4th Alpine Winter Conference on Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry

 St. Anton, Austria    January 28-February 1, 2024

International Forum for Biomedical Research (IFBR)

The scientific content of the event is brought to the audience by the Association: International Forum for Biomedical Research (IFBR)

The association fulfills the following purpose in a non-profit manner and with no economic objectives:

  • Establishment and operation of a forum in Switzerland to promote research in the biomedical field, in particular, for interdisciplinary cooperation in these areas.
  • Strengthening the network between researchers from all countries, especially between chemists in the medicinal and synthetic fields.
  • Promotion of the international exchange of research results.
  • Provision of a platform for the joint processing of research projects.
  • Promotion of young researchers in the field of biomedicine who are mainly active in Switzerland, for example by awarding sponsorship awards.
  • Preparation, editing and support of publications.
  • Implementation and support of the organization of international conferences, in particular the "Alpine Winter Conference on Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry".

Scientific Organising Committee


Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel, Switzerland

During a few industry internships as part of my undergraduate studies, I discovered that I could use my skills as a chemist to help generate novel treatment options for patients. Consequently, I focused on synthetic organic chemistry for both my PhD with Prof. Johann Mulzer in Vienna, Austria and my postdoctoral work with Prof. Steven V. Ley in Cambridge, UK. Following my original passion, I then started to work with Novartis as a Medicinal Chemist, a role that still continues to challenge me some 20+ years later.

During my career, I have worked on multiple Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization programs across target classes and indications. For several of these medium to large multi-disciplinary teams, I was fortunate enough to serve as a chemistry project leader and to help with the identification of development candidates. One of these programs is now an approved drug (CDZ173/leniolisib, Joenja ®).

These days, I enjoy mentoring, coaching, and developing junior investigators, students, and lab associates in addition to my scientific responsibilities. I have always been very keen on scientific exchange at conferences and over the years, I have developed a preference for smaller, high quality events with more opportunity for interpersonal exchange.

This was one of my key motivations to create the Alpine Winter Conference series together with Antonia and Karl Heinz. The overwhelming feedback we receive encourages me to strive for an excellent program for every new event.


Novartis Global Drug Development, Basel, Switzerland

My name is Karl Heinz Krawinkler. I have been working with Novartis for the past 20 years. I am currently working in Global Program Management in Drug Development. I completed my PhD in Chemistry at the University of Vienna, and I am currently finishing a Master degree in Medicines Development at the University of Basel. As a firm believer in lifelong learning, I completed two Diplomas in Advanced Studies (Medicines Development and Clinical Trial Management) concurrently with my successful career in research.

I was also elected as President of the Basel Chemical Society for the year 2021. The society’s aim is to foster interactions and knowledge exchange among academic and industrial chemists in the Basel area and to connect them globally.

I am delighted and honored to be part of the scientific organizing committee and co-founder of the Alpine Winter Conference in Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry. I am a passionate advocate of collaboration between industry and academia for chemistry and medicinal development.

My vision for the Alpine Winter Conference is to provide a robust platform for bringing together top scientists and technology leaders from around the world in a relaxed atmosphere to drive innovation in drug discovery.


Dr Antonia F. STEPAN
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland

Antonia F. Stepan graduated from the ETH Zurich and received her Ph.D. with Professor Steven V. Ley. Following postdoctoral research with Professor K. C. Nicolaou, Antonia joined Pfizer in 2008. She served as a chemistry and research project leader on discovery programs and advanced drug candidates to clinical candidate nomination and beyond. In 2017, Antonia joined Boehringer Ingelheim as a project leader.

Since 2018, Antonia is a Section Head at Roche with a focus on projects for Neuroscience disorders. Antonia is passionate about discovering treatments for neurological and immunological disorders, as well as utilizing novel technologies (e.g., C−H functionalization reactions, sp3- rich fragments) in medicinal chemistry. She has published more than 50 papers, reviews, and patents, has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences and is a strong supporter of the scientific community by being an organizer of the Alpine Winter Conference on Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry, Synfacts Editor for the Category ‘Innovative Drug Design & Discovery’, and EFMC Council Member.