Current Initiatives

Training in Drug Discovery and Related Sciences

The Foundation is developing various training modules and workshops in Drug Discovery and Related Sciences that can be facilitated using simulation software.
The modules will include training on the full drug discovery value chain from target identification through to the clinic, modules focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning applied to drug discovery and modules focused on regulatory sciences. The Foundation will work with various industry partners to develop and deliver the training sessions to focused groups of researchers from African research institutions.



Upcoming courses & workshops:


27-30 September 2022, Cape Town, South Africa

Bringing data science and AI/ML tools to infectious disease research: a hands-on workshop

Co-hosted by the H3D Foundation and Ersilia

Join us for this fully supported hands-on workshop if you are an African-based early career researcher working on drug discovery for infectious diseases!

We will learn about novel Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) tools and how to apply them to ongoing research projects. No previous skills in computer science are required.

Applications due by 7th August 2022. Register here  

Please note that due to high application rate for the workshop we are still finalizing the awards. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 12th August.

This four-day workshop aims to equip early career researchers in Africa with the tools and knowledge to apply data science approaches to infectious disease drug discovery. Participants will learn to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning ((ML) to facilitate biomedical research. The workshop will promote skills for those interested in all stages of drug discovery, from preclinical research to late development stages. The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into research is a cost-effective means to advance scientific discovery, yet the implementation of these tools within sub-saharan Africa is scarce; this event aims to reduce this imbalance. The workshop is directed towards scientists residing in African countries, who are traditionally underrepresented within the STEM community.


The goals of the event are:

  • To raise the interest in anti-infectives drug discovery research amongst young scientists.
  • To teach the basic concepts of AI/ML and its challenges when applied to drug discovery.
  • To disseminate open source tools and resources for scientific research.
  • To create a debate on the different resources and possible approaches to tackle a research project.
  • To support the incorporation of a data science component in ongoing and future research projects from Low and Middle Income Countries.
  • To promote networking amongst different health-related disciplines.


Introduction to AI/ML principles: the core of the event is divided in four blocks, one each day, focused on:

    • Publicly available data for drug discovery. Where to find it and how to treat it.
    • Machine learning methods for drug activity prediction. A focus on drug repurposing.
    • Exploration of the chemical space: automated design of small molecules.
    • The Open Source domain. Sharing data, code and machine learning assets.

Each block consists of a keynote talk + QA (45+15 min), a hands-on workshop of computer-based skills relevant to the topic and a breakout session where each group will have to complete an activity using the concepts and tools introduced before. At the end of the day, break-out groups will join to present and discuss their findings.

Participation in the workshop will be fully sponsored and the number of participants is limited to 30. Applications will be reviewed based on relevance of the course content to your current research, geographic location and diversity. Childcare bursaries are also available.


For more information contact



Past courses & workshops:



October 2021

The Drug Discovery Workshop

The Foundation sponsored a two-day in-person workshop on “Introduction to Drug Discovery” in October 2021.

The main drug discovery simulation workshop was included interactive sessions and group discussion, over the 3 day period. Participants were assigned roles in a project team tasked with the simulated discovery and development of a new medicine. The case studies included several infectious diseases relevant regionally including TB, MDR- XDR TB, malaria, and HIV; additional case studies are focused on atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Through the experience, participants were asked to make decisions about various scientific challenges and possible research paths.


Project teams chose a therapeutic area and drug target, searched for potential chemical leads, optimize and progress those leads through preclinical research, demonstrate the resulting drug candidate is safe and effective in patients, advance the drug through subsequent clinical trials, and ultimately submit the drug for registration with the health authorities.


Upon completion of the course, it is expected that participants are able to:

  • Explain and discuss unmet medical need, knowledge of mechanism, disease expansion opportunities, and other factors considered when evaluating/pursuing a therapeutic target
  • Describe in general terms the stages of drug discovery and development and what activities typically occur in those stages
  • Explain the contribution of different scientific/clinical disciplines to drug discovery and development
  • Propose and justify key elements of decision-making studies, both pre-clinical and clinical, and recognize the importance of identifying the critical path unique to each project necessary to move it forward
  • Recognize and discuss challenges a project team may encounter in their mission to discover and develop a new drug

This course was targeted at individuals who wished to gain an understanding of drug discovery and development, and exposure to the scientific strategies and decision-making a pharmaceutical company’s research organization may employ to develop safe, effective, and innovative medicines.


Read more about the successful workshop here.