Tuesday, September 23, 2014

EdX class in medicinal chemistry

Just like last February, Professor Erland Stevens of Davidson College is teaching a class on medicinal chemistry on EdX. Here's a brief syllabus:
The edX course (Medicinal Chemistry) starts October 13th and runs eight weeks. 
Cost: free with both free and for-pay certification options
Prerequisites: general chemistry (binding energies, intermolecular forces), some organic chemistry (line-angle structures and functional groups), knowledge of cell parts and functions, comfort with logarithmic and exponential equations
Time required: 1 hour of video per week, completing all assignments will require approx. 1 hour per day 
Topics (approx. 1 wk each)
(1) drug approval process (early drugs, clinical trials, IP factors)
(2) enzymes and receptors (inhibition, Ki, types of ligands, Kd)
(3) pharmacokinetics (Vd, CL, compartment models)
(4) metabolism (phase I and II, genetic factors, prodrugs)
(5) molecular diversity (drug space, combi chem, libraries)
(6) lead discovery (screening, filtering hits)
(7) lead optimization (FG replacements, isosteres, peptidomimetics)
(8) important drug classes (selected examples) 
Target audience: anyone with an interest in the structural basis of how drugs are designed.
 Sounds like an interesting class! 


  1. I took this class last spring and highly recommend it!

  2. Does anyone know if you need to "attend" weekly or can you take a couple of weeks off in the middle and "catch up"?

  3. My experience with EdX and Coursera (entirely positive, btw) is that missing one week is no problem, but two is difficult. Most classes are structured so that you have two weeks to complete the assignments for any given week. Of course, if you are just auditing the course, missing two weeks is no big deal. But if you want documentation or certificates, you will miss deadlines and lose points.

  4. The first run of the course (in the spring) was not very forgiving on the deadlines. Assessments were "live" for two weeks after release and then were closed. In this run of the course, the material will release weekly with just a global deadline at the end of the course (something like 12/15/14). In theory, a student could start the course in late November and still complete all the material. We made the change because some students were late to the start but still wanted to work through all the material at an accelerated pace. (In the long term, I'd like the course to be open continually so that students can truly work at their own pace.)

  5. Also offered this semester:
    Farriercraft 101
    Intro to ice delivery
    Telex repair for fun and profit.

    Don't delay! Spots are going fast!

  6. I would like to second Samuel71's comment. I am a chemist with about 24 year's experience in chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturing, and I found the course very useful, informative and engaging. Highly recommended.