of the SSCPT. The goal of the joint meeting was to
compare strategies and cover common topics. The first talk was held by Dr. Beat Althaus (SSPM,
Head of Postgraduate Training Center of the Clinical Trial Center of the University Hospital
Zurich) about the mission, vision and values of the Swiss Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine. The
corresponding lecture was held by Dr. Hugo Kupferschmidt (President of the Swiss Society of
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, director of the Swiss Toxicological Information Centre).
An important common topic of the two societies is drug safety. Dr. Katharina Hartmann
(Küsnacht ZH) covered the issue from an pharmaceutical industry point of view, and Dr. Thierry
(CHUV, Lausanne) from a university hospital and clinical point of view. Dr. Martin
closed the meeting with a moderated discussion round, where common and divergent views
became apparent.
Plenary symposium: Potassium Channels – Role in Pharmacology & Toxicology (organized
by Dr. Kaspar Vogt, University of Basel)

To suit the broad audience of the plenary symposium the talks were arranged to span the
range from the molecular pharmacology to the clinical setting.
Dr. Kelly Tan
from the University of Geneva opened the session by a talk demonstrating how
Metamphetamine, a drug prone to drug-abuse drives adaptive changes in GIRK/Kir3 signaling. This
is the first demonstration of a drug of abuse affecting GIRK signaling. Dr. Tan showed that these
channels are crucially involved in regulating the excitability of GABAergic neurons in a region
crucial for mediating the physiological effects of addictive drugs. Then Dr. Sabina Kupershmidt
from Nashville talked about the interaction and the role of KCRI on the stimulation of HERG
channels in the heart. HERG interaction is a major reason for adverse drug effects and their
potentially fatal nature prevents a significant number of potential drugs to reach the marketplace. As
a novel strategy Dr. Kupershmidt successfully screened for compounds, which can prevent the
interaction of HERG ligands with the channel, thus potentially alleviating a significant toxicological
threat. Dr. Peter Ruth (Tubingen) summarized the vital role of BK and IK type Ca2+-activated K+
channels in different organs and physiological systems. Especially in the cerebellum, the role of
these channels in maintaining the proper function of the loop between inferior olive, Purkinje cell
and deep cerebellar nuclei was elegantly demonstrated by using cell-type specific genetic ablation.
Finally, Dr. Jürg Kesselring from Valens, Switzerland, provided the audience with an overview of
mobility impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS), and summarized the mechanisms of the
pathophysiology and the treatment. The well-known temperature-sensitivity of the effects of MS
lesions can be used to both treat the patients with innovative devices and try to elucidate potential
pharmacological targets that improve the conduction safety factor.
Poster session
At the poster session, 28 posters were presented, representing the ongoing research from the
Universities of Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lausanne and Geneva. The topics of the posters were wide,
representing the many aspects that are covered by research areas in the Departments of
Pharmacology and/or Toxicology in Switzerland. The poster presentations were evaluated by a
comity including Dr. H.-U. Simon, Dr. K. Vogt and Dr. G. Weitz in view of the poster price to be
distributed for the best poster presentation (see below). Consequently, the presenters made strong
efforts to present their work in best light possible.
Oral contributions from Young Society Members
Three abstracts have been chosen by the Meeting organizers for oral contribution. First, Dagmara
Lagnaz from the University of Lausanne reported her findings about the regulation of the thiazide-
sensitive Na+,Cl--cotransporter by aldosterone and the ubiquitin-protein ligase Nedd4-2. Then,
Dipak Maskey from the University of Bern presented a talk about the possible role of Atg5 in
cancer drug-induced mitotic catastrophe and finally Gonzalo Yevenes talked about the molecular
basis for the allosteric regulation of Glycine receptors by endocannabinoids. As for the poster
presentations the Jury mentioned above decided about the best contribution from a young society
member (see below).
Bürgi Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony
The Bürgi prize is given biennially for excellent scientific work within the field of or related to
Pharmacology that was generated by a PhD student in Switzerland. Bürgi served as director of the
Institute of Pharmacology of the University of Bern from 1906-1942. In 1931, his friends generated
the "Bürgi fonds", which was thought to recognize scientific contributions within the field of
Pharmacology with prizes. This year, the prize committee received three excellent applications. The
prize committee consisted of the following individuals: Dr. H.U. Zeilhofer (Zurich), Dr. O. Staub
(Lausanne), and H.-U. Simon (Bern). Dr. Nicola Andina (former PhD-student of the Institute of
Pharmacology) was selected for the 2011 Bürgi prize for his scientific contributions during his PhD
study in Bern. He identified new molecules that regulate apoptosis in neutrophils and eosinophils
under inflammatory conditions that could represent attractive new drug targets. Dr. Andina
summarized his findings within an excellent short talk.
NIBR Poster Award Ceremony
The following poster presentation was awarded a poster price:
Amrita Madhusudan, Jana Doehner, Karin Breu, Carsten Reither, Manfred Schedlowski,
Irene Knuesel. Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich.
Prenatal PolyI:C exposure causes accelerated aging and Alzheimer-like pathology in WT mice.
Awarded with 500.- CHF
The best Young Society Member presentation was awarded to: Dagmara Lagnaz, Juan-Pablo Arroyo, Caroline Ronzaud, Gerardo Gamba and Olivier Staub,
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Lausanne
The renal Na+,Cl--cotransporter is regulated by the aldosterone-Sgk1-Nedd4-2 pathway.
Awarded with 1000.- CHF

EPHAR Keynote lecture
To promote European Pharmacology the EPHAR (The Federation of European Pharmacological
Societies) and the British Pharmacological Society regularly support lectures covering outstanding
research in the area of pharmacology. The EPHAR lecture of the SSPT Spring Meeting was given
by Dr. Daniel Sinneker from the Technical University Munich (group Dr. Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz).
In a very clear and impressive presentation Dr. Sinneker described the development of cellular
models of cardiac disease using patient-specific stem cells. He mainly focussed on a model for
long-QT Syndrome. Pluripotent stem cells from patients’ skin cells were generated and
differentiated into cardiomyocytes. These patient-derived cells recapitulated the
electrophysiological features of the disorder and responded to pharmacologic manipulation. The
work of Dr. Sinneker demonstrates that development of cellular models of disease genetically
matched to specific patients is possible and that these models can be used to get more insights into
the pathophysiology of diseases. Moreover, such models may provide a human context for
validating therapeutic targets, and examining the response to pharmacologic interventions.
Financial support
We acknowledge the support of the
 Members of the KGF (Kontaktgruppe für Forschungsfragen): Dr. Olivier Staub SSPT and SSEP president In the name of the SSPT board and the Meeting Organizers


Microsoft word - preliminary_thoughts_on_thesis_2007_arava.doc

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