Tongji-SEM-IEDP Opening Symposium of RtoB Platform for pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries



The Symposium opening the first RtoB (Research to Business) Platform of Tongji-SEM-IEDP took place on Friday, February 9, 2015 at the SEM.


It was opened by Nobel Prize Winner (Chemistry 2009), Professor Ada YONATH, from the well-known Weizmann Institute in Israel who had accepted Director of IEDP Professor Chalom Schirman’s invitation.

She presented the results of her fundamental research that focuses on the mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis, by ribosomal crystallography, a research line she pioneered over twenty years ago against considerable skepticism of the international scientific community.

In a presentation made easier for non scientists, Professor Yonath showed how ribosomes function as protein factories and how an understanding of their modus operandi can lead to discover the strategies employed by antibiotics targeting pathogenic bacteria’s’ ribosomes.

Thus, as far as the pharmaceutical industry is concerned, Professor Yonath elucidated the modes of action of over twenty different antibiotics targeting the ribosome. She illuminated mechanisms of drug resistance and synergism, deciphered the structural basis for antibiotic selectivity and showed how it plays a key role in clinical usefulness and therapeutic effectiveness, thus paving the way for structure-based drug design.

We are grateful to Professor Yonath for opening the first RtoB Platform created by Tongji International Center for executives' development. She shared with us her experience in moving from fundamental research to applied research and new processes or new drugs. Her experience can be beneficial to all industries based on discoveries in life sciences.

In her words: Tongji-SEM-IEDP’s Research to Business Platform offers an original opportunity for scientists and businesspeople to discuss their differences and learn, together, how to overcome obstacles and better collaborate for their own mutual benefit and the benefit of society”.

Indeed, RtoB platforms have been created by Tongji IEDP to offer personal development and managerial training sessions to scientists (in basic and applied research) and managers (of business units, of strategy and of human resources) who need to work together on the best methods to improve collaboration for the benefit of the corporation/company and of the final consumer.

These RtoB Platforms offer new ideas, new visions, new models and learning tools, benchmarking and networking opportunities among peers, levers to improve and test one’s skills, new competencies, cross-functional and cross-disciplinary occasions and capabilities.


Professor YONATH’s lecture was followed by an experts’ Round Table. In the Round Table around Professor SHI Qian, several practitioners raised and discussed a series of issues relevant to the collaboration between scientific and business managers in the life sciences sectors.

They included Dr Oliver LUTZE, scientist and patent attorney, Professor Brigitte GICQUEL from Institut Pasteur Shanghai (IPS), Dr Andreas Tschirky, VP Tigermed (Hangzhou) and Mrs Laure Pallez, chief business officer IPS.

The issues they debated will introduce and feed a series of Workshops and seminars that will be offered by IEDP in the coming months to Chinese and foreign corporations in the Pharma, TCM, Food supplement and Cosmetics industries:

· Patents strategy R&D strategy in times of budgetary restrictions

· Academia and industry cooperation

· Contribution of TCM and food supplements to pharma industry and Patentable TCM

· Screening methods for new R&D projects

· Learning from management mistakes that lead to failure

· Disruptive innovations in pharma and cosmetics

· Specific issues in Talent management for scientific personnel

· Creativity and innovation

· Regulations and innovations