Skip to content

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry

  • M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry

The study of Medicinal Chemistry typically applies chemical research techniques (e.g., synthesis) to the study of pharmaceuticals. Students in the PhD and MS programs in Medicinal Chemistry at The University of Montana will use a combination of chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and computation to research the relationships between chemical structure and biological activity.  Some examples include: (a) the investigation and elucidation of the mechanism of active molecules, (b) the design, synthesis and optimization of potent and selective ligands, (c) development of new biochemical probes, and (d) pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicology of beneficial and toxic agents.

In addition to the general topics listed above, students in the PhD and MS programs in Medicinal Chemistry at The University of Montana will gain specific focus and expertise in the study of Neuroscience; a parallel graduate program in the department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  Through integrative and experiential research and classes, students in Medicinal Chemistry investigate the structure, function and diseases of the central nervous system with the goal of developing small molecules and drugs that help study and treat diseases such as Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, stroke, and depression. The Medicinal Chemistry program also recognizes the need to provide students with the skills to succeed after graduate work and will provide students with added training in business, economic development, patent writing  and intellectual property.

Students wishing to learn more about Medicinal Chemistry opportunities should read the individual faculty research interests and check the American Chemical Society website at http://www.acsmedchem.org/  for general and professional information.

 

 Ph.D. Program in Medicinal Chemistry

Degree requirements:

  • 50% or higher for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Subject Exam in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB).

    All students must attain a 50% or higher on the BCMB GRE by July 1 of their first year in residence to continue in the program. Students scoring less than 33% on the BCMB GRE are not admitted. Students scoring from 33% to 49% on the GRE BCMB will be required to take BMED 600 (Advanced Cellular Biochemistry; 3 cr.) or an equivalent course in year one of the program and must receive a grade of ‘B’ or better as well as retake the GRE Subject Exam with a passing grade greater than or equal to 50%. Students may retake the BCMB test at any time in year one.

    Students attaining greater than or equal to 50% prior to program entry achieve a passing level and are excluded from retaking the BCMB GRE exam and taking BMED 600 (or equivalent course);

     
  • Greater than or equal to 70% or higher for the American Chemical Society (ACS) exam in organic chemistry for undergraduates.

    All students must demonstrate proficiency in Organic Chemistry. All students will take this placement exam at least one week before the first semester. A score of greater than or equal to 70% is required. Students that do not meet this level of proficiency must meet one of the following three criteria to continue in the program:
  1. take as one of their electives, BMED 625 ‘Drug Synthesis’ and achieve a grade ‘B’ or better,
  2. retake the ACS Standardized exam in Organic Chemistry by July 1 of their first year in the program and pass at 70% or better, or
  3. pass an oral comprehensive exam in organic chemistry administered by no less than two of the Medicinal Chemistry faculty.
  • Successful completion of at least 60 graduate semester credits.
  • Completion of core curriculum with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students receiving grades of "C" or lower in two or more core classes will not be permitted to continue in the program.
  • Successful completion of the lab component in BMED 621 and BMED 622 with combined lab report and qualitative grades of "B" or better.
  • Pass 4 of 7 written cumulative exams by the end of the 4th semester in residence.
  • Successful defense of a written/oral out of field qualifying exam.
  • Three seminar presentations and three written research reports in BMED 627.
  • One department research presentation in the semester following completion of the cumulative exam requirement.
  • Adequate progress in research as defined by grades in research courses, research reports, activity at professional meetings, and patents/publications. At least one peer-reviewed manuscript or provisional patent must be submitted prior to the Ph.D. defense.
  • Completion and defense of the Ph.D. dissertation.

 

Course of Study:

The Medicinal Chemistry Ph.D. degree typically takes four and a half to five years of research training and education in which students concentrate on course work in the first two years.   Core classes include lecture style courses (e.g., BMED 615, BMED 623), lecture and laboratory learning (e.g, BMED 621, 622), seminars (attend and present), workshops, and professional development (e.g., BMED 627).  Professional Development (BMED 627; taken thrice) will educate students in oral/written scientific presentations, scientific software, teaching methods and models, modern research methods, scientific ethics, intellectual property & patents, entrepreneurial endeavors, small business opportunities (SBIR), grant writing, collaborations, safety/chemical handling/hazardous disposal, chemical hygiene, job preparation, and animal and human subjects (inclHEPA). 

Course Requirements:

The following core courses are required of all students in the Ph.D. program:

BMED 615

Molecular Pharmacology

cr.

BMED 621

Drug Design, Development and Discovery + Lab

cr.

BMED 622

Drug Pharmacodynamics - Drug Receptor Interactions + Lab

cr.

BMED 623

Drug Diversity and Target - Oriented Synthesis

cr.

BMED 627*

Professional Development - Medicinal Chemistry

cr.

*    Course will be taken for three semesters (content varies) for a total of 3 credits.

 

Students will take at least three of the following courses, according to research interest:

BIOC 581

Physical Biochemistry

cr.

BIOC 582

Peptides and Proteins

cr.

BIOC 588

Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics

cr.

BMED 600

Advanced Cellular Biochemistry

cr.

BMED 624

Special Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

cr.

BMED 625

Drug Synthesis

cr.

BMED 641

Toxicology I – Principles of Toxicology

cr.

BMED 642

Toxicology II – Toxic Agents

cr.

BMED 661

Neuroscience I

cr.

BMED 662

Neuroscience II

cr.

CHEM 562

Organic Structure and Mechanism

cr.

CHEM 563

Organic Synthesis

cr.

COMP 458

Introduction to Bioinformatics

cr.

The following are examples of additional elective courses available to meet student interests:

BMED 610

Neuropharmacology

cr.

BMED 630

Pharmacogenetics

cr.

BMED 643

Cellular and Molecular Toxicology

cr.

BMED 646

Neurotoxicology

cr.

CHEM 581

Chemical Biology

cr.

Research, Thesis, and Dissertation credits

BMED 697*

Research (PhD)

1-9 cr.

BMED 699*

Dissertation (PhD)

1-9 cr.

* Up to 30 credits total

Course descriptions can be found in the online University of Montana Catalog at http://www.umt.edu/catalog/pharmacy.htm.

 

 M.S. Program in Medicinal Chemistry

Degree requirements:

  • 50% or higher for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Subject Exam in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB).

    All students must attain a 50% or higher on the BCMB GRE by July 1 of their first year in residence to continue in the program. Students scoring less than 33% on the BCMB GRE are not admitted. Students scoring from 33% to 49% on the GRE BCMB will be required to take BMED 600 (Advanced Cellular Biochemistry; 3 cr.) or an equivalent biochemistry course in year 1 of the program, and must receive a grade of ‘B’ or better as well as retake the GRE Subject Exam with a passing grade greater than or equal to 50%. Students may retake the BCMB test at any time in year one.

    Students attaining greater than or equal to 50% prior to program entry achieve a passing level and are excluded from retaking the BCMB GRE exam and taking BMED 600 (or equivalent course);

     
  • Greater than or equal to 70% for the American Chemical Society (ACS) exam in organic chemistry for undergraduates.

    All students must demonstrate proficiency in Organic Chemistry. All students will take this placement exam at least one week before the start of the first semester. A score of 70% or greater is required. Students that do not meet this level of proficiency must meet one of the following three criteria to continue in the program:
  1. take as one of their electives, BMED 625 ‘Drug Synthesis’ with a grade of ‘B’ or better,
  2. retake the ACS Standardized exam in Organic Chemistry by July 1 of their first year in the program and pass at 70% or better, or
  3. pass an oral comprehensive exam in organic chemistry administered by no less than two of the Medicinal Chemistry faculty.
  • Successful completion of at least 30 graduate semester credits.
  • Completion of core curriculum with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Successful completion of the lab component in BMED 621 and BMED 622 with combined lab report and qualitative grades of ‘C‘ or better.
  • Three seminar presentations and three written research reports in BMED 627.   
  • One department research presentation in the semester following completion of the cumulative exam requirement.
  • Adequate progress in research as defined by grades in research courses and patents/publications. At least one peer-reviewed manuscript or provisional patent must be submitted prior to the M.S. defense.
  • Completion and defense of the M.S. thesis.

 

Course of Study:

M.S. degree training typically consists of one year of course work and one to two additional years of research leading to the completion and defense of the thesis. Core classes include lecture style courses (e.g., BMED 615, BMED 623), lecture and laboratory learning (e.g., BMED 621, 622), seminars (attend and present), workshops, and professional development (e.g., BMED 627).  Professional Development (BMED 627; taken thrice) will educate students in oral/written scientific presentations, scientific software, teaching methods and models, modern research methods, scientific ethics, intellectual property & patents, entrepreneurial endeavors, small business opportunities (SBIR), grant writing, collaborations, safety/chemical handling/hazardous disposal, chemical hygiene, job preparation, and animal and human subjects (inclHEPA). 

Course Requirements:

The following core courses are required of all students in the M.S. program:

BMED 615

Molecular Pharmacology

cr.

BMED 621

Drug Design, Development and Discovery + Lab

cr.

BMED 622

Drug Pharmacodynamics - Drug Receptor Interactions + Lab

cr.

BMED 623

Drug Diversity and Target - Oriented Synthesis

cr.

BMED 627*

Professional Development - Medicinal Chemistry

cr.

*    Course will be taken for three semesters (content varies) for a total of 3 credits.

 

Students will take at least two of the following courses, according to research interest:

BIOC 581

Physical Biochemistry

cr.

BIOC 582

Peptides and Proteins

cr.

BIOC 588

Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics

cr.

BMED 600

Advanced Cellular Biochemistry

cr.

BMED 624

Special Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

cr.

BMED 625

Drug Synthesis

cr.

BMED 641

Toxicology I – Principles of Toxicology

cr.

BMED 642

Toxicology II – Toxic Agents

cr.

BMED 661

Neuroscience I

cr.

BMED 662

Neuroscience II

cr.

CHEM 562

Organic Structure and Mechanism

cr.

CHEM 563

Organic Synthesis

cr.

COMP 458

Introduction to Bioinformatics

cr.

The following are examples of additional elective courses available to meet student interests:

BMED 610

Neuropharmacology

cr.

BMED 630

Pharmacogenetics

cr.

BMED 643

Cellular and Molecular Toxicology

cr.

BMED 646

Neurotoxicology

cr.

CHEM 581

Chemical Biology

cr.

Research, Thesis, and Dissertation credits:

BMED 597*

Research (MS)

1-9 cr.

BMED 599*

Thesis (MS)

1-9 cr.

* Up to 10 credits total

Course description can be found in the online University of Montana Catalog at http://www.umt.edu/catalog/pharmacy.htm

The University of Montana-Missoula
The Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
32 Campus Drive, Skaggs 395
Missoula, MT 59812-1552
Phone 406.243.4767 Fax: 406.243.5228
Email: biomed@umontana.edu

glqxz9283 sfy39587p06