Graduate Studies

PhD in Medicinal Biochemistry

Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Program

The course work for the PhD in Medicinal Biochemistry involves a novel approach that features a three-module sequence of coursework. These modules encompass the biochemistry of drug action, the design and synthesis of drugs, and the characterization and analysis of drugs and the biochemical processes they affect. This PhD program prepares graduate students for interdisciplinary careers in industry and academia in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields.  

Students take all courses from Modules 1 and 2, plus three courses from Module 3, for a total of eight courses. The first module (Biochemical Foundation) includes three advanced biochemistry courses (beyond grad level introductory) including Enzyme Mechanisms, Receptor Biochemistry, and Nucleic Acid Biochemistry. This lays the biochemistry foundation necessary for the broader view taken in the later curriculum. The second module (Biochemical Basis of Drug Design and Drug Action) includes two courses, Advanced Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemical Pharmacology, and will lay the path toward a student’s specialization in the field of medicinal biochemistry. The third module (Applications of Medicinal Biochemistry, 3 courses) allows students to focus their studies along several possible tracks of specialization These courses are designed to fit within the context of the medicinal biochemistry curriculum.  For example, the organic synthesis course in the medicinal biochemistry curriculum will focus on subjects that are relevant for drug discovery, such as asymmetric synthesis and the synthesis of heterocycles and pharmaceutical lead compounds. Course selections within each module are given below:

Module 1: Biochemical Foundation (3 courses; 3 credits each) 
Enzyme Mechanisms 
Receptor Biochemistry 
Nucleic Acid Biochemistry

Module 2: Biochemical Basis of Drug Design and Drug Action (2 courses, 3 credits each) 
Advanced Medicinal Chemistry 
Biochemical Pharmacology

Module 3: Applications of Medicinal Biochemistry - Three tracks (3 courses, 3 credits each)
Physical Organic Chemistry 
Synthetic Organic Chemistry 
Computational Chemistry 
Drug Metabolism and Pharmacogenetics 
Bioanalytical Chemistry 
Spectroscopy of Biomolecules 
Advanced Physical Chemistry 
Other relevant courses offered through the Graduate School at UNCG

 Tracks :
  • Synthetic Organic
  • Computational
  • Bioanalytical/Natural Products