Cleveringa meeting Leiden

November 30, 2023 from 18:00 to 21:15
Academic Building, Rapenburg 73 Leiden & Online

‘New medicines, new methods: where are the boundaries of pharmaceutical research?’

During the Corona crisis, the pharmaceutical industry developed vaccines at breakneck speed. This was only possible because of ongoing research projects, often unknown to the public. In this Cleveringa meeting we will first look at such new developments in research. We will go from the earliest stages of discovery and development to the first applications. We will also ask ethical questions: Why are drugs being pushed for some diseases and not for others? At what price do we want life-prolonging drugs? And: How do we test new drugs responsibly? Testing on animals and humans may soon be reduced by using ‘virtual humans’: basically AI-using models. Of course, it would be nice to be able to save animals. To see what a drug does to women or newborn babies, it might also be a step forward if we could use a virtual model instead of the usual 23-year-old male student. But do we really want that? Can we rely on it? Can we eliminate risks?


Adam Cohen, moderator of the debate, is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and was for a long time CEO of the leading Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR).

Gerard van Westen is Professor of Artifical Intelligence and Medicinal Chemistry and a specialist in computational drug discovery. He recently received the gold medal from the KNCV.

Martine de Vries is an ethicist and philosopher of science, and is Professor in the Normative Aspects of Medicine.Language: English


6.00 pm: dinner (optional)

7.30 pm: Coffee and tea for all people attending in person

8.00 pm: Start of the debate and online streaming

9.15 pm: End of meeting and online streaming, start drinks for the attending guest

Did you know? Organisations are working on research, development & production of vaccines