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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

The course will focus on small molecule drug discovery.  Receptor theory and cell communication and signalling will be revised to facilitate understanding of the remainder of the course. The basis of the drug discovery process will be described and the phases of drug development discussed.  A range of targets for drug discovery will be identified and how small molecule drug affect these will be described.  Issues around drug regulation will be raised.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Foresterhill Sustained Study No
  • Dr Wael Houssen

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This applied course will cover the latest developments in small molecule drug discovery and development. The course will progress logically through the process of identifying and characterising lead drug candidates to the point when they enter clinical trials. Much of the course will focus on the two main areas:
1) the latest screening protocols for lead identification from large compound libraries.
2) The inherent toxicity problems of synthetic, small molecule drugs. The second component of the course will cover in detail the steps taken to minimise any unwanted side effects in drugs used for therapy. Wherever possible the course will use real clinical examples to deliver its applied message effectively and clearly. The course will also include presentations from industry professionals.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 7 - 9, 11 - 14
  • 3 Lectures during University week10
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 15 - 16

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

MCQ written exam (50%); Presentation (25%); Poster (25%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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