The Aim of the Division of Structure-Activity Studies
The aim of the Division is primarily to promote and encourage the basic and applied research in the field of structure-activity-relationship and related studies.
The Division provides a venue to present research activities, to exchange knowledge and information, to enable stimulated discussions, and to facilitate collaboration for scientists active in structure-activity- relationship, structure-toxicity relationship, molecular/drug design, and related fields.
Thus, the Division hopefully expects to ensure the scientific background in developments of novel pharmaceutical and agrochemical agents as well as logical models/concepts for environmental remediation through its activity.
In order to achieve the aim, the Division: organizes the Symposium for Structure-Activity Relationships annually, organizes the Structure-Activity Forum annually, and issues its own electronic news letters, SAR News (in Japanese), connected with the activity of the Division.
The divisional activity covers such topics as shown below:
- Methodologies for analyses of structure-activity/toxicity relationships of pharmaceutical and agrochemical agents and procedures for drug-design,
- Molecular mechanism of interaction between drug and biopolymer,
- Structure and function of biopolymers relating to structure-based and receptor-based drug design,
- Structure-activity and structure-property relationships of environmental pollutants including endocrine-active substances, andStructure and characteristics of drugs such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicology,
- Database utilizing and information processing technologies relating to bioactive compounds such as pharmaceutical and agrochemical agents.
A Brief History of the Symposium of Structure-Activity Relationships
As mentioned avobe, the principal activities of the Division are to organize the Symposium of Structure-Activity Relationships and the Structure-Activity Forum [an instructive meeting with lectures and discussions relating to topics such as structure-activity relationships, drug design, and related areas], annually.
In fact, these activities were initiated by the Association of Structure-Activity-Relationship (SAR) Studies, a volunteer group of pharmaceutical and agrochemical scientists.
The origin of the Association can be traced back to 1975, when the 1st Symposium was held in Kyoto, Japan.
In early 1960’s, various concepts and procedures were newly disclosed and proposed to analyze structure-activity relationships of bioactive compounds mostly in the United States.
These procedures are based on quantitative mathematical models backed up by statistics and/or physical organic chemistry.
Perhaps supported by the progress of computer technology as well as medicinal bioorganic chemistry, the speed in the development of these quantitative procedures was rather quick during the late 1960’s and quite a few symposia began to be organized internationally in the United States and Europe in the early 1970’s.
Under these circumstances, the Association of SAR Studies was founded in 1975 by Professor Toshio Fujita of Kyoto University to offer a forum, where mutual communications and exchange of information about updated international movements in related fields could be enabled, to domestic scientists.
Thus, the Association organized the 1st Symposium in the same year and continued to be the organizing body of the Symposium annually since then.
The Association also opened the Forum several times during the same period.
Besides these activities, the Association edited two instructive books (in Japanese) for the analyses of quantitative structure-activity relationships as supplementary volumes of “Kagaku no Ryoiki” (Journal of Japan Chemistry) in 1979 and 1982 and published them from Nankodo.
In 1993, the symposium was incorporated as one of the activities of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.
With above activities of the Association and thanks to great efforts of Professor Hiroshi Terada of the University of Tokushima (Chair of the Association 1994 ~ 2002, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan 1999 ~ 2000), the Division of Structure-Activity Studies was established in the Society in 2002 (Chair: Professor Hideaki Fujiwara of Osaka University), and the Symposium and Forum have been “upgraded” to the divisional activities directly supported by the Pharmaceutical Society.
The early history of the Symposium as well as the Association is described more in detail in the Association news letter (now the division news letter), SAR News No. 1 (2001).