The Controlled Release Society Makes History by Hosting Their First Successful Virtual Annual Meeting



The Controlled Release Society Makes History by Hosting Their First Successful Virtual Annual Meeting

Publish Date

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karli Horn


The Controlled Release Society Makes History by Hosting Their First Successful Virtual Annual Meeting

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, USA, July 14, 2020 – The Controlled Release Society (CRS), the home for experts dedicated to delivery science, including delivery scientists, engineers, clinicians, and technical professionals, hosted its first-ever virtual annual meeting, June 29-July 2, 2020.

With almost 1,400 participants, this makes for one of the largest CRS annual meetings in the last ten years and the world’s largest virtual meeting dedicated to delivery science.

Among four blocks of concurrent technical sessions, a total of 163 talks were presented, which included 62 invited speakers. With the addition of over 543 poster presentations and on-demand talks, the conference covered everything from long-acting drug delivery to tumor targeting, novel methods of transdermal administration and formulation approaches for enhanced immunization.

One of two keynotes, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, spoke on his Nobel Prize-winning work on elucidating the mechanisms for autophagy. The session received high remarks on the extremely active social media accounts of the CRS as well as through post-session surveys.

CRS 2020 hosted a special session dedicated to the “mysteries, mistakes, and miracles” that happen in the lab. Five leaders from the field of controlled release talked about mysterious experimental results, mistakes in the lab and the resulting miracles that came from curiosity, perseverance and a bit of luck. They gave a behind-the-scenes look into how innovative discoveries were really made and how they are impacting science and health care. The five presenters were Dr. Benjamin Boyd of Monash University, Dr. Tamara Minko of Rutgers University, Dr. Ronald Smith of Merck Research Laboratories, Dr. Xun Sun of Sichuan University, and Dr. Richard Guy of University of Bath.

There were also special sessions held by the Young Scientist Committee, Women in Science, The Consumer & Diversified Products Division, and all CRS Focus Groups and Chapters. The CRS collaborated with the Japanese Society of Drug Delivery System on a special session highlighting the rising stars of the society. There was also a special session devoted to the response to COVID-19.

In addition, the CRS community was treated to a virtual celebration of Dr. Kinam Park’s career as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Controlled Release. This session included a number of tributes from Dr. Park’s peers and those he had mentored, led by Dr. Stefaan De Smedt of Ghent University. The leadership Dr. Park has shown in development of the journal was described in detail by all contributors, who remarked on his scientific excellence, generosity and sense of humor!

The 2020 CRS Awards ceremony was held during a technical session, where contributors were honored for their dedication to the society and science. Winners included Dr. Maria José Alonso of the University of Santiago de Compostela, for the Distinguished Service Award as well as the Women in Science award. Dr. Alonso gave an additional inspirational talk during the Women in Science event in response to receiving this award. Dr. Antonios G. Mikos of Rice University received the CRS Founders Award, Dr. Samir Mitragotri of Harvard University received the Transdermal Delivery Kydonieus Foundation Award, and Dr. Kathryn Whitehead of Carnegie Mellon University received the Young Investigator Award. The Journal of Controlled Release Best Paper award was presented to the authors of "Dual-drug loaded nanoparticles of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)/Ascorbic acid enhance therapeutic efficacy of EGCG in a APPswe/PS1dE9 Alzheimer's disease mice model," and the Drug Delivery and Translational Research (DDTR) Best Paper was awarded to the authors of "Depletion of collagen by losartan to improve tumor accumulation and therapeutic efficacy of photodynamic nanoplatforms." 

Participants were treated to a session entitled, “The Magic of Bob Langer.” Dr. Langer, of MIT, talked about his career and philosophy, providing insights and advice in the form of several illustrative and entertaining stories. He also performed a few magic tricks, with the help of a few lucky participants, who entered a drawing to be Dr. Langer’s assistant during his session.

A plenary session presented by Dr. Katherine High, entitled: “Turning Genes into Medicines: Gene Therapy for Genetic Diseases Comes of Age.” Dr. High detailed the development of the field and provided insights into how she sees the next stages of development. She also spoke about her own pioneering work on gene therapies for blood disorders and hereditary blindness.

Feedback to date overwhelmingly suggests that the CRS 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting was a great success. The planning committee included Drs. Steve Little, Mark Prausnitz, Twan Lammers, Cornell Stamoran, José das Neves, Emmanuel Ho, Avi Schroeder, Ying Chau, Yeu-Chun Kim, Kazunori Kataoka, and Molly Stevens. This group of individuals worked tirelessly to pivot from what was supposed to be an in-person meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA to a completely virtual meeting at the tenth hour.

The CRS is looking forward to another successful meeting in 2021, planned to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 23-28, 2021.