Drug Discovery Mission

Course logo consisting of three hexagons with the title Drug Discovery Mission. Within the hexagons are a benzene ring, a red drug capsule and a virus.

Drug Discovery Mission (DDM) is designed as an interactive tool to understand the processes involved in drug discovery. Drug discovery is a highly collaborative process that utilises scientists from all disciplines. Without this multi-disciplinary approach, it would not be possible for drugs to make it to market. DDM will ask you to step outside of your comfort zone by exposing you to all aspects of the pre-clinical drug discovery process.

Despite the drug discovery process taking ~15 years from idea to market, the DDM will ask you to cover most of this process in one week. By embedding yourself into a team of drug discovery scientists, you will be asked to find a cure/treatment for a neglected tropical disease of WCAIR’s choosing. In order to succeed, you must work as a team to make critical analytical decisions and make conclusions on data presented to you.

DDM is comprised of talks and workshops. Topics included:
• Target product profiles and its role in unifying team goals
• Drug target interactions and how to design this into compounds
• Physiochemical properties and guidelines to succeed in drug discovery
• In vitro drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) and associated data
• Linking in vivo data to compound design
• Toxicity in drug discovery

DDM is only available to countries that meet the Wellcome criteria for low- and middle-income countries. WCAIR welcome applicants who are PhD and early-stage researchers working in the field of chemistry/medicinal chemistry, based at Ribeirão Preto (University of São Paulo), Brazil.