Drug Discovery: A Beginner’s Guide

Drug Discovery: A Beginner’s Guide is an online course designed to give professionals working in all kinds of sectors, a flavour of what medicines are and how they are “discovered”.

The WCAIR teaching team consisted of Dr Lauren Webster and Dr Erika Pinto

The WCAIR training team were asked by Ersilia, a tech non-profit company, to deliver a course for their incoming, current, and future interns working in data science.  Ersilia’s mission is to equip hospitals, universities, and laboratories with data science tools for infectious and neglected disease research.

Drug discovery is a highly collaborative field, bringing together different scientific sectors to deliver a new medicine.  Where and how a scientist engages with the drug discovery process can be a bit of a mystery.  WCAIR aimed to bridge the gap between scientists’ understanding of their discipline and how their role fits in with drug discovery.  This would equip the scientist with the skills to contribute more to the background and the progression of the data they generate.

WCAIR delivered a 4-week introductory course, online via Teams, to 20 participants spanning 19 countries from 4 continents.  This course was available to the Ersilia cohort as well as the general scientific community.  The course began with addressing “What is a medicine?” followed by how that medicine is designed, made and tested in a field known as “drug discovery”.  This was followed by sessions on “Who are the scientists involved?”, “Why is there still a need for animals in research?”, and “Can anyone do drug discovery?”  Through a series of interactive talks, WCAIR walked participants through the journey and perhaps even convinced some to delve further into drug discovery!

WCAIR would like to thank all participants for their enthusiasm, engagement and all the questions!

Drug Discovery: A Beginner’s Guide will be running in 2024.  Please check with the WCAIR website for information.