Introductory Medicinal Chemistry

Module code: CH1209

During our lifetimes, we will all be affected in some form by disease and illness. These will range from small illnesses such as the common cold all the way to deadly diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's and coronary artery disease - conditions which kill millions and ruin many more lives every year. Scientific research goes on all the time, aimed at preventing and curing all sorts of disease. Notable success stories include the elimination of smallpox, the near-eradication of polio and the effective retroviral treatment of HIV/AIDS. Imagine being at the forefront of disease prevention and cures?

This module will introduce you to some of the key principles and theories behind pharmaceutical chemistry, which is the study of drugs, their discovery, their biological targets and the challenges of getting a therapeutic to market.

Topics covered

  • The chemical structure, organisation, properties and functions of various biological entities including membranes, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the nervous system and neurotransmission, molecular receptors and signalling mechanisms
  • The presence, interactions and various roles of amino acids, sugars, nucleotides and fatty acids in biological systems and drug discovery
  • The evolution of the pharmaceutical industry from historically important therapeutic areas to current targets
  • The overall process of drug design, development, screening and bringing to market
  • The role and kinetics of enzymes and co-factors in biological catalysis, drug mode of action and their relationship to ATP and energy production
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