CHAPEL HILL – UNC Chapel Hill’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy will host its annual PharmSci conference next week, focused on opportunities within “open science,” a movement that aims to boost universal accessibility of scientific research and data.

PharmSci 2020 is slated for March 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rizzo Center in Chapel Hill. The conference will feature presentations, a keynote and a panel discussing open science’s impacts on medical research and drug discovery.

The agenda is broken up into three parts: Basic implementations of open science, drug discovery and translation, and social and economic value creation.

The keynote speaker, Structural Genomics Consortium Founder and Director Aled Edwards, will open the event with a talk on the open science development process, from gene research to medicine.

Throughout the full-day event, nine invited speakers will cover the full range of drug discovery activities, from basic research to clinical trials. Presenters hail from universities and organizations across the world, ranging from the University of Toronto, to Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks and Massachusetts-based X-Chem Pharmaceuticals, to Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim to University College-London and Cambridge-based Sanger Institute.

The event will conclude with an interactive roundtable discussion on value creation through open science, featuring panelists from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and the Montreal Neurological Institute.

PharmSci is co-presented by the Structural Genomics Consortium, a Canada-based public-private medical research organization that heads university-run laboratories around the world. UNC Chapel Hill’s Structural Genomics Consortium laboratory is one of six SGC labs, with others based in the U.K., Sweden, Germany, Brazil and Canada.

The event is also supported by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, which awarded $8,784 to PharmSci 2020 as part of its recent round of grants to fund meetings and events hosted by local universities and non-profit organizations.

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Tim Willson, research professor and chief scientist at UNC Chapel Hill’s Structural Genomics Consortium, says the goal of this year’s PharmSci symposium is to “bring together researchers who are using the principles of open science to advance the discovery and development of affordable medicines.”

Wilson adds that he’s expecting a turnout of around 100 attendees who are “interested in learning more about the impact of open science in the modern era of drug discovery.”