Field of Science

Prof. Erland Stevens's online medicinal chemistry course

This spring I had a post up about an online medicinal chemistry course taught by Prof. Erland Stevens of Davidson College. It looks like the course was received quite well, with 14,000 students signing up. Now it's going to be taught again, starting from October 13th. Here's some information about the course that Prof. Stevens sent along; from the list of topics it seems to cover most major aspects of the basic principles and practice of drug discovery from a chemistry perspective. Would definitely recommend it.

  • The edX course (Medicinal Chemistry) starts October 13th and runs eight weeks
  • Cost: free with both free and for-pay certification options
  • Prerequisites: general chemistry (binding energies, intermolecular forces), some organic chemistry (line-angle structures and functional groups), knowledge of cell parts and functions, comfort with logarithmic and exponential equations
  • Time required: 1 hour of video per week, completing all assignments will require approx. 1 hour per day
  • Topics (appox. 1 wk each)
    (1) drug approval process (early drugs, clinical trials, IP factors)
    (2) enzymes and receptors (inhibition, Ki, types of ligands, Kd)
    (3) pharmacokinetics (Vd, CL, compartment models)
    (4) metabolism (phase I and II, genetic factors, prodrugs)
    (5) molecular diversity (drug space, combi chem, libraries)
    (6) lead discovery (screening, filtering hits)
    (7) lead optimization (FG replacements, isosteres, peptidomimetics)
    (8) important drug classes (selected examples)
  • Target audience: anyone with an interest in the structural basis of how drugs are designed

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