CHE-20081 - Principles of Drug Design
Coordinator: Theresa R Phillips Room: LJ1.46 Tel: +44 1782 7 33038
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This is a core module for the medicinal chemistry degree programmes at Keele, focussing on understanding the interaction of small molecules with biological targets in the body and applying this to the design of drug molecules. Topics are presented with extensive use of case studies and illustrative examples. A series of interactive workshops and exercises are used to build upon the taught material using on-line resources such as the protein data bank and docking software to give real-world examples. The module cumulates in a drug design exercise, in which teams of students undertake a simulated drug discovery programme, taking a molecule through iterative rounds of optimisation.

To develop an understanding of the fundamental principles used in medicinal chemistry to provide a deeper insight into the design and mode of action of medicines.
To develop digital skills in using professional databases and software appropriate to medicinal chemistry
To develop problem solving and scientific presentation skills.
To emphasise that medicinal chemistry builds upon core topics in organic, physical and inorganic chemistry.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

interpret the molecular structure of biological macromolecules in terms of their construction from biological building blocks (amino acids, peptides and proteins and DNA): 1
apply the mechanisms and characteristics of the pharmacokinetic concepts of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion to explain the properties of drug molecules: 1,2
employ individual and collaborative skills to create, interpret and present data from a range of sources including online databases and predictive software: 2
recognise the stages involved in the development of new medicines and interpret this in the analysis of case studies that illustrate the drug discovery process: 1,2
identify likely intermolecular interactions between ligands and biomolecules and apply this to the design of drug molecules with structure-activity relationships:

Study hours

Taught content: 24 hours
PC lab sessions: 6 hours
Drug design exercise: 6 hours
Independent study and coursework preparation: 114 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Assignment weighted 40%
Drug Interactions Assignment
A individual write-up of a series of tasks to visualise and interpret the interactions of drugs with their biological targets using a range of professional scientific software programmes/databases. Equivalent to approx 2000 words.

2: Exercise weighted 60%
Drug Design Exercise
An individual write-up of a collaborative teamwork exercise including scientific presentation, interpretation of data and critical analysis. Equivalent to approx 3000 words.