The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is part the highly collaborative, interdisciplinary School of Pharmacy. Medicinal Chemistry is a discipline with a traditional focus on organic synthetic chemistry with the broad goals of drug discovery and optimization. The Department of Medicinal Chemistry has always departed somewhat from this tradition given the focus of many of its faculty on the research areas of mechanistic drug metabolism, toxicology, and bioanalytical chemistry.
Research in medicinal chemistry encompasses a broad spectrum of activities including studies pursuant to investigations of the interaction of both drugs and toxic substances with biological systems, and the relationship of chemical structure and dynamics to biological effect and function.
In recent years research activities in the Department have been broadened further by the addition of several faculty members with expertise in the areas of biological mass spectrometry and biophysical virology. The Graduate Program in Medicinal Chemistry regularly collaborates with the broader University of Washington research community and the considerable biotechnology community in Seattle, to lead many aspects of research in the fields of drug metabolism and disposition, drug design and delivery, and disease mechanism.