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Medicinal Chemistry

Department Overview

The department offers the doctor of philosophy degree, which includes didactic and research-based learning.

Students acquire the skills necessary to develop quantitative and qualitative methodologies necessary for the study of biochemical processes that occur at the cellular and subcellular levels. These include elucidation of biochemical transformations and interactions using techniques such as protein engineering, and a broad array of supportive spectroscopic techniques including mass spectrometry and NMR.

One major area of research is the role of biotransformation processes in toxification and detoxification of drugs and environmental contaminants. A second area is the determination of protein and small ligand structure and function using NMR, mass spectroscopy, and other biophysical techniques. Issues of biomedical importance include elucidation of mechanisms of drug-induced cell toxicity, drug-drug and drug-herbal interactions, identification of enzyme attributes that dictate substrate specificity and catalytic mechanism, pharmacogenetics, proteomics, and mechanisms of viral assembly.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
H164 Health Sciences, Box 357610
(206) 543-2224

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students with undergraduate degrees in pharmacy or in the biological or physical sciences are accepted.

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits

Proficiency in organic, medicinal and physical chemistry; pharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Most coursework is completed in the first two years. Two quarters of teaching experience required. The program is flexible and easily adaptable to meet individual interests and needs.

In the first year, students rotate through the laboratories of at least two faculty members. At the end of the first year, the student chooses a faculty sponsor and a dissertation research project.

  1. First year: CHEM 530, CHEM 531, CHEM 532; MEDCH 501, MEDCH 502, MEDCH 503; MEDCH 520 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 582 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 600
  2. Second year: BIOC 530; MEDCH 527 MEDCH 541; PHCOL 510, PHCOL 511; MEDCH 520 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 582 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 600
  3. Third year: MEDCH 520 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 582 (1 credit each quarter); MEDCH 600 (7 credits each quarter)
  4. Fourth year: MEDCH 800

Financial Aid

Financial support in the form of research assistantships and fellowships may be available to students in good standing throughout their graduate careers. Availability of financial support varies from year to year, and prospective applicants should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for additional information.