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Medicinal chemistry is a discipline at the intersection of chemistry, and pharmacology and various other biological specialties. It is concerned with design, chemical synthesis, and development of pharmaceutical agents, or bio-active molecules (drugs). Medicinal agents are most often small organic molecules, and biologics, of which are most often medicinal preparations of proteins (natural and recombinant antibodies, hormones, etc.).

In particular, medicinal chemistry in its most common practice —focusing on small organic molecules—and aiming at the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents, especially, anticancer, antiparkinson's disease, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic (e.g. type II), as well as cardiovascular agents. Published and ongoing work by colleagues in the department focus on these aspects. Practically speaking, it involves chemical aspects of identification, and then systematic, thorough synthetic alteration of new chemical entities to make them suitable for therapeutic use. It includes synthetic and computational aspects of the study of existing drugs and agents in development in relation to their bioactivities, i.e., understanding their structure-activity relationships (SAR).  At the biological interface, medicinal chemistry combines to form a set of highly interdisciplinary sciences, setting its organic, physical, computational emphases alongside biological areas such as biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacognosy and pharmacology to find agents suitable for use in treatment of disease.

Dr. Mohammad Harb Semreen
Chairman of the Medicinal Chemistry Department