The “2024 Biomedical Translational Research Forum – London,” organised by the ABCP Life Sciences and Health Specialty Committee in collaboration with the UK ACADEME (UKA) and the Chinese Life Scientists Society in the UK (CLSS-UK), took place at University College London on the 5th of April. The primary objective of this forum was to showcase the research endeavours of seasoned scientists with significant translational potential and to facilitate interactions among a diverse array of stakeholders to foster collaborative opportunities across various sectors. The event drew approximately 60 attendees from both the UK and China.

Professor John Wood FRS FMedSci delivered a keynote speech entitled “From Genes to Analgesic Drugs,” wherein he shared insights from his research journey focused on the development of innovative analgesic treatment targeting sodium channels.

During the morning session, Professor Wenhui Song from UCL discussed “Elastomer Nanofibrous Scaffolds Guiding Human iPSC-Derived Muscle and Neuromuscular Models for Drug Discovery,” followed by Professor Yaohe Wang from Queen Mary University of London, who presented his laboratory’s research on cancer immunotherapy utilizing oncolytic viruses. Subsequently, Professor Tao Wang from the University of Manchester introduced her team’s efforts in applying iPSCs to model genetic cerebral small vessel diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. The session ended with a presentation by Dr Haiyan Zhou, from UCL, on her laboratory’s work on antisense oligonucleotide-based gene therapy.

In the afternoon session, Dr Hongyuan Zhang, representing Professor Xin Wang‘s group at the University of Manchester, discussed their progress in identifying novel drugs for heart failure and Professor Huiliang Li from UCL showcased his laboratory’s research on the role of cholesterol metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease. Following this, Professor Chaozong Liu from UCL presented orthopaedic biomaterials and intervention therapy for orthopaedic conditions, Professor Li Su from the University of Cambridge/University of Sheffield introduced a novel therapeutic strategy for assessing drug efficacy in silico, and Professor Yongjie Lu from Queen Mary University of London, presented on tumour biomarkers and diagnostics. Additionally, Dr Zhidao Xia from Swansea University shared insights on translating research into commercialization, while Professor Xize Niu from the University of Southampton provided an overview of his spin-out company, Droplet Scientific Ltd.

Representatives from other sectors also shared their contributions to biomedical translational research. Mr. Steven Yuan, Vice President of FC Capital, a private equity investment firm specializing in the complete medical and pharmaceutical industry chain, introduced his firm’s investment portfolio and future focus areas. Dr Wenbing Yu, Assistant Manager at Junshi Biosciences, an innovation-driven pharmaceutical company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, presented Junshi’s ongoing R&D pipelines. Dr Di Fu, Senior R&D Manager at Beyond Lab, elucidated the services offered by his company. Dr Jingliang Huang, Principal Scientist at Zhuhai Longyao, highlighted his company’s dedication to promoting liver health.

Additionally, Dr Karen Wang from Bosideng UK, a leading fashion company and an institutional member of ABCP, delivered a brief talk on “The Fashion Industry’s Intersection with Life Science: Opportunities and Challenges,” and generously provided prizes for forum participants.

The forum concluded with flash talks from the remaining participants.

The forum was hosted by Professor Huiliang Li (ABCP/UCL) and Dr Yan Xue (UKA). The talk sessions were chaired by Dr Jing Zhao (UCL), Professor Li Su (Cambridge/Sheffield/CLSS), Mr Marc Hitchmough (UKA), Dr Guifen Chen (QMUL/CLSS), and Dr Hongyuan Zhang (Manchester), respectively.