A Report on the 36th European Peptide Symposium

36th European Peptide Symposium
Sitges – Barcelona, Spain, August 28 – September 2, 2022

The 36th European and 12th International Peptide Symposium was held in Sitges (Barcelona), Spain, from 28 August to 2 September 2022.  The meeting, whose theme is “From Peptides to the World“, was an ideal occasion for scientists from academia and industry from around the world to learn about the burgeoning field of peptide science, exchange ideas, create new alliances, meet old – and make new – friends.

This year we had more than 750 participants from all over the world.

The conference was held at the Melià Sitges, a hotel and convention centre with a 1,200-seat auditorium and 4,000 square metres for commercial exhibition, poster sessions and coffee breaks, all in the pleasant setting of a 300-room establishment with an outdoor swimming pool, gardens and terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The Symposium was opened on the 28th of August by Meritxell Teixido, Chair of the 36th EPS, together with Norbert Sewald on behalf of the EPS executive. They welcomed the participants and open the symposium following the traditional gong banging.

They acknowledged David Andreu, Anna Maria Papini, and Dirk Tourwé for their service to the EPS and commemorate Ulf Diederichsen. Paolo Rovero announced the awardee for best paper published in the Journal of Peptide Science and introduce the J. Pept. Sci. journal.

Norbert Sewald introduced the EPS Miklos Bodanszky Award and announce the awardee: Prof. Kathrin Lang. The awardee gave her talk as opening of the YIMS mini symposium in Tuesday afternoon. Dr. Jordi Piró (representative of BCN Peptides, sponsor of award) presented the certificate/award to Dr. Lang.

Prof. Fernando Formaggio introduced the EPS Leonidas Zervas Award and announced the awardees: Prof. Gilles Subra and Prof. Ali Tavassoli that acknowledged Dr. Rao Makineni (not attending) for funding the award. Then Prof. Subra and Prof. Tavassoli gave their lectures.

Norbert Sewald introduced the winner of the Josef Rudinger Memorial Lecture Award: Prof. Herbert Waldmann. Dr. Jon Holbech Rasmussen (representative of Polypeptide Laboratories) to present the award to Prof. Waldmann, Then Prof. Waldmann gave his lecture.

The main Symposium took place from Monday the 29th to Thursday the 2nd of September, consisting of Invited Lectures and 49 Oral Presentations, delivered over 10 sessions.

Ten topics were presented in plenary talks, oral communications and poster presentations. Their topics included: Bioactive peptides Synthetic chemistry of peptides, amino acids and proteins, Peptide therapeutics and clinical application, Peptide prodrugs, targeting, delivery and uptake, Structure and conformational studies of peptides, Peptide materials and catalysts for the nanobiosciences, Peptide-sugar, -lipid, -nucleic acid and –drug conjugates, Emerging peptide-based technologies, Peptide mimetics, peptoids and peptide nucleic acids, Proteomics and peptide bioinformatics.

In addition to the large number of local participants, over 762 international participants from more than 40 different countries could share discussions and data on international research in the field of peptide science during these sessions, the coffee and lunch breaks, as well as the cheese/ham and wine Posters and Exhibitors.

The programme of the 36th EPS also included a Young Investigator Mini Symposium (YIMS) on Tuesday afternoon.

As for the 36th EPS, German delegates (116) constituted the largest group of participants, followed by representatives from Spain, UK, Switzerland and the United States. Other, Asian and European countries, as well as Australia and Canada were also represented among the participants.

31 Industry Exhibitors were represented at the meeting with a stand. All were located in the exhibition area.

Special events

Welcome reception. On Sunday, August 28, a Welcome drink was organised for all EPS 2022 attendees, just after the Opening reception and the Awards Ceremony scheduled on the first event day.

The Dr. Bert and Dr. Elizabeth Schram Mixer evening by the pool. This event was scheduled on Tuesday, August 30.

It was organized by invitation only, with two groups separated in Seniors and Young investigators and the development of the event followed guidelines to do group discussions during the evening.

Speakers dinner. On Wednesday, August 31, the speakers’ dinner was celebrated at Vivero Restaurant in Sitges.

Mediterranean night. The final event of the EPS Symposium 2022 was the Mediterranean night. It took place on Thursday, September 1.  It was celebrated at the Meliá Sitges restaurant and pool areas. After the dinner, the attendees could enjoy a music show by The Pandicorns group.

Miscellanea morning. During Wednesday, August 31 in the morning, different activities were organized for the participants: Vineyard Visit and Wine Tasting at Torre del Veguer, Palau Maricel visit, walking tour through Sitges, Football Match (unfortunately, because of the weather this match could not be played) and a round table titled Peptides Beyond the Bench (Scale-up, Production and Regulatory path issues).

At the end of the week in the closing ceremony, Norbert Sewald handed over the EPS gong to Anna Maria Papini for the 37h EPS, which will be held in Florence, Italy on August 25th – 30th, 2024.

Contributed by Meritxell Teixido