The UConn Pre-College Summer course in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery will provide students with an overview of the entire drug development process. We will start with how pharmaceutical companies determine what disease they want to target and work our way through the entire discovery process over the one-week course, ending with post-approval monitoring by the FDA. Along the way, we will answer a variety of specific questions, including the following:
- Lead compounds – what are they and where do they come from?
- What is medicinal chemistry and how is it used in the drug discovery process?
- What animal tests are required before a drug can be given to humans?
- What are drug-drug and drug-food interactions?
- What are clinical trials and how do they work?
Much of our discussion on these topics will revolve around the development of currently used drugs such as Lipitor (high cholesterol), Januvia (type II diabetes), and Harvoni (hepatitis C).
Students will also tour laboratory facilities at UConn dedicated to drug development and learn about the applications of specific instrumentation on campus. Finally, students will also perform in-lab experiments designed to introduce them to several different aspects of drug design and development.
Note: To be eligible to enroll in Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery, students need to have some chemistry background.