Field of Science

Prof. Erland Stevens's edX med chem class

Just as he did previously, Prof. Erland Stevens of Davidson College is teaching a comprehensive med chem edX class that would be useful for anyone wanting to dive into the field. The course attracted 25,000 students last year. Here's the syllabus and list of topics - it certainly looks like something I would enthusiastically check out if I were starting out in the field, or even if I had been in it for a while.

Information on the course:

  • The course: D001x Medicinal Chemistry
  • Host platform: edX
  • Date: Starts 10/5/15, but enrollment is open until 12/11/15
  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Cost: free
  • Time: 6-8 h/wk for all content, 1 h/wk to peruse the video lectures
  • Pre-req: chem (organic functional groups, line-angle structures), biology (parts of cell), math (logarithms & exponents)
  • Topics (~1 wk per topic)
  • Drug Approval (early drugs, regulatory process, cost, IP concerns)
  • Enzymes & Receptors (inhibition, Ki, ligand types, Kd)
  • Pharmacokinetics (Vd, clearance, compartment models)
  • Metabolism (phase I & II reactions, CYP450 isoforms, prodrugs)
  • Molecular Diversity (binding, drug space, combi chem, libraries)
  • Lead Discovery (screening, filtering hits, drug metrics)
  • Lead Optimization (functional group replacements, isosteres, peptidomimetics)
  • Case Studies on Selected Drug Classes
  • Bonus features
  • Interviews with pharma professionals, including scientists from Novartis (a partner on the course)
  • Virtual labs involving online tools for predicting drug-relevant activity
  • Target audience: pre-med students, graduate students, recent pharma hires, research assistants

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