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NES8804 : Proteins as Drug Targets: structure, function, and molecular modelling

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Agnieszka Bronowska
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The purpose of this course is to equip students with solid foundations in computational structural biology, molecular pharmacology, and proteins as drug targets – from principles governing protein structure and dynamics, drug-protein interactions, through pharmacology, to modern methods in protein structure prediction and protein simulations.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will learn about relationships between ligand-receptor interactions, protein structure, dynamics and biological activity. The block is intended to make students familiar with the basic terminology, key concepts, data formats and algorithms of modern protein modelling and simulation methods. This will include structure prediction using homology protein modelling and building protein-ligand complexes. During this part of the course, students will learn techniques suitable for generating and visualising macromolecular data using the open-source as well as proprietary software packages.
The second part of the course will focus on concepts of molecular pharmacology, relevant in the context of modern drug chemistry. Students will learn about the methodology of preclinical studies and clinical trials.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Writing up of dry lab report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:008:00Problem-solving assessment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials112:0012:00Revision for the final problem-solving assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical102:0020:00dry labs
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00One workshop for each thematic block
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00Skills practice, background reading and practice assessment questions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

As this module is focused on linking the theory and practical skills, module team will be using a wide range of didactic methods varying between lecturing, case studies and Dry Labs, in order to introduce the core concepts and show their applications.
In order to meet the Learning Outcomes, a balance will be provided between directly taught content, independent guided reading, focused workshops, Dry Lab exercises, as well as assignment preparation and completion.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M100Problem solving exercise. 4 pages of single-spaced text (plus figures and diagrams), approximately 2,000 words.
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Practical/lab reportMDry Lab report: a brief technical report to be submitted after the completion of Dry Labs
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Problem-Solving Assessment will test the students’ knowledge of key concepts introduced during scheduled teaching sessions and evaluate their understanding of the content of this module in the context of both concepts and practical skills introduced in Dry Labs. The in course assessment will test information literacy and problem solving skills.

Reading Lists