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David Bricker
University Communication

Last modified: Monday, June 1, 2009

International community of biotechnologists converge on Bloomington for 21st American Peptide Symposium

June 1, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- About 800 participants from around the world will be in Bloomington this week for the 21st American Peptide Society Symposium, a forum for exchanging cutting-edge developments in biotechnology. The program consists of scientific opinion leaders from academia with keynote lectures from two pharmaceutical CEOs and two CSOs, as well as a collective of other executives from the pharmaceutical and venture capital sectors.

Image by: APS Symposium 2009

The American Peptide Symposium, in Bloomington this year, is themed "Breaking Away". Hundreds of scientists and students will be in town for the event.

Print-Quality Photo

Co-chairing the event are Indiana University Bloomington biochemist Richard DiMarchi and University of Michigan medicinal chemist Henry Mosberg.

"The unprecedented interest in the use of peptides as drugs separates this period from any other in the history of the Society, and it is a direct result of the advances in core peptide chemistry and biology that have been achieved in recent years," said DiMarchi, a leader in drug discovery and development.

The conference begins with an opening reception on Sunday (June 7), at 7 p.m., and concludes at 5 p.m. on June 12 (Friday). Participants will have more than 70 sessions to choose from, not counting special award ceremonies and luncheons. Session presenters will discuss a wide range of subjects that span the full breath of chemistry, biology and pharmacology of peptide sciences. The last two days are focused on pharmacology in multiple disease areas, with lectures pertaining to clinical studies with emerging new medicines. The final day is specific to the global epidemic of diabetes and obesity

Scientists, business executives, and investors will also have the opportunity to take the "Bloomington Life Sciences Corporate Tour," which will introduce them to the diverse and deep resources available to life science scientists and entrepreneurs.

The American Peptide Society has provided travel grants to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and will hold a job fair to attract new scientists and scientists-in-training to the conference.

Peptides are small proteins and consist of polymers of amino acids. Insulin, glucagon, and parathyroid hormone are a few examples of peptide-based hormones that are of utmost importance to physiology and have been developed in various forms as human medicines. Conference co-chair DiMarchi is particularly active in endocrine research and has made seminal contributions to development of peptide-based therapeutics for treatment of associated diseases.

Attendance in the scientific conference requires registration. For more information about the conference, please visit

The American Peptide Society, a nonprofit scientific and educational organization founded in 1990, provides a forum for advancing and promoting knowledge of the chemistry and biology of peptides. The approximately one thousand members of the Society come from North America and from more than thirty other countries throughout the world. Establishment of the American Peptide Society was a result of the rapid worldwide growth that has occurred in peptide-related research, and of the increasing interaction of peptide scientists with virtually all fields of science.

To speak with co-chair DiMarchi, please contact David Bricker, University Communications, at 812-856-9035 or