Ten weeks ago I walked into a classroom of 180 non-science majors to teach a course in Organic Chemistry. Many of these non-science majors were anxious about the experience to come, knowing only that people taking such a class often fell to repeat it once or twice to obtain a passing grade. Most of them had just completed one quarter of introductory general chemistry, and had no idea exactly how much they were about to learn.
Medicinal chemistry is the science of synthetic drug design, and involves the study of structure activity relationships (SAR) and their effects on chemotype activity and selectivity for a given biological event involving an enzyme or protein. Most people working in the field of medicinal chemistry have strong skills in synthetic Organic Chemistry, and have learned biochemistry, biology, molecular biology and pharmacology over a period of several years. Medicinal chemistry is the marriage of Organic Chemistry and medicine, aspiring to develop superior drugs for disease states across multiple therapeutic indications.
How does medicinal chemistry work, and how are drugs designed?