Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code CHEM335
Coordinator Prof PM O'Neill
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 6 FHEQ First Semester 7.5

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):

Completion of years 1 and 2 of an MChem or BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme or, for PGT students, a BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme. Liverpool UGT students should have completed CHEM231 and CHEM248. 


The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamental principles that underpin modern medicinal chemistry of anti-infective drugs and will include qualitative and advanced quantitative SAR techniques, computer aided molecular design, further techniques in solid phase chemistry / combinatorial chemistry.  The course will build on the principles taught in the introductory medicinal chemistry course Chem 248. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will have achieved a solid foundation of modern approaches to anti-infective drug design.

In particular they should be able to show a clear understanding of:

  • The mechanism of action, design and synthesis of b-lactam antibiotics, cephalosporins and carbapenems.
  • Antiviral drug design
  • The importance of protease enzymes as drug targets as illustrated by examples including the falcipain 2 inhibitors (cysteine proteases) and HIV protease inhibitors (aspartate proteases).
  • Advanced techniques in computational drug design and combinatorial chemistry.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture -

Tutorial -



Lecture 1

Introduction; Recap of the process of drug discovery including revision of QSAR, combinatorial chemistry and HTS.  Major therapeutic areas targeted in module will be discussed.

Chapter(s) in "Intro to Medicinal Chemistry" by Patrick , 3rd Edition

Lecture 2

b-lactam antibiotics.


Ch 16

Lecture 3

Cephalosporins and carbapenem; Design and Synthesis.

Ch 16

Lecture 4

Cysteine Protease Enzymes as Drug Targets; Design and Synthesis of Small Peptide Inhibitors

Original scientific papers

Lecture 5

Peptide and Peptidomimetic Inhibitors of Falcipains 2 and 3.  Computer based design of novel inhibitor templates.

Original scientific papers

Lecture 6

Antivirals 1

Ch 17

Lecture 7

Antivirals 2.

Ch 17

Lecture 8

HIV Protease Inhibitors 1; Mechanism of Action and Drug Design

Ch 17

Lecture 9

HIV Protease Inhibitors 2; SAR and Synthetic Approaches

Ch 17

Lecture 10

Anticancer Agents

Ch 18

Lecture 11

Advanced Techniques in Computational Drug Design 1

Ch 15

Lecture 12

 Advanced Techniques in Computational Drug Design 2

Ch 15

Lecture 13

 Further Combinatorial Chemistry

Ch 14

Lecture 14

 Literature Examples of Combinatorial Synthesis

Original publications


Two tutorial workshop sessions will be held halfway through the course and a further assessed tutorial will be held at the end of the module.  Students will also be directed to online MCQ questions.




Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 14


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 59


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Unseen Written Exam  1.5h  Semester 1  90  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 2 Notes (applying to all assessments) Continuous Assessment One problem based tutorial (5 %) and one part tutorial, part computer modelling exercise also 5 %. This work is not marked annonymously August resit for PGT students if applicable. resit at next normal opportunity for Y3/4 students. 
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework  4hrs  Semester 1  10  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 1 There is no reassessment opportunity,