Course Catalog

Program Name: Biomedical Sciences
Course Name: Structural & Chemical Approaches to Pharmacology and Drug Discovery Course Id: 2108
Course Description:

Course Description:

This course attempts to recreate in a teaching environment the fundamental process of rational small molecule discovery research, and teaches the fundamental molecular and physicochemical principles that govern the capacity of small molecules to affect or regulate biological functions of macromolecules. The course consists of three themes, covering topics ranging from lead discovery to drug candidate selection, and to mechanism of action of drugs for both validated and emerging drug target families, as listed below:

Theme #1. Structure-based Drug Discovery – lead discovery and optimization, and drug candidate selection

Theme #2. New Advances on Validated Drug Target Families – drugs and mechanism of action on kinases, GPCRs and others

Theme #3. Emerging Drug Targets in Epigenetic – chromatin modifying enzymes and epigenome reader proteins

Theme #1 teaches the principles of discovery of biological targets and active compounds by hypothesis-driven and high-throughput approaches with both experimental and computational methods. This is followed by characterization of biological target interactions with lead compounds (i.e., structure, energy and dynamics). The inferred molecular mechanisms provide the basis for lead optimization through rational design and medicinal chemistry, and drug candidate selection through evaluation of drug toxicity and efficacy, as well as drug pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics properties. Themes #2 and #3 review the latest advancements in drug discovery for both validated and emerging drug target families consisting of proteins involved in enzymatic catalysis, gene transcription and translation, protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions.

This course is offered in the Spring semester to all students of different years during their graduate training. The course is presented in a lecture format in two sessions per week.

Credits: 3
Semester Offered: Spring

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