Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry structures

Medicinal Chemistry at the U of M

Department of Medicinal Chemistry Faculty work with diverse graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers at the interface of Chemistry and Biology.  Learn more

Mission of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry

  • Education and training of scientists of the highest caliber

  • Providing future pharmacy practitioners with the basis for understanding the relationship between molecular structure and the therapeutic, dispositional, and toxicological aspects of drug action

  • Improvement of human health through chemical and biological research

PhD Graduate Program

A diverse education in chemistry and biology that prepares students for the evolving multidisciplinary research of the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

Medicinal Chemistry

Students on CampusMedicinal Chemistry is a dynamic, multifaceted scientific discipline that is dedicated to the improvement of human health through research that leads to the design and development of safe and effective therapeutic, diagnostic, and environmental agents.

Read more about the Department

Research Areas

Medicinal Chemistry professor and student

Biosafety/ biosecurity, cancer and neurological drug discovery, chemical neuroscience, chemoprevention and carcinogenesis, combinatorial biosynthesis, computer-aided drug design, drug metabolism, gene therapy, high-throughput screening, immunology, NMR, non-hormonal contraception, peptidomimetics and X-ray crystallography.

Read more about our research

Faculty Spotlight: Courtney Aldrich

courtney aldrichDr. Aldrich received a $3.8 million NIH grant for the project "Siderophore Inhibitors for Tuberculosis that Block Mycobactin Biosynthesis" on which he is the sole PI.  Also, his collaborative research was the focus of a LA times article.

Faculty Spotlight: Natalia Tretyakova

Tretyakova Research GroupDr. Natalia Tretyakova has been named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor.

Faculty Spotlight: Gunda Georg

Dr. Gunda GeorgDr. Gunda Georg’s research towards male contraceptives was featured on several broadcast news outlets including the front page of the Star Tribune.

Research in ITDDInstitute for Therapeutics Discovery & Development

The ITDD carries out interdisciplinary research, helps educate the next generation of scientists, and enhances the biomedical research infrastructure by creating opportunities for drug discovery and early pre-clinical drug development.

Four of our Medicinal Chemistry graduate students were recently annouced as winners of the Outstanding TA Award from the College of Pharmacy! Students Abhishek Kulkarni, Bill McCue, Connor McDermott, and Nick Weirath were all honored for Spring 2020. 

Dr. Leigh Allen Headshot

Congratulations to Dr. Leigh Allen, Assistant to the Department Head, for her election to the Academic Professionals and Administrators (P&A) Senate as an alternate Senator.  The P&A Senate is an elected body that represents and acts on behalf of around 6,500 P&As at the University, enabling participation in the University's Governance. Dr. Allen will serve as an alternate Senator representing the College of Pharmacy from July 1, 2020–June 30, 2023.

ACS Webinar Graphic

Join Drs. Jonathan Lai (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Raymond Forslund (Syner-G), and our own Courtney Aldrich as moderator as they discuss the scientific aspects of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion will include an overview of the virus and therapeutic strategies regarding vaccines, antivirals, serum strategies, and timelines, as well as an understanding of why has this become a pandemic.

Headshot of Caitlin Boley

Congratulations to our Graduate Program Coordinator Caitlin Boley who was selected to serve as Co-Chair for the Graduate Program Coordinators Network (GPCN) Leadership Committee! The GPCN is a forum that allows GPCs to better communicate across decentralized campuses and facilitates the sharing of best practices, knowledge, and skill development.  


Researcher at Biomedical Discovery District
Research Facilities

Make use of the Department's over 50,000 square feet of modern research laboratory space located within the Academic Health Center and the Biomedical Discovery District.  Read more about our instrumentation, laboratories, facilities and faculty research


Student Spotlight: Anand Divakaran

 Graduate Student Anand DivakaranGraduate Student Anand Divakaran of the Pomerantz Laboratory received a 2020-21 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Student Spotlight: Connor McDermott

Connor McDermott Connor McDermott Received a Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) Program Certification from the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI).