Big Ideas for Big Data in Drug Discovery

12 April 2019
School of Pharmacy, UCL, London

Register now!


The conference “Big Ideas for Big Data in Drug Discovery” will take place on Friday 12th April 2019 at the School of Pharmacy, UCL, London. The aim of the conference is to discuss recent progress in managing and analyzing big data that can be used in the drug discovery process. By including both academic and industrial presenters, we would like to encourage collaboration on this emerging topic. The main topics of the meeting include artificial intelligence methods used in drug design, big data and biomolecular simulations, functional genomics, biological networks, network pharmacology, functional bioinformatics and chemical data collections. Please refer to our provisional schedule for more details on planned sessions and speakers. Both academic and industrial presenters are welcome for talks and posters.


This is a second edition of the MGMS Big Data conference. If you are interested in our previous meeting, which took place on 19th of September 2016 at the School of Pharmacy, UCL, London, please follow the link below.

Big Data in Biomolecular Systems 2016

There will be opportunities for oral and poster presentations. Contributions from students and postdoctoral researchers are particularly welcome. We have just started registration, and so far we confirmed following speakers:

Dr Jeff Barrett, CSO & Director, Genomics Plc (Oxford, UK)

Dr Ola Engkvist, Associate Director, AstraZeneca (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Dr David Glowacki, University of Bristol (Bristol, UK)

Dr Rajarshi Guha, Associate Director, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Boston, the USA)

Dr Brian Marsden, The SGC & Kennedy Institute, Oxford University (Oxford, UK)

Professor Aleksej Zelezniak, Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden)



NOTE: This is a provisional agenda, and talk times might change before the meeting.

Badges will be required for admission to the sessions

9.15 – 9.45 Registration
9.45 – 10.00 Opening
Bridging Genomics and Bioinformatics
10.00 – 10.30 Jeff Barrett, Genomics Plc
“Using big data in genetics to understand the human wiring diagram”
10.30 – 11.00 TBC
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee break & networking
Big Data in Molecular Simulation & Molecular Design
11.30 – 12.00 Ola Engkvist, AstraZeneca
“Big Data and AI in Drug Design, Molecular de novo Generation, Synthesis and Chemogenomics Predictions”
12.00 – 12.30 David Glowacki, University of Bristol
“Carrying out nano-molecular surgery in virtual reality”
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch break & poster session & virtual reality interactive exhibition (by D. Glowacki)
13.30 – 14.00 TBC
14.00 – 14.30 TBC
Big Data and Life Science
14.30 – 15.00 Aleksej Zelezniak, Chalmers University of Technology
“Prediction of complex metabolic phenotypes using multiomics data”
15.00 – 15.30 TBC
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break & networking
16.00 – 16.30 Brian Marsden, University of Oxford
“Mining, visualizing and managing petabytes of structural and chemical biology data”
16.30 – 17.00 TBC
17.00 – 17.30 Rajarshi Guha, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“Chemical Space to Biological Space and Back: Large Collections & Approximation Methods”
17.30 – 18.30
Closing & wine reception



sopThe “Big Ideas for Big Data in Drug Discovery” meeting will take place in the School of Pharmacy, UCL, London.

We recommend travelling via public transport in London. There are several tube stations around the UCL campus. The closest one to the venue is Russell Square (Piccadilly Line). Within walking distance there are also King’s Cross St. Pancras (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria Lines), Euston (Northern and Victoria Lines), Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria Lines) and Goodge Street (Northern Line).


To plan your journey in London please click here.



Registration form

The registration form can be downloaded from the link below. Please fill it in and return to Dr Ewa Chudyk as an e-mail attachment. The MGMS bank account details will be sent on return of the form, and payment of the conference fee will confirm registration.

Registration form

Conference Fees

Early bird After 1st January 2019
Non-MGMS members £80 £130
MGMS members £50 £100
Student non-MGMS members £30 £80
Student MGMS members £0 £50

1. The registration fee (Early bird and after 1st January 2019) includes conference material, entrance to all presentations and meals and refreshments on the day (two coffee breaks, lunch and wine reception).
2. The “non-MGMS member” fee structure includes a year’s subscription to the MGMS.
3. Accommodation is not included.
4. Receipts will be obtainable at the conference.
5. Regrettably we cannot take purchase orders.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

There will be a £50 administration fee for cancellations made prior to and including the 31st December 2018. There will be no refund for cancellations made after 31st December 2018.

Abstracts for posters – 31st December 2018 deadline

The presentation of posters is very much encouraged. Posters should be A0 size in portrait. If you would like to present a poster, please tick the box on the registration form and fill in your abstract of no more than 1500 characters (including spaces). Once registered, abstracts may be submitted at any time before the extended abstract deadline (Monday 31st December 2018). If you wish to be considered for a short talk (up to 25mins) then please indicate this on the form. If you want to include figures in your abstract then simply include them in the Word file. Don’t forget to include the title, author list and affiliations. We will endeavour to give you the presentation preference you indicate, but due to the small number of poster slots available we are not able to guarantee this.


Accommodation is not included in the registration fee. Please refer to London hotels and B&B establishments for more information.

Travel expenses

As an event funded by donations and registration fees only, we have limited resources at our disposal. We aim to make a contribution towards travel expenses for presenters but this may not completely cover the costs incurred.



The “Big Ideas for Big Data in Drug Discovery” meeting is organised by the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS). Representatives of Vertex are involved in selected activities of this charity on a voluntary basis, and support organization of this conference.


The Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS) was formed in 1981 to bring together scientists working in different fields of study (such as chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and computer science) who have a common interest in molecular modelling and graphics. The MGMS is a charity run by volunteers (both from academia and industry) who also have a keen interest in the subject. The society’s core activities involve the organising of conferences relevant to its community, as well as developing and encouraging scientists at the start of their careers. Anyone with an interest in the subject field can join, and members receive discounts on conference/courses that are organised by the society.


Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. Vertex discovered and developed the first medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, life-threatening genetic disease. In addition to clinical development programs in CF, Vertex has more than a dozen ongoing research programs focused on the underlying mechanisms of other serious diseases. Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, our corporate headquarters is now located in Boston’s Innovation District, and our international headquarters is in London, United Kingdom. We currently employ 2,100 people in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia with nearly two-thirds of our staff dedicated to research and development. Vertex is consistently recognized as one of the industry’s top places to work by Science Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal and the San Diego Business Journal. Our research and medicines have also received esteemed recognitions, including the Robert J. Beall Therapeutics Development Award, the French Prix Galien and the British Pharmacological Society awards.


More information will appear on this website in due course.

For further information please contact:

Dr Ewa Chudyk
Vertex Pharmaceuticals UK
86-88 Jubilee Avenue
Milton Park, Abingdon
OX14 4RW (United Kingdom)

For more information on the MGMS and other events we organise please click here.


This event is fully funded by donations and registration fees. Institutions interested in co-sponsoring this meeting should contact Dr Ewa Chudyk to discuss opportunities.