Five medicinal chemistry departments from the Midwest have been gathering at the MIKI(W) meetings for 60 years now. What initially started as a meeting-in-miniature with the four states (Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois) expanded later to include Wisconsin, as well. A remarkable feature of this meeting is that it is primarily organized by the graduate students who select a keynote speaker, fundraise, pick venues, work on producing the merch, etc. Excluding the keynote speaker, who is usually a luminary from an industry or academia, the talks and posters are all given by the students. This grassroots organization is what keeps the costs relatively low. It also is a reminder how scientific meetings were organized before market forces evolved them into commercial products.
|University of Minnesota hosted the MIKIW meeting 2023.
The keynote speaker this year was Dr. Nicole Goodwin, Director of medicinal chemistry at GSK. She talked about high-throughput experimentation, miniaturization of synthesis, and “direct to biology” approaches. Hunger for data doesn’t seem to be going away anywhere any time soon.
|Hunger for data and dinner after a long day of talks.
Not only did the student organizers do an amazing job with the logistics of the conference, some of them picked up a number of awards for posters and talks.
Overall, attending this meeting (like the previous in Iowa City, the virtual one in e-Madison, and the one in Lawrence in 2019) was a great experience. From a brief walk (I snuck out of the two talks) Minneapolis looks like a wonderful city with lots of interesting architecture, art, and nature.
|Waterfall on the Mississippi river.