In the classroom: Students learn about the drug discovery process – Georgia State University News
In this occasional series, we ask arts and science teachers to discuss how they engage students in the big issues of our time.
Q. How would you describe this course?
A. The course will introduce the theory and main methods of drug discovery. For any student interested in potential careers in drug discovery, whether in the pharmaceutical industry or in academia, this course will give them basic information on what the discipline entails. Once they survey this class, they have a good idea of preparation and what to expect when looking for future positions.
Q. What makes this course appealing to students?
A. Drug discovery is a good career option that has piqued the interest of many students. They have a basic training in chemistry but do not know the process. This course allows them to learn while they are still in school. They also learn through various examples. Not only do we have classroom instruction, but we also have a hands-on project that allows students to practice drug discovery.
Q. Why is this course important?
A. We constantly face new challenges in medicine. We already have plenty of medicines available, but new challenges, infections and illnesses appear every day. Especially recently, with the rise of metabolic diseases. People’s lifestyles change, so new diseases appear almost every decade. There is a constant shift in focus and recent developments. We need to keep our methods up to date and make drug discovery more efficient.
Q. What interested you about this subject?
A. My career has been involved in drug discovery research for a long time. When I was teaching in medical school, my area of study was drug discovery. I have developed new anti-influenza drugs which are now available on the market. I find the process very difficult but very interesting. Not only that, but it also benefits humanity. I also find that a lot of students are interested, and I love chatting with them. When the head of the department asked me to teach this course, I answered with pleasure: “Yes! »
Q. What is the most interesting or unusual assignment you have for this course?
A. The principle of drug discovery is to identify a chemical compound that binds the disease-related protein to stop its dysfunction. For practical work, students are given the structure of a compound-protein complex. The complex structure shows how a compound binds to protein. Students are asked to change the chemical structure so that the compound can bind more tightly to the protein, which is necessary for a compound to become an effective drug. This mission is done at home, using computer software to carry out the project. They must also write a report on their findings.