The Medicinal Chemistry
Programme (NUSMedChem) has been established under the Experimental
Therapeutics Platform of the Office of Sciences. NUSMedChem
is a multidisciplinary initiative involving departmental
staff members across the Faculties of Science (Chemistry,
Pharmacy, Biological Sciences), Medicine (Pharmacology)
and Engineering (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering).
The program aims
to establish Singapore as a world renowned centre for medicinal
chemistry research and to promote collaborative research
between academia, research institutes and pharmaceutical
companies. Since its inception in early 2004, the program
has gathered a core of researchers from NUS and industry
(e.g. Merlion Pharmaceuticals) specialising in various phases
of the drug discovery process, specifically in lead selection,
synthesis and optimization.
In addition, the
programme is committed to manpower training in all areas
of medicinal chemistry. Accordingly, an integrated broad-based
graduate program in medicinal chemistry (Graduate Program
in Medicinal Chemistry) has been launched in the academic
year 2004/05 with a pool of 12 students in its very first
intake. The course-base requirements encompass modules in
organic synthesis, lead optimization, molecular biology,
computer-aided drug design, pharmacology and toxicology.
Laboratory rotations and internship during their studies
are added features of the program. In this way, a pool of
competent graduates in medicinal chemistry will be available
to support R&D needs of the pharmaceutical industry.