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Big Data in Chemistry is featured in a new webinar series

Posted on November 11th, 2021 by in Chemistry

We talk a lot about how innovation is driven by technological advances such as AI and machine learning – but equally important to innovation are partnerships and collaborations. The R&D Collaboration Network, founded in 2015, brings together top-class researchers in chemical informatics and computational chemistry who need access to comprehensive, accurate, diverse and deep sources of chemical data as input to their research programs, in order to drive innovation via the development of visual and/or predictive analytics approaches.

A recent project of the Network is the Big Data in Chemistry webinar series, a series of four highly-informative presentations featuring Network members. “We wanted to draw attention to the current state-of-the-art in the field of cheminformatics,” explains Dr Shilpa Bali, Product Innovation and Strategy Manager at Elsevier, who has been organizing the series which began on October 7 and concludes on November 25 with A universal approach to reaction informatics. She notes that the topic of informatics is essential not only for process automation chemistry, but also for data generated by manual syntheses.

The series has touched on a number of other fascinating topics as well. “A historical perspective on the evolution of chemistry over time was covered by the webinar on Understanding the history of chemical space through Big Data,” she says. “Our webinars also reflect on both opportunities (as covered in the webinar on DNA- encoded library design by Professor Andreas Brunschweiger), as well as challenges with the data mining and machine learning approaches.”

The webinar format has the wonderful advantage of being able to bring people together from around the globe to hear directly from the best minds in the field, as they share insights from their work and discuss the most pressing issues that researchers are facing.

“Today’s chemistry researchers are aware of the opportunities and challenges that are presented by generation of a higher volume and velocity of reaction and compound data,” says Bali. “However, the examples on how data can be consumed for deriving meaningful insights and data-driven decisions for applications in drugs and chemical R&D are limited. This, for us, was the main driver for setting up this webinar series. All our network members are using Reaxys data for developing computational workflow tools or algorithms, which can be showcased as perfect examples for data-driven applications for advancing innovations in field of chemistry and process automation.”

The response to the webinar series has been very positive so far, drawing interest from a variety of researchers. Whether it is PhDs, post-docs and librarians working in academia and government, or data scientists, chemists and patent information specialists in corporate R&D, they have all been attending and learning from these webinars.

“I hope researchers take away a message that data should be embraced during decision making,” says Bali. “And that they should take full advantage of the integrated data from diverse sources – be it generated from their in-house proprietary research or from external databases – for their decision-making process and embrace opportunities provided by predictors trained on these integrated data sources for accelerating the synthesis of novel and useful molecules from ever expanding chemical space.”

To attend the final webinar in the series, A universal approach to reaction informatics on November 25, which will be presented by Lee Cronin, Professor at the University of Glasgow’s Center for Digital Chemistry, register here. You can also watch the previous webinars in the series here.

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