An “ER stress fundamentals” training course took place on 16th May at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Most of the early stage researchers had started their projects on 1st April so this course gave them an excellent opportunity to learn about the key topics related to ER stress from experts in the field. The lecture series described the main developments in the field and covered 1) current understanding of ER function at the molecular and cellular level 2) the response to ER stress 3) its role in the development of disease and 4) its potential for therapeutic purposes.
One of the key lectures that the students were particularly enthusiastic about was delivered by Dr John Patterson of MannKind Corp who leads the IRE1 drug discovery program at MannKind. Dr Patterson took the students through the development of IRE1 inhibitors from target identification and validation to assay development, high throughput screening, hit optimisation and preclinical testing.