CHY2103 : Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Celine Cano
  • Owning School: Chemistry
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To equip students with:
• knowledge and understanding of drug-receptor interactions, enzyme chemistry and the principles of drug design and action
• understand the basic concepts and uses of computational chemistry
• appreciate the validity of results based on appropriateness of theory levels
• be able to use ChemDraw as an interface to the GAMESS package
• know how to generate theoretical spectroscopic data for an arbitrary compound

Outline Of Syllabus

Principles of Medicinal Chemistry and Enzyme Action
Dr C Cano

1-2 Principles of medicinal chemistry. Pharmacokinetics; Lipinski’s rule of five; Pharmacodynamics; Drug-receptor interactions
3-5 Enzymes. What are enzymes?; How do they work?; Mechanisms of enzyme catalysis; Enzyme inhibition and co-enzyme catalysis
6 Physicochemical properties of drugs. Ionisation constants; Aqueous solubility; Fick’s Law of diffusion; The cell membrane and lipophilicity; Partition and distribution coefficients
7 Isosterism and bioisosterism. Functional group modifications
8 Case studies – Design of small molecule enzyme inhibitors

Structure- Activity relationships
Professor BT Golding

9-10 Structure-Activity Relationship studies (SARs) and quantitive SARs (QSARs)

Drug Design
Professor BT Golding

11-12 Drug discovery and development. The drug development process; Hits, leads and validated leads; Specific and non-specific drug action
13-14 Lead optimisation. Pharmacophores and auxophores; Minimalisation; Homologation; Branching; Ring-chain transformations
15-16 Case histories 1 – Enzyme Inhibitors. Competitive inhibitors: ACE, HMG-CoA etc; Irreversible inhibitors: Aspirin, Orlistat, vigabatrin
17-18 Case histories 2 – Receptor targets. Migraine: 5HT agonists; Anticonvulsives: GABA agonists

Computational Chemistry
Dr M Probert

Introduction to computational chemistry; how, why and when
Theory levels; balancing accuracy with computational time
Introduction to ChemDraw as an interface to computational calculations
Problem solving, worked example and revision

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion200:5016:40Revision for end of semester examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of semester examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation and submission of modelling assignment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study147:2047:20Background reading and practice past paper examination questions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students acquire knowledge and understanding through lectures. Problem solving skills are introduced and practised in seminars.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Computational modelling assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination and assignment will test the student's knowledge and understanding of both the medicinal and the modelling lecture material.

Study Abroad students to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.