Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Module summary

Module code: CHEM1128
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Pharm, Chemical and Envi Science
Module Coordinator(s): Adrian Dobbs

Specification

Pre and co requisites

CHEM1034, CHEM1038, CHEM1102

Aims

To extend student knowledge of organic chemistry by studying its applications in biological and medicinal systems. To provide students with a fundamental understanding of the organic chemistry reactions involved in biosynthesis and ‘nature’s reagents’ for conducting organic synthesis.
To provide students with an overview of the drug discovery process and the central role of chemistry within this.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Relate the reactions learnt in previous modules and in previous laboratory classes to their biological counterparts and how the same reactions are utilised in the biological synthesis (biosynthesis) of complex natural products.

2. Critically assess the possible biosynthetic routes to natural products.

3. Understand the key role of natural products in biological processes.

4 Understand the key role of proteins in biology: their structure and function, synthesis and role as drug targets.

5. Have an overview of medicinal chemistry and the drug discovery processes, and the central role of biological and organic chemistry within this field.

6. Perform a structure-activity and QSAR study, given the appropriate data.

Indicative content

The course will be divided into two parts.
Part 1: Biological Chemistry
In the first half of the module, students will learn how complex organic molecules are prepared in nature: biosynthesis, with a particular focus on utilising amino acids and carbohydrates and the use of labels to determine reaction pathways. Case studies will include the shikimic acid pathway and terpenes. The section will conclude with a survey of proteins: structure, function and peptide synthesis, leading on to their function in biological processes, namely enzymes and receptors. This section will conclude with a brief survey of nucleosides and nucleotides. This entire half of the module will prepare students for the second half of the module.

Part 2: Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry
The second half of the module will introduce students to the applications of organic chemistry within medicinal chemistry. Topics covered will include finding lead compounds (natural products); small molecule-biological receptor interactions; structure-activity relationships; QSAR including Hansch analysis; an outline of drug metabolism.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught largely through lectures and interactive, problem-solving tutorials. The basic principles will be explained in the lectures, whilst the tutorials will establish the understanding of these principles by the study of their application in problem-solving exercises, in addition to consideration of student-centred problems.

Assessment

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Coursework 1
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Written problem solving
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment
(Please use the numbers above to refer to these): LO 1-3
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting: 20%
Pass Mark: 50%
Word Length: N/A (drawing structures & formulae)

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Coursework 2
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Written problem solving
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment
(Please use the numbers above to refer to these): LO 4-6
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting: 20%
Pass Mark: 50%
Word Length: N/A (drawing structures & formulae)

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Exam
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Written problem solving
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment
(Please use the numbers above to refer to these): LO 1-6
Grading ModeL Numeric
Weighting: 60%
Pass Mark: 50%
Word Length: N/A (drawing structures & formulae)
Outline Details: 2hr