Our Department

A collage featuring the Medicinal Chemistry Department
From top left: 1) PhD student Ehfaz Haque presenting research, 2) a figure from the Wagner Lab's research, 3) faculty having dinner with guest speaker Dr. Andreas Plückthun, 4) PhD students Julia Lee, Katelyn Stevens, and Grant Birkbigler participating in a UMN charity run, 5) PhD students Mckenzie Wyllie and Laura Hirsch doing a laboratory demonstration at a local high school, 6) the Steam Team, a department outreach group, at Thomas Edison High School, 7) a figure from the Haskell-Luevano Lab's research, and 8) a swag bag from the student organized MIKIW conference, held in Minneapolis in 2023

Our Department

Our Department consists of a diverse group of faculty members, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and staff working at the interface of chemistry and biology. 

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is home to the Editorial Offices of the ACS Infectious Diseases. It was previously home to the editorial offices of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

We are part of the College of Pharmacy and University Health Sciences, which house nationally and internationally acclaimed programs in the areas of biochemistry, neuroscience, pharmacology, virology, immunology, cancer biology, structural biology, and drug delivery.

The University of Minnesota has one of the largest Academic Health Centers in the United States, and the Department of Medicinal Chemistry is proud to contribute to its success.

Our Graduate Program has been awarding PhD degrees to students for over seventy-five years and has a long and distinguished history of being among the top medicinal chemistry programs in the country.

Offices & Labs for the Department of Medicinal Chemistry can be found in CCRB, Weaver-Densford Hall, and 717 Delaware St.

What We Do

Our research and practice focuses on:

  • Design and synthesis of new medicinal agents
  • Development of new concepts for the design of selectively acting ligands
  • Improvement of existing drugs by molecular modification
  • Structure elucidation of biologically active natural products
  • Physicochemical and theoretical studies on drugs and macromolecules
  • Investigations of the effects of molecular structure on the distribution, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicity of biologically active substances
  • Application of the basic principles of chemistry and molecular biology to the development and production of therapeutics from natural sources
Expertise & Outcomes

A defining feature of our department are our faculty's incredibly diverse and highly specialized research interests.

Many are considered subject matter experts in their discipline and their interdisciplinary cutting-edge research changes lives.

This also affords our students a solid foundation from which to develop and explore their own scientific and professional interests, both in the classroom and in the laboratory.

Our students leave well prepared for the evolving multidisciplinary research of the pharmaceutical industry and academia.