Medicinal Chemistry, by its very nature, involves the application of a number of specialized disciplinary approaches toward drug discovery. In recognition of this, we have established four tracks to the PhD in Medicinal Chemistry. These tracks parallel the research interests of our faculty. The curricula of the four tracks all contain a common core of courses that are fundamental to Medicinal Chemistry (e.g., a 3-semester sequence in medicinal chemistry, advanced biochemistry, and organic chemistry). To allow students to specialize in their area of interest, each track also contains track-specific coursework (e.g., synthetic organic chemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, and chemical biology). Additionally, students also work with their advisors select 3 to 6 credits of electives, allowing them to further customize their curriculum.
The tracks are as follows:
- Core Courses
532: Bioorganic Principles of Medicinal Chemistry
533: Survey of Therapeutics and Their Mechanisms of Action
534: Computational Principles of Medicinal Chemistry
535: Principles of Drug Design
660: Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Chemistry 540: Organic Principles
Biological Chemistry 550: Protein Structure and Function,
Chemical Biology 501: Chemical Biology I
- Biochemistry Track
501: Chemical Biology I
502: Chemical Biology II
- Biophysics Track
520: Energetics, Interactions, and Dynamics of Biomacromolecules
521: Physical Methods for the Study of Biomacromolecules
- Bioinformatics Track
521: Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
551: Proteome Informatics
575 (Elective): Programming Lab in Informatics
- Organic Chemistry Track
540: Organic Principles,
541: Advanced Organic Chemistry
542: Application of Physical Methods to Organic Chemistry
543: Organic Mechanisms
- Other Academic Requirements
Medicinal Chemistry 573: Research Rotations
During their first year, our students participate in two research rotations, each one semester long. These graded, experiential courses give students an opportunity to do a short research project in the labs of Medicinal Chemistry faculty. The students write reports summarizing each rotation, which are critiqued by their rotation mentor and revised by the student.
Medicinal Chemistry 660: Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship in Pharmaceutical Sciences (RCRS)
This course is REQUIRED for the ALL graduate students entering the College of Pharmacy (this includes Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacy) and is designed to satisfy the requirement of many government and national funding agencies for a standard course in the responsible conduct of research and scholarship in the biomedical sciences. The course has also been designed to bring the entire research community of the College of Pharmacy together to foster a better understanding of the contribution of each discipline in the overall bench to bedside efforts of drug discovery and patient care.
Medicinal Chemistry 740: Preparing a Research Grant Proposal
Medicinal Chemistry 741: Defending a Research Proposal
During their second year in the program, our students prepare and defend an original research proposal that is distinct from, but can be related to, their own dissertation research.
Graduate students in medicinal chemistry present and defend a proposal for their dissertation research in the area of medicinal chemistry. This requirement should be fulfilled before the beginning of their third year in the program. Upon successful completion of coursework, research rotations, original research proposal, and the qualifying exam, students advance to candidacy.
Third Year Seminar
Third year students present a public seminar to faculty and other students on their research project, encompassing background, goals, progress to date, and plans for the future.
Annual Dissertation Committee Meetings
A dissertation committee must be formed within 2 months of admission to candidacy. The committee meets annually at the third year seminar and during the fall term of the candidate's fourth and subsequent years. The role of the committee is to monitor progress and help students keep on track for timely completion of their PhD.
The dissertation defense includes a public seminar presentation, normally given during the regularly scheduled Medicinal Chemistry seminar program. This public presentation is followed by a private session with the dissertation committee, who must approve the dissertation for degree conferment.
- Graduate Student Guidebook and Forms