Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery - Courses - Introduction to Drug Discovery Research
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Introduction to Drug Discovery Research (ME:200.704)

This course introduces various aspects of the drug discovery process including target identification, medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo drug screening methods, pharmacokinetics, drug safety, intellectual property, and biologics. The last two lectures are devoted to case studies in which discovery of particular drugs will be discussed in detail to provide further insights into the process of drug discovery research.  Each lecture is given by an expert on the given subject with many years of translational research experience.  Students will gain a broad practical knowledge of drug discovery research base that will allow them to prepare for a career in pharmaceutical research or basic medical science with implications for novel therapeutics.

Introduction to Drug Discovery Research (ME:200.704)

Spring 2024

Course Director: Takashi Tsukamoto ([email protected])

Location: Rangos Building Room 590

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Dates: Every Friday 1/5/2024-4/26/2024

Blackboard will be used to communicate with students, share course materials, make announcements, and post grades.  Grades will be determined by class participation (1/3), Mid-term Exam (1/3), and Final Exam (1/3).

Prerequisite: No prior knowledge in drug discovery is required.  This course is recommended for students in the 2nd or subsequent years of their graduate program.  Please contact Dr. Takashi Tsukamoto ([email protected]) for more information.

Topic Lecturer
1/5 Introduction Takashi Tsukamoto
1/12 Drug-like properties and druggable targets Takashi Tsukamoto
1/19 in vitro Pharmacology I Takashi Tsukamoto
1/26 Pharmacokinetics I Rana Rais
2/2 Pharmacokinetics II Takashi Tsukamoto
2/9 Drug Safety Adaline Smith (Ironwood Pharmaceuticals)
2/16 in vitro Pharmacology II Fabian Vincent (Pfizer)
2/23 Midterm Exam
3/1 in vivo Pharmacology Diane Peters
3/8 Intellectual Property Jeff Childers (Casimir Jones)
3/15 Lead Optimization Takashi Tsukamoto
3/22 Spring Break
 3/29 Case Study I: Sitagliptin Jim Barrow
 4/5 Vaccines Moiz Kitabwalla and Melinda Hutton (GSK Vaccines)
 4/12 Biologics TBD (AstraZeneca)
 4/19 Case Study II: Durvalumab Scott Hammond (AstraZeneca)
4/26  Final Exam

Important information for students with disabilities: All students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course should contact Kristina Nance ([email protected] or 410-614-3385) at their earliest convenience to discuss their specific needs. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.


Can I audit the course? Yes, you can audit the course.  You still need to register to the course as an auditor.

I will not be able to attend some lectures due to my schedule.  Would this have any impact in my participation grade?  No, missing a few lectures would not negatively affect your participation grade.

What should I do if I have a scheduling conflict with the exam date?  Midterm and/or final exam can be moved to another date for students with schedule conflicts.

I am a postdoc.  Can I take the course?  Yes, postdocs are allowed to take this course (free of charge) for credit or as auditors.  GradStdDsk ([email protected]) can walk you through the registration process.