Drug Discovery Course 2019, 4th Edition

6 – 9 Oct 2019
Llafranc, Spain
Coordinators: Catarina Brito (Animal Cell Technology Unit, IBET/ITQB), Heinz Ruffner (Novartis), Hansjörg Hauser (HZI, Germany)

ESACT offers an introductory course to drug discovery, providing an overview of the field, offering basic aspects and pharmaceutical application.  It will be of interest for those starting research or development activity in drug discovery, both from academia and companies (lab managers, scientists, Post-Docs, Ph.D. students and engineers). It is also of interest for those wishing an up-date of the state-of-the-art of drug discovery in a short course.

The course is planned in an intensive three-day schedule with the number of participants limited to 30 in order to facilitate the interaction among them and with the lecturers. Lecturers will stay for the entire course duration. A limited number of grants, covering the course fee (not travel cost), are provided by ESACT. Applicants to the grants should indicate it in the course application, together with a motivation statement. Priority will be given to young Ph.D. students from academia.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Cellular assays for target identification/validation
  • Engineering cells for drug screening and validation
  • Cell selection: primary cells, stem cells, organoids
  • Biochemical assays
  • Biomarkers
  • Animal models including PK/PD
  • Assays bridging in vitro and in vivo

Inquired lecturers: Catarina Brito (IBET, Portugal), Hansjörg Hauser (HZI, Germany), Carsten Pieck (Merck, Germany), Thi Phuong Tao (TissUse, Germany), Heinz Ruffner (Novartis, Switzerland), Wolfgang Sommergruber (University of Applied Sciences, Austria).

Download flyer with detailed information about ESACT Drug Discovery Course 2019 →

Organizing Committee

Organizing Committee

Catarina Brito
Animal Cell Technology Unit, IBET/ITQB
Apartado 12
2780-901 Oeiras, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 44 69 434
Email: anabrito@ibet.pt

Heinz Ruffner
WSJ-Fabrikstrasse 22-4.025.1
CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland
Tel +41 79 863 5219
Email: heinz.ruffner@novartis.com

Hansjörg Hauser
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Inhoffenstrasse 7
38124 Braunschweig, Germany
Tel.: +49 531 6181 5000
Email: hha@helmholtz-hzi.de

Contact for registration

Birgit Marckhgott
Email: office@esact.org



The course will be held in Hotel Terramar, a ***star hotel (http://www.hterramar.com) in a small town named Llafranc in the heart of Costa Brava, Girona, Spain. The hotel is right on a very nice sandy beach, providing a cozy and relaxing atmosphere for the participants. Weather in Llafranc at this time of the year is generally pleasant.


In general, participants will be accommodated in double rooms. But participants have the possibility to be hosted in single room (limited to availability) at an extra cost of 125 Euros to be paid directly in the hotel.

Travel information

Travel organization to the meeting site is of participants responsibility, ensuring their participation to the full Course. Access by road from Girona airport (30 min) or Barcelona airport (90 min) is suggested.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ONE BUS will be leaving from Barcelona airport on Sunday, 6th October to drive participants to Hotel Terramar at Llafranc. On Wednesday, 9th October, ONE BUS will be leaving from Hotel Terramar to drive participants to Barcelona airport. Participants should arrange their travelling accordingly or alternatively arrange for their transportation of their own.
(The exact times of the departures will be announced to the participants right in time and after confirmation has been given.)

Llafranc (Costa Brava)

Hotel Terramar

Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-09 um 17.31.25Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-09 um 17.30.43



Detailled and updated programme for 2019 !

Registration Fee

Registration Fees

800 Euros for academic participants and 1400 Euros for industry participants.

The fee covers course registration and materials (ebook), accommodation in two-bed rooms (shared with another participant), meals, transportation from/to Barcelona airport with one organized bus transport service at a fixed time. Participants will be informed right in time to arrange their travelling accordingly or alternatively arrange for their transportation on their own.

Registration Form Drug Discovery Course 2019

Sorry, but for this year registration is already closed!