The 3<sup>rd</sup> International Conference on Drug Discovery & Therapy: Dubai, February 7 - 11, 2011

We extend a warm welcome to the distinguished Nobel laureates, teachers, researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical industry leaders from around the world to the United Arab Emirates for the Fourth International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy (ICDDT).

This cutting edge and forward-looking conference, which will see delegates present and deliberate advances in many disciplines of drug discovery and therapy, is timely and vital to the improved health and wellness of humanity.

It is anticipated that up to 1500 of the world’s leading scientists, researchers, industrialists and academicians, including several Nobel laureates, in the fields of medical and biological sciences, will attend this forum in Dubai to share and discuss new scientific ideas, products and breakthroughs. We are indeed pleased to host such an international conference in the United Arab Emirates.

The United Arab Emirates is an obvious choice to host such a specialized scientific conference, which will have global implications. As H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the HCT said at the opening of the 2011 ICDDT in Dubai: “We are a country that promotes creativity and values innovation – a country committed to building a knowledge society where ideas drive economic success and help affect positive change. The improvement of the health of our citizens is one of our nation’s highest priorities”.

Furthermore, the UAE’s geographic location puts it at the centre, or nexus, of the very populous and developing Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, providing enormous opportunities and new markets for scientific research and for new products and solutions.

One of the most important and pressing challenges facing today’s researchers, technologists and innovators is to design, develop and distribute products and solutions which are accessible and affordable to the large mass of the world’s less affluent population. There is a need for research efforts in drug discovery and therapy to be further focused towards the treatment of specific diseases afflicting this part of humanity and to also continue the ground-breaking work to improve the standards of health for all citizens of the world.

Furthermore, visionary efforts, combined with innovative technologies, are needed to address the gap between supply and accessible treatment. Other challenges faced by the scientific and research communities include meeting the demands of an increasing ageing population, dealing with lifestyle diseases in both developing and developed economies and slowing the inexorable spread of communicable diseases. But ultimately the most significant challenge may be addressing and defeating the presence of ‘resistance epidemics’. At the 2011 ICDDT conference, HE Sheikh Nahayan highlighted the need for the development of new drugs, through different business models of research and development.

“It is critical, therefore, that we encourage close partnerships between drug companies, physicians, bio-medical engineers, hospitals, and colleges of medicine, in order to ensure the development and delivery of new drugs and medical treatments,” Sheikh Nahayan said.

“Drug design and discovery is a global issue, and nations all over the world share the same challenges and concerns that surround this important topic,” he said.

As we face such major challenges, pharmacological researchers also have tremendous opportunities and tools today in utilizing advances in biotechnology, health informatics and biomedical engineering as a result of an unprecedented integration of engineering and technology with health and life sciences in the last decade. “It is critical that we promote regional and international cooperation to ensure that you have the means to do your work, and that we, and indeed, the world will be the beneficiaries of your efforts and accomplishments,” Sheikh Nahayan said at the 3rd ICDDT.

The deliberations and recommendations of this conference will have a significant impact on the future directions of drug development and on the improvement to the health and wellness of humanity, as a whole.

“This conference highlights the importance of your innovation to the future of humankind and expresses our strong belief that all of you, working together, represent the highest and best ideals of a global society that measures its success by the quality of life of its citizens,” Sheikh Nahayan said in his 2011 conference opening speech.

Dear Colleagues,

After the outstanding success of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy held in Dubai, UAE in February 2008, 2010 and 2011, which were attended by many Nobel laureates, and 800 eminent scientists the 4th conference promises to be an even larger event with over 500 lectures 35 thematic sessions, poster presentations and an associated exhibition planned. The conference will host leading scientists from academia and industry worldwide, to discuss the latest developments in drug discovery and therapy.

The major topics of discussion related to drug, discovery and therapy will include: Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Translational Medicine, Regenerative Medicine, Enabling Technologies, Structural Biology, Drug Delivery & Targeting, Antiinfectives, Biologics, CNS Drug Discovery & Therapy, Diabetes and Obesity Drug Discovery & Therapy, Women’s Health Drug Discovery & Therapy, Drug Discovery in Preclinical Research, Cardiovascular Drug Discovery & Therapy, Oncology, Process Chemistry and Drug Manufacturing, Pulmonary Drug Discovery & Therapy, Recent Advances in Patient Treatment and Care, Inflammation and Immunology, Innovative Drug Discovery and Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Proteomics & Bioinformatics, Pharmacogenomics, Protein and Peptide Sciences, Drug Metabolism, Hot Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, Medical Imaging, Hot Topics in HIV Research, In-silico Drug Design and in-silico screening, Combinatorial Chemistry, High-throughput Screening & Laboratory automation, Hot Topics in Drug Targets, Hot Topics in Natural Products, Stereoselective Synthesis of Bioactive Compounds, Recent Advances in Spectroscopy, Academic CRO/Industrial collaborations in drug discovery.

The conference aims to provide many interesting perspectives on how science and technology of drug discovery and drug therapy are changing rapidly, thereby providing new opportunities and challenges to scientists and medical doctors.

I look forward to welcoming the participants to this exciting conference which will bring together world leaders in their respective fields in the exotic environment of Dubai. The city has become a great tourist attraction because of the range of facilities that it offers to visitors warm clean beaches, tradional bazaars and modern shopping centres which are a shopper's paradise, culinary delights from the East and the West, and top class hotels which can provide you with very comfortable accommodation at reasonable rates.

Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman is a Fellow of Royal Society (London), and Honorary Life Fellow of Kings College Cambridge University. He is the author/editor of 105 books published by major US/European presses and has 874 research publications, 59 chapters in books and 15 patents to his credit. He is the Editor-in-Chief of a number of European Chemistry journals including Current Medicinal Chemistry, Current Organic Chemistry, Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, Letters in Organic Chemistry, Studies in Natural Products etc.

Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman has been awarded Doctor of Science degrees by a number of universities including Cambridge University and UNESCO Science Prize (1999) as well as the highest civil awards of the Government of Pakistan and Austria for his contributions to medicinal chemistry and education.
Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, M.D. is Director Emeritus of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the prevention of Human Diseases, Director of the IMM Center for Cell Signaling, Regental Professor and John S. Dunn Sr. Distinguished Chair in Physiology and Medicine, Texas Nobel Scholar at the University of Texas at Houston, and Director of the UT Health Science Center at Houston Program in Intracellular Signaling.

Dr. Murad completed his undergraduate work at DePauw University and received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He had a medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship at NIH in the Heart Institute. He was on the faculty at the University of Virginia 1970-81 as Director of the Clinical Research Center and Director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology with appointments in Medicine and Pharmacology. He was Chief of Medicine at Palo Alto Veterans Hospital 1981-88, Associate Chairman of Medicine 1982-86 and Chairman of Medicine 1986-88 at Stanford University. He was Vice President of Research and Development at Abbott Laboratories 1988-93 and Professor at Northwestern University.

Dr. Murad has been active in both academic medicine and industry throughout his distinguished career. He has founded or co-founded five biotechnology companies and has advised many cities and government leaders about technology development. His work has concentrated on the field of cell signaling and signal transduction systems.

In 1998, Dr. Murad received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work with nitric oxide – a colorless, odorless gas that signals blood vessels to relax and widen, which in turns lower blood pressure. He continues research which leads to a better understanding of how information is transmitted between cells.

Among his many other awards and honors, Dr. Murad received the prestigious Albert and Mary Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in 1996, the American Heart Association Ciba Award in 1988, and the Baxter Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences from the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2000. He also received the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology Distinguished Research Prize in 2005 and the President’s Scholar Award from the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center in 2006.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science Technology. He is also a member of several foreign academies and is an Honorary or Adjunct Professor at a number of universities. Dr. Murad also serves on the Board of Directors or Scientific Advisory Boards of a number of public and private companies and various foundations and universities. About 140 trainees have worked in his laboratories who are currently academic or pharmaceutical industry leaders around the world.

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