UCL School of Pharmacy
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- Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)
- MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, International Practice and Policy
- MSc in Drug Delivery
- MSc in Drug Discovery and Development
- MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management
- MSc in Pharmacognosy
- Master of Research (MRes)
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The MSc course is designed to allow participants to gain a broad overview of the pipeline of drug discovery and development.
The course outlines the molecular basis of disease and the identification and validation of drug targets. It investigates the various approaches to the identification of lead compounds and their development into active drug candidates. The course exposes students to modern platforms for drug discovery and methods of drug synthesis and includes lectures from industry-based scientists and visits to industrial and biotechnological research laboratories. Students gain hands-on experience of molecular modeling and computer-based drug design, and analytical and synthetic techniques. The approach of the pharmaceutical industry to pre-clinical development, clinical pharmacology, clinical trials, marketing, licensing and regulatory affairs form an integral part of the drug development process that is studied.
In the second semester students choose to study specialist modules such as Anticancer Personalised Medicines, Pharmacogenomics and Biomarkers, Drug Targets in the Central Nervous System, Natural Products and Medicinal Plants, Pharma Management, Advanced Structure-Based Drug Design. The course culminates in a laboratory research project chosen in one of these areas and can be carried out in the research laboratories of the School of Pharmacy or as an extramural placement in industry.
The Process of Drug Discovery and Development (TPODD)
180 contact hours
This core module spans the first and second semester, running from October to April. It follows the process of drug discovery and development. It introduces the basis of the pharmaceutical industry through examining previous successes and current methods of drug discovery. The module includes:
Introduction to the molecular basis of disease, identification and validation of drug targets.
History of Drug Discovery and Identification of Lead Compounds.
Advances in Synthetic Chemistry and Combinatorial Chemistry
Bioassays and High Throughput Screening of Compound Libraries
Molecular Modeling and Structure-Based Drug Design
Physiochemical Properties of Drugs (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism)
Preclinical Drug Development
Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Regulatory Affairs, Commercial Affairs and Intellectual Property
First Semester Modules
In the first semester (October to January) the core module is supported by two smaller modules (each 24 contact hours) and a programme of practical classes:
Modern Aspects of Drug Discovery (MADD)
Includes examples of drug discovery such as: beta blockers, antibiotics, biopharmaceuticals, PDE inhibitors, inhibitors of protein-protein interactions in cancer therapy, enzymes as drug targets, biopharmaceuticals, membrane proteins as drug targets.
Pharmaceutical Analysis (PA)
Analytical techniques used in drug discovery include: HPLC, uv-vis spectroscopy, infra-red spectroscopy, NMR, mass spectrometry, electrophoresis, immunochemistry, statistical anlysis.
Include hands-on experience of computer-based drug design, chemical synthesis, extraction of natural products, HPLC, protein purification and gel electrophoresis, enzyme-based bioassay, clinical biochemistry.
Second Semester Modules
In the second semester (February to April) students choose two of the following specialist modules (each 24 contact hours), to study along with the core module:
Anticancer Personalised Medicines
New Drug Targets in the Central Nervous System
Pharmacogenomics and Biomarkers
Natural Products - Bioassays in Pharmacognosy, Natural Product Lead Discovery
Advanced Structure Based Drug Design
Visit to a Leading Pharmaceutical Company
Students visit a leading research laboratory. This is usually an all-day visit to a company such as GlaxoSmithKline, where students look at computer-based molecular modeling, how physico-chemical properties are determined, the robotic compound library, high through put screening, and the chemistry and biology labs. The visit is supplemented by the provision of material and instruction, as well as lectures, to assist understanding of drug discovery and development. The discovery process of a drug will be worked through in detail.
One-day Research Conference
Students attend a one-day research conference in an aspect of drug discovery and development organised by the Society for Medicines Research. Here they will have a chance to interact with leading industrialists and researchers in the field.
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