The Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery will host a May 21-22 meeting of the Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium at the Hotel Roanoke, with such topics as opioid abuse, addiction, cancer drug resistance, and data science in medicine as topics.

The consortium was formed in 2015 to foster collaborative research in drug discovery and delivery, and unites Virginia Tech’s Center for Drug Discovery with scientists from George Mason University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and other universities and colleges in the commonwealth, according to David Kingston, who is director of the Virginia Tech group and a professor in the Virginia Tech College of Science’s Department of Chemistry.

The 4th annual event will feature speakers from Virginia Tech, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Florida’s Scripps Research Institute, George Mason University, the National Institutes of Health, the University of Michigan, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Virginia Tech-affiliated speakers include Warren Bickel, Michael Friedlander, and P. Read Montague, all of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. Bickel, also a professor in the Department of Psychology, will discuss identifying novel determinants in drug addiction, while Montague, also a professor in the Department of Physics, will speak on addiction as a computational disease. Friedlander is director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and vice president of health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech.

“Medicines can prevent unforeseen emerging epidemics, address unmet medical needs, and provide improved therapies for acute and chronic diseases, but the old model of research based at pharmaceutical companies has changed,” Kingston said. “This changing landscape of drug discovery provides an outstanding opportunity for universities to make significant contributions to the process of drug discovery and delivery, and this is especially true when universities work together.”

The symposium is open to all scientists interested in drug discovery. Registration, which includes meals, is $80 for students and $200 for non-students.