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Department of Medicinal Chemistry

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Medicinal Chemistry Graduate Programs

Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary field at the interface of chemistry and biology. It approaches important biological and health-related problems through application of fundamental principles of organic chemistry, biochemistry, natural product chemistry, and molecular pharmacology. Graduates are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the chemistry of organic compounds, including their synthesis and biosynthesis, their reactivity, and their interactions with and alteration by living systems. Research is at the heart of the program, and the department’s research activities encompass many areas of modern medicinal chemistry. Graduate students may choose the organic chemistry track or the biochemistry track.

Currently, the department has 12 full-time faculty members, about 45 graduate students, more than 30 postdoctoral associates, numerous undergraduate researchers, and an outstanding technical staff. The department is recognized nationally and internationally, and most graduates have gone on to successful careers in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. Medicinal chemistry faculty members are directors of 2 Centers for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) — Cancer Experimental Therapeutics and Protein Structure and Function — as well as the Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (CMLD) and the Specialized Chemistry Center (SCC), all funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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