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What Is Medicinal Chemistry Definition

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Examples Of Chemistry In Our Daily Lives


Chemical reactions are constantly taking place around us. The human body facilitates thousands of chemical reactions every day. From the digestion of food to the movement of muscles all bodily actions involve chemical reactions. A few other examples of chemistry in the day-to-day lives of humans are listed below.

  • The process of photosynthesis that enables plants to convert water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen is a chemical reaction. This process is the foundation upon which the entire food chain is built.
  • Soaps and detergents that are used for hygiene work using a chemical process known as emulsification. Furthermore, they are produced using a chemical process known as saponification.
  • Even the sunscreen used by humans to protect themselves from the harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation of the sun is based on chemistry. These lotions and creams consist of a combination of inorganic and organic compounds that either filter or block the incoming ultraviolet radiation.

Follow the link to learn more about the importance of chemistry in everyday life.

What Is The Difference Between Medicinal Chemistry And Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Medicinal chemistry is a field of medicine that deals with the designing, optimization, and development of new chemical compounds to use them as drugs. It also deals with the metabolism of the drug. Pharmaceutical chemistry includes the drug designing and development. It does not concern about the metabolism of the drug.

Names Of Structural Features In Medicinal Chemistry

Familiarising yourself with the language used in the chemical sciences can help avoid confusion when reading about topics in medicinal chemistry. This next section of our comprehensive medicinal chemistry glossary will show some of the names and the structures of functional groups, cyclic aliphatic rings, organoheteroatoms, and heterocycles. A lot of the structural features shown below are common to small organic drug molecules. Note that R groups are often used as a generic placeholder for alkyl or sometimes aryl groups.

Simple Acyclic Aliphatic Hydrocarbons

Aromatic Hydrocarbons


With enough practice, naming and pointing out the structural features and functional groups of molecules becomes second nature in medicinal chemistry. Try to use this medicinal chemistry glossary as a convenient revision tying up loose ends whenever you need to refresh your memory. In addition, you should practice using and identifying many of these structures, particularly when it comes to real drug examples. Below, you will find the neurotransmitter serotonin try to identify all the structural features of this molecule.

The structure of the anti-cancer compound, paclitaxel is shown below. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it is not difficult to point out and name the main features of paclitaxel. Can you point out the key structural features and functional groups of paclitaxel?

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Causes Of Drug Toxicity

Drug toxicity is a major concern for doctors as well as patients. This medicinal chemistry tries to explain the structural reasons for the toxicity and the required modification to overcome it.

Further, it explains the mechanism of action of drugs in a disease condition. A drug acts to bring the desired effect by suitable means. Medicinal chemistry tries to establish the mechanism of action of all drugs.

It can also predict the metabolites of a drug after metabolism.

Hit To Lead And Lead Optimization


Further chemistry and analysis is necessary, first to identify the “triage” compounds that do not provide series displaying suitable SAR and chemical characteristics associated with long-term potential for development, then to improve remaining hit series with regard to the desired primary activity, as well as secondary activities and physiochemical properties such that the agent will be useful when administered in real patients. In this regard, chemical modifications can improve the recognition and binding geometries of the candidate compounds, and so their affinities for their targets, as well as improving the physicochemical properties of the molecule that underlie necessary pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic , and toxicologic profiles such that the chemical compound or biologic is suitable for introduction into animal and human studies.

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Subjects Covered In Medicinal Chemistry

For a prospective student, being privy to the subjects that are covered in the course helps in preparing for the challenges that await in this field. After understanding the basic fundamentals of what is medicinal chemistry, take a look at the core subject offerings in this field:

  • Stereochemistry and Mechanisms
  • Kinetics and Thermodynamics in Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Medical Biochemistry and Immunology

Applications Of Medicinal Chemistry

It helps to develop effective medicines, minimize toxicity, produce the drug in an inexpensive manner.

1) Efficient medicines: A medicine is effective when it can kill the parasite, rectify a deficiency or alter a physiological state to the desired level of well-being. The effectiveness of medicine depends on factors like

a) Reach the remote parts of disease by solubility in non-aqueous regions of the body.

b) kill the parasite or produce the desired effect at low concentrations so as to minimize the bulk of medicine preparation.

c) Avoid the development of resistance by the disease-causing agent or system.

2) Minimal toxicity: Any medicine we take is a foreign substance to the body. So it is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the urine. So the medicine prepared should safe for the body and preferably less toxic. Medicinal chemistry strives to prepare water-soluble drug molecules that will be easily metabolized. Or, if lipid solubility is desired, then the molecule which can easily be converted to water-soluble forms is created. Thus the accumulation of drug toxins is controlled by medicinal chemistry.

3) Inexpensive drugs: Most drugs used in life-threatening diseases are expensive. Medicinal chemistry can help find alternative drug molecules or manufacturing methods to minimize the cost of the drug. This helps the drug to reach people of all economic statuses.

Then a similar molecule is made with all the desirable properties to make a better drug molecule.

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On Scaffolds And Hopping In Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 6 , Issue 11 , 2006

Page: Pages: 13


The molecular scaffold is an oft-cited concept in medicinal chemistry suggesting that the definition of what makes a scaffold is rigorous and objective. However, this is far from the case with the definition of a scaffold being highly dependent on the particular viewpoint of a given scientist. It follows, therefore, that the definition of scaffold hopping and, more importantly, the detection of what constitutes a scaffold hop, is also ill-defined and highly subjective. Essentially, it is agreed that scaffolds should be substantially different from each other, although significantly similar to each other, to constitute a hop. In the latter, the scaffolds must permit a similar geometric arrangement of functional groups to permit the mode of action. However, this leaves the paradox of how to describe both scaffold similarity and dissimilarity simultaneously. In this paper, the current statuses of scaffolds and scaffold hopping are reviewed based on published examples of scaffold hopping from the literature. An investigation of the degree to which it is possible to formulate a more rigorous definition of scaffolds and hopping in the context of molecular topologies is considered. These techniques are adapted from chemoinformatics to be applied in the design of new medicinal compounds.

Title: On Scaffolds and Hopping in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume: 6Issue: 11

Nathan Brown and Edgar Jacoby


Leveraging The Multivalent P53 Peptide

Medicinal Chemistry

Peptide fragments derived from the interfaces of protein-protein interactions provide useful templates for designing small molecule PPI inhibitors. Here, the authors utilize the multivalency of an MdmX-binding p53 peptide to develop a weak inhibitor of MdmX into potent Mdm2/MdmX inhibitors.

  • Xiyao Cheng
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    Next Steps: Preclinical And Clinical Trials

    Finally, your lead compound has gone through the entire drug design process: discovery, identification, modification and optimization, it is ready to be presented as the drug candidate for the next stage: drug development. Everything has been done to ensure the drug candidate stands the best chance of enduring the rigors of clinical trials, now all thats left to do is hope for the best. If the drug proves to safe, effective and also better than its competitors, it might even prove to be the next Lipitor a blockbuster success!

    As for you, the medicinal chemist, well, its back to step one of the drug discovery process: identifying hits!

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    Summary Medicinal Chemistry Vs Pharmaceutical Chemistry

    Both medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry deals with the drugs that we use to treat different diseases. The difference between medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry is that medicinal chemistry deals with the designing, optimization, and development of new chemical compounds to use them as drugs whereas pharmaceutical chemistry deals with the study of drugs and their development.


    1. Medicinal Chemistry. American Chemical Society. Available here 2. What Is Pharmaceutical Chemistry? Pharmaceutical Sciences Online Graduate Program. Available here

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    What Is Medicinal Chemistry Details On Its Importance And Applications

    Medicinal chemistry i

    Medicinal chemistry, as the name indicates, deals with the chemistry of medicines.

    It is one of the essential branches of chemistry and it directly relates to health care.

    Even other chemistry branches like organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry also contribute to medicines, but their scope varies.

    Medicinal chemistry tries to interlinks health, disease, and medicine scientifically.

    The subject emphasizes chemistry in medicine, mechanism of action, synthesis.

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    Jobs In Medicinal Chemistry

    Earning your masters degree in medicinal chemistry positions you for a job as a synthetic or medicinal chemist, Janero says. In these roles, youll study, research, and develop molecules that will later be tested for their efficacy as drugs. Though these roles have various titles in the industry, from synthetic chemist to simply scientist, each focuses on the creation of molecules. In addition to experimental and developmental work, other job duties may include:

    • Maintaining records of work
    • Collaborating with project leads and other scientists
    • Conducting research activity
    • Presenting your findings to stakeholders within the company

    Scientists interested in furthering their careers can earn a PhD in a related field and progress to supervisory positions. Instead of creating molecules, the majority of your time in a role like this would be spent managing various experiments and processes within the lab. Job titles in this area include project leader or lead research investigator.

    Earning A Medicinal Chemistry Degree

    A masters degree in this area opens the door to a job in the pharma or biotech industries as a synthetic chemist, Janero says. The Boston ecosystem is rich in those entities, and thats where most of our students go.

    When you earn your advanced degree in medicinal chemistry, you learn all of the skills necessary to establish yourself in this field. You also gain valuable hands-on experience in labs through classes, projects, and internships with local organizations. Professionals who choose to pursue a PhD after their masters program can further advance their careers and qualify for supervisory roles within the lab or careers in regulatory affairs, patents, and more.

    Northeastern offers a robust co-op experience to help students take full advantage of the universitys proximity to Bostons biotech and pharmaceutical hub. Top companies routinely hire Northeastern students for co-ops, many of which result in full-time jobs after graduation.

    The university also offers several on-site labs that allow students to gain experience in a real wet lab setting and collaborate with faculty who have industry expertise.

    For example, I know what its like to run a project in a biotech company and lead it to an IPO with an FDA approved product, and through my continued consulting, I have a good feel as to the current context that students would be getting into after graduating, Janero says.

    About Samantha Costanzo Carleton

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    Physical And Chemical Properties

    It analyzes the physical and chemical properties of medicines.

    Physical properties like solubility, melting point, light sensitivity, crystalline, or amorphous are studied. Solubility decides how the medicine is to be formulated. If it is water-insoluble, it is converted to some salt form.

    Crystalline or amorphous nature indicates the flow properties which are needs during making tablets, capsules, etc.

    Light sensitivity indicates how medicine should be preserved. If light-sensitive, it is packed in opaque packs.

    A melting point indicates how far the compound is stable at room temperature and how it should be handled during medicine formulation.

    If the melting point is so low, it may need to be stored in cold temperatures.

    Chemical properties like pH, internal bonds, saturation help in different ways.

    If a compound is acidic, it means it is insoluble in an acidic medium like the stomach but soluble in a basic medium like the intestine.

    So the pH of the compound helps design a simple tablet or sustained-release one to release medicine in the intestine.

    Chemical saturation indicates its reactive tendencies with other molecules.

    3. It also describes the functional groups present in the drug and their relation to the rest of the molecule. This helps us know which part of the molecule contributes to the medicinal effects. And suitable alterations can be done for better effect.

    Similarly, Amphetamine is active in Dextro form and less active in Levo.

    Design And Degradation Of Permanently Porous Vitamin C And Zinc

    University of Toronto: What is medicinal chemistry?

    Metalorganic frameworks have demonstrated great potential as drug delivery systems, but the biocompatibility of the MOF components is often overlooked. Here, a vitamin C and zinc-based MOF with permanent microporosity is designed, and successful loading and release of model drug urea from the MOF pores, as well as degradation of the framework, are demonstrated.

  • Tia K. Tajnek
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    Relationship Between Chemistry And Other Branches Of Science

    Science can be defined as the systematic study of the natural universe, its structure, and everything it encompasses. Due to the immensity of the natural universe, science has been divided into several disciplines that deal with certain aspects of the universe. The three primary subcategories of science under which these disciplines can be grouped are:

    • The Formal Sciences: Involves the study of the language disciplines that concern formal systems. Examples of scientific disciplines that fall under this category include logic and mathematics. Can be thought of as the language of science.
    • The Natural Sciences: Involves the study of natural phenomena through experiments and observations. Chemistry, physics, and biology fall under this category of science.
    • The Social Sciences: Involves the study of human societies and the relationships between the humans that dwell in these societies. Examples of scientific disciplines that fall under this category include psychology, sociology, and economics.

    When the relationships between the major branches of science are considered, chemistry is found to lie close to the centre .

    Thus, chemistry can be viewed as a central science whose roots bore into several other subdisciplines of science.

    Difference Between Medicinal Chemistry And Pharmaceutical Chemistry

    June 25, 2018 Posted by Madhu

    The key difference between medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry is that medicinal chemistry deals with the designing, optimization, and development of new chemical compounds to use them as drugs whereas pharmaceutical chemistry deals with the study of drugs and their development.

    Both medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry deals with the drugs or medicine that we use to treat different illnesses. Both these fields discuss the designing and development of drugs with very slight differences. One such difference is that medicinal chemistry study about not only drugs but also the mechanisms of action of these drugs inside our body.

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    What Is A Medicinal Chemist

    A medicinal chemist is someone who applies the principles of chemistry to the development of pharmaceutical compounds, with the goal of creating new drugs for use in medical treatment. Medicinal chemistry is a branch of chemistry which relies heavily on organic chemistry, but also involves the study of biology and medicine. Researchers in this field work on the cutting edge of drug development, working on new compounds and classes of compounds which may provide major breakthroughs in health care in the future.

    Medicinal chemists work primarily with biological materials, identifying compounds of interest, learning about what they do, and figuring out how to synthesize them in the laboratory. A medicinal chemist is also concerned with the development and eventual production of drugs made from these compounds, thinking about issues like drug delivery systems, quality control of pharmaceutical compounds, and potential drug interactions which could lead to harmful complications.

    Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced theexciting challenge of being a InfoBloom researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College andspends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

    Key Takeaways: Medicinal Chemistry

    medicinal chemistry
    • Medicinal chemistry is a discipline involved in the development, synthesis, and analysis of drugs and other bio-active agents.
    • Medicinal chemistry draws from organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and medicine.
    • Training for a career in medicinal chemistry involves a strong foundation in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Usually, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry is required. However, because of its interdisciplinary nature, medicinal chemistry also requires a lot of on-the-job training.

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    Plant-based remedies have been used since the prehistory. Records of this type of medicine have been found in almost every culture. The modern pharmaceutical industry, for its part, is based on such knowledge and on the processing or synthesis of various active principles of plants.

    What plants do is, through their metabolism, produce substances from the nutrients obtained from the environment. The secondary metabolites obtained from medicinal plants are those compounds for therapeutic use.

    Useful compounds are generally found in certain parts of the plant, such as its seeds, their estate, their sheets or their flowers. The part usable by medicine, therefore, depends on the species in question.

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