News Release

BGRF scientists to present on AI & drug discovery for aging at Korea Future Forum

The Biogrontology Research Foundation scientists to present on drug discovery and drug repurposing to combat ageing and age-related disease at the 2017 Korea Future Forum

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Biogerontology Research Foundation

Korea Future Forum 2017

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Credit: Korea Future Forum

Tuesday, May 9th, London, UK: Biogerontology Research Foundation Chief Science Officer Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov will be giving a talk titled "Drug Discovery Revolution Spiked by Pharma AI" at the Korea Future Forum on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. His talk will be focused upon the application of AI in general and deep learning in particular to drug discovery and drug repurposing to combat ageing and age-related disease.

"The application of AI to ageing research has the potential to expedite progress on many fronts, foremost among these being the characterization of ageing biomarkers, drug discovery and development and drug repurposing. The Korean government has demonstrated their commitment to support cutting-edge AI projects, and for decades has demonstrated a very long-range view of scientific and technological progress, actively pursuing and supporting pioneering approaches to grand problems because they have long realized that the key to a strong GDP is a strong stake in the science and technologies of tomorrow. It is for that reason that the Biogerontology Research Foundation sees great promise in international research applications with Korean research hubs and institutions" said Franco Cortese, Deputy Director & Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.

The Biogerontology Research Foundation and Insilico Medicine have worked to establish strategic partnerships and collaborations with Korean researchers following a partnership between Insilico Medicine and YMK Photonics to establish a research collaboration and business cooperation to develop photonics quantum computing and accelerated deep learning techniques for drug discovery, biomarker development and aging research in November 2016 and a collaborative research project with one of the largest Korean research and medical networks, Gachon University and Gil Medical Center to develop artificially intelligent multimodal biomarkers of aging and interventions aiming to slow the processes leading to the age-related loss of function in January 2017.

"Advances in artificial intelligence and longevity research will be the highlights of the fourth industrial revolution and will re-shape the global economy. Korea is preparing to take the leadership position in these areas and I am happy to invite one of the leaders in the field, the CSO of the Biogerontology Research Foundation, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov to speak at the Future Korea forum", said professor Youngsook Park, Chair of the Millenium Project Korea and Korea's leading futurist.

The Biogerontology Research Foundation has published several seminal papers over the past few years demonstrating the tractability and scalability of deep learning applied to the characterization of actionable and practically-measurable biomarkers of ageing, which was the subject of a paper they published in Aging (which became the second most popular paper in the journal's history) demonstrating a deep learning-based algorithm capable of quantifying patients' chronological age by analyzing the results of routine blood tests. They have also made substantial progress in showing the potential of deep-learning based approaches to accelerate the drug discovery and development process, while simultaneously reducing costs and risks associated with the drug evaluation process, via several seminar studies and articles, including a study published in Aging that announced a short-list of promising novel geroprotective compounds, an article in Nature Communications that demonstrated the proof-of-concept application of a new algorithm capable of quantifying and classifying changes in gene expression between young and old tissues, a study in Oncotarget that was the first to apply deep generative adversarial networks (GANs) to generating anti-cancer drug candidates with specific target properties, an a paper published in Molecular Pharmaceutics demonstrating a deep-learning based method of predicting the therapeutic class molecules using transcriptional response data.

"AI is quickly becoming the main driver of progress in so many fields of science, technology and human endeavor that it is easy for one to lose count. From healthcare to finance to governance, AI is galvanizing rapid paradigm shifts all around us. The pioneering work done by Biogerontology Research Foundation scientists in the application of deep learning and Generative Adversarial Networks (GANS) to drug discovery and development proves this to be the case for the pharmaceutical industry as well" said Dmitry Kaminskiy, Managing Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.


About the Biogerontology Research Foundation

The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK non-profit research foundation and public policy center seeking to fill a gap within the research community, whereby the current scientific understanding of the ageing process is not yet being sufficiently exploited to produce effective medical interventions. The BGRF funds and conducts research which, building on the body of knowledge about how ageing happens, aims to develop biotechnological interventions to remediate the molecular and cellular deficits which accumulate with age and which underlie the ill-health of old age.

Addressing ageing damage at this most fundamental level will provide an important opportunity to produce the effective, lasting treatments for the diseases and disabilities of ageing, required to improve quality of life in the elderly. The BGRF seeks to use the entire scope of modern biotechnology to attack the changes that take place in the course of ageing, and to address not just the symptoms of age-related diseases but also the mechanisms of those diseases.

About Professor Youngsook Park

Professor Youngsook Park is the leading futurist in Korea, who serves as Chair of Millennium Project Korea. She also represents several global futures research organizations such as TechCastGlobal, and Davinci Institute. She has been Information Officer of the British Embassy Seoul (1982-2000) and Director of Public Diplomacy of the Australian Embassy Seoul (2000-2010) where she was trained as a futurist by attending World Future Society conferences, and other futurists meetings. She now teaches Futures Studies at Ewha Woman's University Graduate School for Design (2013-present) and lectures Futures Studies at Yonsei University (2006-present). Park is known for bringing global futurists to Korea for the last 30 years, and is a co-organizer of Korea Future Forum along with News1, a Korean news agency, inviting famous futurists to Seoul to speak on futures. She founded the Korea Foster Care Association after learning from the futures studies that Korean population declines drastically and needs to stop exporting Korean orphans to overseas. Professor Park is the official representative of Insilico Medicine, Inc in Korea.

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