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International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development

Former Working Groups and Projects

Medicinal Chemistry

Former IOCD working group in medicinal chemistry

For many years IOCD operated a number of Working Group (WGs) related to medicinal chemistry. These included:

These WGs sought to enhance capacities for medicinal chemistry research in LMICs and at the same time to encourage LMIC scientists to participate in practical programmes for drug development. The WG in Medicinal Chemistry was wound up in 2015, but one of its important projects was to develop a distance education programme in medicinal chemistry, let by Prof. Lester Mitscher and Prof. Tom Prisinzano at the University of Kansas. This activity remains active as project within IOCD's Distance Education programme — for details of this, click here.

Aims and achievements of the working group

Medicinal chemistry is a multidisciplinary, chemistry-based discipline that involves aspects of biological, medical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It is concerned with the invention, discovery, design, identification and preparation of biologically active compounds, the study of their metabolism, the interpretation of their modes of action at the molecular level and the construction of structure-activity relationships.

Since the 19th century, medicinal chemistry has helped transform human health, providing drugs for the prevention and treatment of many life-threatening infections and metabolic disorders and helping alleviate pain and suffering. New drugs are constantly needed, whether to provide better treatment of known illnesses, combat the constantly evolving resistance mechanisms of pathogenic organisms, or provide an armoury of defences against newly emerging infectious diseases that constantly appear.

From the outset, IOCD utilized a number of Working Groups to promote attention to neglected areas of medicinal chemistry of particular relevance to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); to strengthen the participation of chemists from LMICs in programmes of national and global relevance; and to build capacities for medicinal chemistry in LMICs. Examples of IOCD's work across these areas include:

The focus of the Medicinal Chemistry WG was on capacity building and its principal strategies included:

B. Abegaz

IOCD Travel Award recipient Dr Berhanu Abegaz (on the right) explains his research on antimalarials at the 2007 Winter Conference on Medicinal & Bioorganic Chemistry


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