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XX50229: Synthesis of medicinal compounds

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Assessment Detail:
  • Presentation (CW 50%)
  • Exam (EX 50%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims:
To introduce and illustrate how advanced synthetic organic chemistry is used in the preparation of medicinally valuable compounds.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this Unit, students should be able to:
* Apply knowledge of protecting group strategy in the synthesis of complex biological molecules.
* Apply knowledge of retrosynthetic analysis to the forward design of biologically active molecules.
* Define reagents and strategies for the assembly of stereochemically defined molecules.
* Integrate catalytic techniques with retrosynthetic analysis to introduce new stereocentres to organic molecules.
* Understand the key reactions in the synthesis of peptide and carbohydrate drug targets.
* Design rational analogues, or modified compounds from given starting compounds.
* Apply the techniques introduced in this unit to the synthesis of complex molecules.

Problem solving (T, F, A), Scientific writing (F, A), Independent working (F)

The unit is designed to give a sound knowledge of contemporary organic synthesis set within the context of synthesising biologically active molecules. The unit will set in context retrosynthetic analysis, protecting group strategy and modern methodology by means of total synthesis.
* Protecting group strategy
* Retrosynthetic analysis
* Stereospecific/selective synthetic methods
* Catalytic techniques in synthesis
* Peptides and carbohydrates - key reactions for their synthesis and manipulation
* Application of all the above for the synthesis of medicinal compounds, with discussion of rational analogue design throughout.
* Group project developing a retro- and forward synthesis of a drug target.
* Presentation of synthetic paper.

Programme availability:

XX50229 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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