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

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.

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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.

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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.

Congratulations to our former graduate student Dr. Cliff Csizmar (Wagner lab, 2018 Ph.D) who has been selected by the Medical School Honors and Awards Committee to receive the 2019 J. Jacob Kaplan Award! This award is presented to only three students annually for the most meritorious papers on clinical or basic medical research. Awardees will be recognized at the Dean’s Tribute to Excellence in Education at the McNamara Alumni Center on May 2nd, 2019. 

Congratulations to four of our graduate students who have been recognized by the National Science Foundation for their applications to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program! Brandi McKnight (Doran lab) and Katherine Jones (Harki Lab, Chemistry) both received the 2019 GRFP award and Caroline Buchholz (Pomerantz lab) and Nicole Bentz (Wagner lab) received honorable mentions for their applications. 

Congratulations to Dr. Daniel Harki who was awarded a 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grant! This grant is aimed at providing new treatment options for cancers with high unmet medical needs, encouraging innovation into the development of novel drugs, and fostering collaborations between academic groups and the pharmaceutical industry. 

Congratulations to Drs. Philip Portoghese and Eyup Akgun, who were granted a patent in 2018 for their invention that provides analgesic conjugates useful for treating inflammatory pain associated with conditions like cancer, serious burns, and spinal injury.  Click here to view their patent, "Highly Potent Analgesics for Inflammatory Pain."


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: Sara Coulup

 Graduate student Sara Coulup receives a plaque at the 2018 MIKI meeting for winning the Best Oral Presentation AwardSara Coulup wins the best oral presentation at MIKI 2018.

Student Spotlight: Alex Strom