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Unit of study_

PCOL3912: Drug Design and Development (Advanced)

Do you want to be the designer of the next billion dollar drug? In this unit of study you will apply your foundational knowledge and skills in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to understand the discovery, design and development of major drug classes. You will gain knowledge into what makes a good drug target and how to design a new drug from lead drug identification to target optimisation. Drugs targeting a wide variety of genes, proteins, enzymes and receptors are explored through practicals and tutorials on molecular modelling and structure-activity relationships. The course also extends to a section on the design of diverse pharmacological agents, including compounds for imaging by positron emission tomography (PET) and drug applications based on proteomic and genomic big data. You will be set special advanced assignments related to the material covered in core areas. These may also involve advanced practical work or detailed investigation of a theoretical problem. This unit of study is highly recommended for students interested in careers in drug discovery and development including pharmaceutical industry, government, and medical research pathways.

Code PCOL3912
Academic unit Pharmacy
Credit points 6
a mark of 70 or above in {(PCOL2011 or PCOL2021 or MEDS2002) or [BMED2401 and 6cp from (BMED2402 or BMED2405)] or 12cp from BCMB2XXX}

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

  • LO1. identify classes of pharmacologically important macromolecules as drug targets
  • LO2. recognise the role that structure and molecular properties (e.g. pKa, log P, log D) play in intramolecular interactions and their importance in drug action and design
  • LO3. explain principles underpinning the design of new drug molecules
  • LO4. explain principles underpinning the design of new protein therapeutics
  • LO5. understand the concept of a pharmacophore in drug-receptor interactions
  • LO6. explain various pharmacological assays used in drug discovery and interpret the significance of obtained data (e.g. IC 50, K)
  • LO7. demonstrate a basic understanding of various techniques and research fields (e.g. combinatorial chemistry, protein crystallography, PET, SPECT) and how they relate to drug discovery process
  • LO8. gain confidence in the use of computer programs for studying pharmacology and for writing pharmacology reports
  • LO9. use the most relevant pharmacology and medicinal chemistry databases to locate specific papers and to find relevant resources related to topics as allocated.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.