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CHY8421 : Advanced Methods in Drug Discovery

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ian Hardcastle
  • Other Staff: Dr Michael Carroll
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To provide an overview of the methods and approaches used in modern drug discovery. To introduce the key stages of a project i.e. target identification and validation, hit discovery, hit validation, hit-to-lead optimisation and lead optimisation. To familiarise students with the most commonly used synthetic methods in medicinal chemistry. To provide students with an understanding of the role of medical imaging in drug discovery, synthetic methods for the incorporation of radioisotopes into biologically active molecules and the quality control requirements for clinical production.

Outline Of Syllabus

Methods in Drug Discovery
Dr IR Hardcastle

1 Overview of drug discovery and drug targets
2 Peptide synthesis and peptide libraries
3 Hit identification technologies
4 Small-molecule library synthesis
5 Hit-to-lead strategies and methods
6 Seminar – Fragment-based drug discovery (case study)
7 Lead optimisation - challenges
8 Lead optimisation - in vitro DMPK
9 Lead optimisation - In vivo DMPK
10 Seminar – Lead optimisation (case study)
11 Lead optimisation synthesis

Isotopes and Imaging in Drug Discovery
Dr MA Carroll

1 Introduction to radioactivity
2 Positron Emission Tomography - PET
3-4 Preparation of 11C labelled compounds
5 Preparation of 18F labelled compounds - electrophillic
6 Preparation of 18F labelled compounds - nucleophilic
7 Radiochemistry automation
8 Clinical production
9 Other PET radioisotopes - e.g. 68Ga, 64Cu, 89Zr
10-11 Key PET imaging agents

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:5020:00Revision 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 StudyIndependent study154:0054:00Background reading and practice past paper examination questions
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CHY8821Modern Methods in Drug Discovery
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Key concepts and supporting examples are delivered by lectures.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CHY8821Modern Methods in Drug Discovery1N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formal examination will test the student's acquisition and understanding of the lecture material.

Study Abroad students may request 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