A Report on the 12th Austrian Peptide Symposium

Conference Report
12th Austrian Peptide Symposium
Vienna, Austria, 5 December 2023

The 2023 meeting marked our 12th edition, returning as an in-person event in Vienna on the 5th of December. Co-organized by Christian Gruber (Medical University of Vienna) and Christian Becker (Austrian representative to the EPS, University of Vienna), the symposium maintained its successful tradition, kicking off with a speaker’s dinner at Restaurant Ragusa the evening before.

The one-day event encompassed four scientific sessions, featuring invited lectures by esteemed national and international speakers, short oral presentations from Austrian early-career investigators, and a dynamic poster session showcasing 37 posters. The attendance reached a record-breaking 112 participants, marking a significant achievement. A highlight of the symposium was the presentation of the third “Bachem AtPS Award for Peptide Science.”

The scientific program consisted of the following sessions:

Session 1: Peptide & Protein Chemistry
Chaired by Christian Becker (University of Vienna)
Nicholas Mitchell (University of Nottingham, UK): “Revolutionizing Site-Selective Modification of Peptides and Proteins Using Radical Approaches”
Daniela Kalafatović (University of Rijeka, Croatia): “Machine Learning Assisted Design of Bioactive Peptides and Peptide Assemblies”
Luisa Aguiar (Gyros Protein Technologies): “Automation in Peptide Synthesis and Purification: Streamlining Operational Complexity”

Session 2: Peptide / Protein Structure & Function
Chaired by Christian Gruber (Medical University of Vienna)
Arun K. Shukla (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India): “Structural Insights into Activation and Signaling of Peptide GPCRs”
Ines Neundorf (University of Cologne, Germany): “Tailored Peptides as Tools to Modulate Intracellular Protein-Protein Interaction”
Monika Swiontek (CEM GmbH, Germany): “Exploring Protein Function using Synthetic Peptide Libraries and Arrays on Solid Support”

Session 3: Hot topics in peptide science – Selected from submitted abstracts
Chaired by Anne Conibear (TU Vienna, Austria)
Russell J. Wilson (Johannes Kepler University Linz): “Coiled coil as molecular force sensors: from molecular mechanisms and design to biological applications”
Dörte Brandis (University of Vienna): “Real-time monitoring of Biomineralization with Solution NMR Spectroscopy”
Kevin Schiefelbein (University of Zurich): “Expanding the Chemical Space of Lasso Peptides by Enzymatically Transforming Chemically Synthesized Precursors”
Oliver Gajsek (University of Vienna): “Deciphering the impact of posttranslational modification on function and structure of Heat shock protein 90”
Debora Iaculli (Free University of Brussels): “Cyclic peptides as Connexin43 and Pannexin1 inhibitors”
Paula Schwarz (Medical University of Vienna): “Nature-derived Peptide Inhibitors of Prolyl Oligopeptidase modulate T cell Proliferation”

Session 4: Peptides in Drug Discovery, Treatment & Diagnosis
Chaired by Markus Muttenthaler (University of Vienna)
Mariana Damian (Biotage, UK): “New Biotage Technologies for a Faster Peptide Drug Discovery Workflow”
Nermina Malanovic (University of Graz, Austria): “Navigating Antimicrobial Peptides: From Mode of Action to Crafting Enhanced Properties”
Shiroh Futaki (Kyoto University, Japan): “Cytosolic IgG delivery using attenuated cationic amphiphilic lytic peptides”
Rajesh Mannancherry (Bachem AG, Switzerland): “Bachem – An Innovation Driven Company”

The third Bachem AtPS Award for Peptide Science in D/A/CH was presented to Peter ‘t Hart (Chemical Genomics Center, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Germany) and the award lecture was titled “Macrocyclic peptide inhibitors of protein-RNA interactions”.

The scientific part of the symposium ended with the announcement of four winners of the poster award competition (one award was supported by Wiley), i.e. (in alphabetical order):

  • Barbara Herrmann, TU Wien: “STOPTACs: Scissile turn-off proteolysis targeting chimeras”
  • Helene Hönigsperger, University of Ulm: “Discovery anti-inflammatory virus-derived peptides”
  • Darja Isabelle Rohden, University of Vienna: “Unveiling Protein Dynamics: Synthesis and Utilization of Selectively Labelled Arginine in Advanced NMR Studies”
  • Natasa Tomasevic, Medical University of Vienna: “Plant-derived circular peptides as modulators of cannabinoid type 2 receptor signaling”

We concluded the event with a dinner and social networking, while tasting wine from the Austrian winemaker Boris Kovacic from Projekt Wildtyp, Vienna/St. Margarethen, specializing on natural wines.

The next symposium is scheduled to be held on the 5th of December 2024 in Vienna, and we look forward to another successful gathering.

Last but not least, we are grateful to everyone, who helped making the event possible, in particular to our sponsors, which are: Bachem, Biotage, CEM, Gyros Protein Technologies, ThermoFischer Scientific, Genscript, Almac, Rieger-Industrievertretungen GmbH, MagLab, the Medical University of Vienna and the European Peptide Society. Without their generous financial support, all this would not have been possible!

Contributed by Christian W. Gruber and Christian Becker


Group Photo 2023


Bachem Award (from left to right): Christian Gruber (Organizer), Christian Becker (Organizer), Peter t’Hart (Award winner 2023) Rajesh Manancherry (Bachem)


Poster Awards (from left to right): Christian Gruber, Barbara Herrmann (TU Wien), Helene Hönigsperger (University of Ulm), Darja Isabelle Rohden (University of Vienna), Natasa Tomasevic (Medical University of Vienna), Anne Conibear, Christian Becker


Speakers Dinner