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Unit of study_

CHEM3115: Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry

The development of new pharmaceuticals fundamentally relies on the ability to design and synthesize new compounds. Synthesis is an enabling discipline for medicinal chemistry - without it, the development of new drugs cannot progress from design to implementation, and ultimately to a cure. This unit will tackle important factors in drug design, and will highlight the current arsenal of methods used in the discovery of new drugs, including rational drug design, high throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry. We will develop a logical approach to planning a synthesis of a particular target structure. The synthesis and chemistry of heterocycles, which comprise some 40% of all known organic compounds and are particularly common in pharmaceuticals, will be outlined. Examples will include important ring systems present in biological systems, such as pyrimidines and purines (DNA and RNA), imidazole and thiazole (amino acids and vitamins) and porphyrins (natural colouring substances and oxygen carrying component of blood). Throughout the course, the utility of synthesis in medicinal chemistry will be illustrated with case studies such as anti-influenza (Relenza), anaesthetic (benzocaine), anti-inflammatory (Vioxx), antihypertensive (pinacidil) and cholesterol-lowering (Lovastatin) drugs.

Code CHEM3115
Academic unit Chemistry Academic Operations
Credit points 6
[(CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) AND (CHEM2402 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916)] OR (CHEM2521 or CHEM2921 or CHEM2991)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of the language of synthetic medicinal chemistry and the strategies employed to generate biologically relevant molecules.
  • LO2. to explain the outcome of reactions including chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity, and apply this knowledge to the synthesis (and retrosynthesis) of medicinally relevant targets.
  • LO3. demonstrate the ability to perform safe laboratory manipulations and to handle glassware
  • LO4. demonstrate the ability to find and analyse information and judge its reliability and significance
  • LO5. demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific information appropriately both orally and through written work
  • LO6. demonstrate the ability to engage in team and group work for scientific investigations and for the process of learning
  • LO7. demonstrate a sense of responsibility and independence as a learner and as a scientist
  • LO8. demonstrate basic skills in computing, numeracy and data handling.

Unit outlines

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