Training Program of Natural Products and Drug Discovery Held in Serbia
On May 24th to 25th, 2023, the "Training Program of Natural Products and Drug Discovery" jointly organized by Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica（SIMM）, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Institute for Biological Research “Sinisa Stankovic”, National Institute of Republic of Serbia, University of Belgrade (IBISS). Dr. Marina Sokovic, Assistant Minister of Science, Technological Development and Innovation, Republic of Serbia, Prof. Dr. Viktor Nedovic, Director of Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project, Professor. YE Yang, Party Secretary and Deputy Director of SIMM, Dr. Mirjana Mihailovic, Director of IBISS, Dr. Momir Paunovic, Assistant Director of IBISS, Ms. SHI Yi, First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, and more than 100 experts, scholars, young researchers, and graduate students from eight countries including China, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Greece attended the training program. Dr. Sokovic presided over the opening ceremony of the training program.
Professor YE Yang delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He briefly reviewed the establishment of the Pan-Balkan Alliance of Natural Products and Drug Discovery Associations (PANDA) and the relevant work of the alliance in recent years. Also, he pointed out that based on the increasing influence of PANDA in China and the Balkan region and with the strong support of Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) and the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation, Republic of Serbia, the "Training Program of Natural Products and Drug Discovery" was organized within PANDA to introduce new technologies and methods related to natural products research, series of technical platforms for new drug development, and to promote the scientific and standardized development of new drugs in the region. Going through the COVID-19 outbreak, restarting offline international exchange activities today is of great significance for promoting cooperation and exchanges among researchers within PANDA, as well as between China and the Balkan region.
During the training program, experts in different fields gave a series of wonderful presentations on natural products, traditional Chinese medicine, medicinal chemistry, neuropharmacology, antiviral pharmacology, non-clinical safety evaluation, pharmacokinetic studies in the early stage of drug discovery, drug delivery systems, and Serbia and Europe's regulatory policies on natural product drugs, etc. Experts in different fields combined their professional backgrounds and experiences in new drug research and development. Through the cases of new drug research and development and detailed data, they shared their research progress, achievements, and the journey of new drug research and development. The participants actively exchanged and discussed relevant topics. In addition, ten young scholars and graduate students from different countries gave oral reports on their scientific research progress.
During the graduation ceremony, Sokovic, Ye, and Mihailovic expressed that the training program received strong support from ANSO, the Ministry of Science, Technological and Innovation, Republic of Serbia, PANDA, China-Serbia Natural Products and Drug Discovery“Belt and Road”Joint Laboratory, SIMM, IBISS, and State Key Laboratory of Drug Research. This support has promoted cooperation and exchanges among scientific researchers from different countries. This training program is the first phase of the PANDA "Natural Products and Drug Discovery" series training session, supported by ANSO, and more cooperation and exchanges will be carried out on different themes in the future.
During this training program, the 4th council meeting of PNADA and the Working Conference of China-Serbia Natural Products and Drug Discovery“Belt and Road”Joint Laboratory were held to promote internal communication and cooperation within PANDA, to discuss next steps of work plans, and to provide suggestions for the construction of the Joint Laboratory.
The site of training program
Marina Sokovic (right) presided over the opening ceremony, and YE Yang (left) delivered a speech