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Symposium to Explore the Use of Click Chemistry in Biology and Medicine

Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless, the pioneering researcher behind click chemistry, will join cutting-edge researchers at the New York Academy of Sciences to discuss click chemistry’s potential for disease diagnosis and drug discovery.

Published August 28, 2014

NEW YORK, September 2, 2014 - On September 15, the New York Academy of Sciences will host the symposium Click Chemistry in Biology and Medicine: New Developments and Strategies. Click chemistry, a term coined by Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless, describes the reliable method for creating new chemical connections from a handful of building blocks, similar to those found in nature. Click reactions, which address fundamental challenges in biology, are part of an emerging field that has provided exciting new technologies for biomedical research.

"In the 15 years since its conception, to use connectivity to access pure chemical function, click chemistry has expanded the scope of biochemical methods and is routinely used across the life sciences for precision screens and assays, bio-orthogonal labels, routes to small-molecule inhibitors and drug candidates, polymeric biomaterials, ligands with antibody-like properties, activity-based protein profiling, and guaranteed combichem results. However, its real power lies in having detected the synthesis of DNA in proliferating cells-illuminating life itself!" says keynote speaker K. Barry Sharpless, PhD, W. M. Keck Professor of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute.

As well as keynote addresses from The Scripps Research Institute's Professor Sharpless and Jim Paulson, PhD, this half-day symposium will explore the use of small molecules to engineer and explore human immunity against prostate cancer, Staphylococcus aureus, and HIV; new chemical technologies for deconstructing redox signaling by selectively flipping a single redox switch within cells at precise times; and chemoenzymatic methods to visualize glycans in living systems and human samples.

"Click chemistry has provided unprecedented opportunities to probe post-translational and epigenetic modifications. Emerging tools from this field include methods for detecting DNA hydroxymethylation, techniques for visualizing changes in glycosylation, and many others. These tools are being translated into effective new technologies for dissecting the functional roles and mechanisms of these modifications in animal models and human patient samples," says symposium scientific co-organizer and speaker Peng Wu, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

For a full conference agenda, visit

For press inquiries, including press passes to the conference, please contact Stacy-Ann Ashley (; 212-298-8696).

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