"Targeting AMPK: Basic Research and Drug Discovery—The 1st Beijing International Conference" was held on Nov 5-6, 2014. It was sponsored by Beijing Pharmacological Society and co-organized by the State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines at Institute of Material Medica (IMM) and the editorial office of Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB). This meeting attracted over 200 participants. Over 10 research scientists presented their work in the meeting, following the theme of "AMPK related frontier basic research and drug discovery". Professor ZHU Haibo from Department of Pharmacology of IMM chaired the meeting.
The deputy director of IMM, Prof. YU Shishan gave a welcome speech at the opening ceremony, followed by the keynote lecture from Prof. Grahame HARDIE of University of Dundee, whose laboratory pioneered the study on the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) cascade. In his lecture, Prof. HARDIE discussed the latest development in the studies of the AMPK-mediated canonical and non-canonical signal cascades.
During the 2-day meeting, the director of IMM, Prof. JIANG Jiandong presented studies on the natural-product drug Berberine as an indirect activator of AMPK to regulate lipid metabolism, Prof. ZOU Minghui from University of Oklahoma spoke on targeting AMPK as a therapy for endothelial dysfunction in metabolic diseases, and Prof. David CARLING from Imperial College London shared some new insights into the regulation of AMPK as drug target. Other exciting talks came from scientists of Xiamen University, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Jilin University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Nanjing University and The Second Military Medical University.
At a theme seminar of AMPK-based drug discovery, which was a part of the meeting program, Prof. ZHU Haibo and his group presented their work on the synthesis, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics studies, and in-vivo imaging of a novel AMPK agonist. Attendees were greatly interested and had a warm discussion.
While the meeting marks the initiation of regular international communication in the field, it is expected to bring positive influence to both basic research and drug discovery on AMPK.