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Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Course Description

This is a foundation course whose aims are to provide an introduction to the principles of Medicinal chemistry, including an understanding of drug structure-activity relationships, prediction of the physico-chemical properties of a drug, basic knowledge of the major pathways of drug metabolism, and factors that can contribute to drug-drug interactions.

This course provides a solid understanding of essential concepts used in all areas of pharmaceutical sciences, such as:

  • Influence of degree of ionization and ionizable functional groups on drug formulations, drug absorption, and target interactions
  • Identification of drug-target interactions and how they relate to lead structure development and refinement
  • Application of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles that are essential at all stages of the drug development process and enable cross-communication among different research groups and stakeholders
  • Translation of important preclinical drug development steps for submission of a successful investigational new drug application with the FDA

Course Goal

The wide range of drugs that are on the market and enter the market, especially the diversity of small and large molecular structures, requires a basic knowledge and understanding of functional groups, how drugs act within the body (pharmacodynamics), what the body does to a drug (pharmacokinetics), and how the drug discovery process is driven today. Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Chemistry provides students with a foundation in drug development processes and introduces the concepts that will be utilized in future classes.


Graduate students with a basic knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physiology interested in pharmaceutical drug development and design


Module Topic
Module 1 Drug Action and Drug Discovery
Module 2 Drug Design Principles
Module 3 Introduction to Pharmacokinetics and Drug Biotransformation
Module 4 Drug Development, Production and Regulation

Course Structure

Group discussion forums, online chat sessions, asynchronous mini-lectures, online timed quizzes, interactive animations, and individual e-mail contact between student and instructor. Students will be required to submit written essay assignments as well as complete timed quizzes. The instructor will also be frequently available for one-on-one virtual office hours.

Recommended Materials

There is no single recommended text for this course. Helpful textbooks include:

  • Fundamentals of Medicinal Chemistry
    Author: Gareth Thomas
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.; 1st edition (2003)
    ISBN: 0470843071
  • Foye’s Principles of Medicinal Chemistry
    Author: Thomas L. Lemke, David A. Williams, Victoria F. Roche, S. William Zito
    Publisher: Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 6th edition (2008)
    ISBN: 9780781768795

Library Access

Distance Education and UF Online Students enjoy the same library privileges as on-campus students. To utilize the University of Florida Library System, click here!

At a Glance