A Report on the Peptide Chemistry Day Symposium

Peptide Chemistry Day Symposium,
Zagreb, Croatia, 19 September 2019.

Flyer of the symposium „Peptide Chemistry Day”

The Peptide Chemistry Day Symposium was held on September 19, 2019 at the University of Zagreb. Members of the organizing and scientific committee were:

Dr. sc. Ruža Frkanec, University of Zagreb, president
Dr. sc. Andreja Jakas, Ruđer Bošković Institute
Dr. sc. Adela Štimac, University of Zagreb
Prof. dr. sc. Leo Frkanec, Ruđer Bošković Institute
Arijana Mihalić, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Professor Damir Boras, rector of the University of Zagreb opened the symposium

The aim of the symposium „Peptide Chemistry Day“ was to bring together all the research scientists who work on different aspects of the field of peptide science and present a part of the research of peptides which is carried out in the scientific community in Croatia. This was indeed fulfilled in the meeting. Besides presentations of research results, the organizers wanted to stimulate all forms of collaboration and networking, especially for younger colleagues and students.

Research in the field of peptide chemistry in Croatian science has a tradition lasting for almost half a century. Investigations of the structure of the insulin derivative where scientists from academia and those from PLIVA pharmaceutical company worked together marks the beginning of peptide chemistry in Croatia. Numerous domestic and foreign patents of Pliva’s researchers bear witness to this period. Up to now, investigations in the field of synthetic chemistry, biochemistry as well as biology of peptides are very intensive and scientifically significant.

Furthermore, the scientists who worked in the field of peptide science in Croatia have continuously participated at international scientific meetings and Croatia has had a representative in the Council of the European Peptide Society since the Society was established.

This symposium was organized by the University of Zagreb. The symposium was a scientific part of the celebration of the 350th academic year of the University of Zagreb and also celebrates 45 years of systematic scientific research of peptides in Croatia.

University of Zagreb Ulica kralja Zvonimira 8 HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

The symposium was sponsored by Croatian Science Foundation, (IP-2018-01-6910), European Peptide Society, Croatian Chemical Society , Institute Rudjer Bošković and PLIVA.

At the symposium, twelve lectures of prominent researchers from the University of Zagreb, Rudjer Bošković Institute, and the scientific research institution Fidelta were held. One lecture was given by a scientist from abroad, namely, from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Dr. sc. Goran Kragol, Fidelta Ltd., Zagreb, Croatia, gave a lecture entitled „Macrocycle-inspired peptidomimetics for challenging targets”

The lectures covered different fields of research: crystallization and structural analysis of some insulin derivatives, synthesis of biologically active peptides and glycopeptides, different aspects of peptidomimetic chemistry, from macrocycle-inspired peptidomimetics synthesis, assembly of peptidomimetics by multicomponent reactions to feroccene peptidomimetics. Synthesis, characterization and self-assembly of small peptidic gelators based on amyloid β-protein was presented. Significant challenges in peptide vaccine development were also presented and the synthesis of desmuramylpeptides as potent novel adjuvants was described. The interaction of positively charged peptides in water and phospholipid bilayers was discussed and studies of biomolecular interactions of plant lectin and self-assembled hybrid bilayers modified with bacterial peptidoglycan was presented. An overview of IUPAC‒recommendations for nomenclature and graphical representation in peptide chemistry was given.

Dr. sc. Andreja Jakas, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia, lectured about biologically active peptides and glycopeptides as a result of chemical modification of natural compounds.

As a part of the symposium, the Book of Abstracts was published (ISBN 978-953-8250-03-3) by University of Zagreb and Croatian Chemical Society. The editors are dr. sc. Ruža Frkanec and Danijel Namjesnik.

This symposium takes part in the promotion of science at the University of Zagreb, which is recognized as an important center in the research of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and pharmacology of peptides in Croatia, as well as an institution whose scientists participate in the work of recognized and distinguished European Peptide Society (EPS).

The symposium allowed scientists and students who deal with any form of research peptides in Croatia to be informed with networking capabilities and mobility into european laboratories using scholarships of the European peptide society.

The members of Organizing comittee are grateful to the University of Zagreb and all the sponsors, especially European Peptide Society, whose support was invaluable for the success of the Symposium.

They express their sincere thanks to all of the speakers and participants for sharing their research achievements, therefore contributing to the excellence of the symposium.

Finally, the organizers and the participants who witnessed the scientific excellency of the symposium as well as its friendly atmosphere are already looking forward to the next Peptide Chemistry Day!

Contributed by Ruža Frkanec
President of the Organizing Committee

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