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Medicinal Chemistry - Facilities & Resources

Health Sciences Building Departmental Facilities

Since 1994 the Department of Medicinal Chemistry has been located in the I-Court and the new section of the H-Wing of the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center on the University of Washington campus (see our Map & Directions page). To search our directory of current Faculty, Staff and Students see our Directory page.

The Department is exceptionally well equipped with state-of-the-art research instrumentation, notably in the areas of mass spectrometry (MS), biophysical methods, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and students are provided with ready access to these facilities throughout their tenure in the graduate program. There are approximately 10,000 square feet of laboratory and office space; also a number of instrumentation labs, shared with the Department of Pharmaceutics, which include scintillation counters, centrifuges, spectrophotometers, and tissue-culture. In addition to standard lab equipment the Department's labs contain a number of chromatography systems and computer systems, which include high performance computational clusters.

Mass Spectrometry Center

The Mass Spectrometry Center, a major instrument laboratory, is a self-sustaining enterprise that is financed by recharge for services. Its mission is to serve as a resource for a wide variety of mass spectral technologies for the University of Washington and the research community at large. The specific goals of the Center are twofold. The first is educational, in which students and faculty are offered "hands-on" training in the use of the Center's instrumentation and instruction in the application of mass spectral techniques for the detection, identification and quantification of biologically important materials in an open and problem solving environment. The second is to make available a readily accessible "state-of-the-art" resource to support and enhance the research efforts of the faculty.

Instruments presently available to investigators in the Center include a variety of high performance quadrupole and time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometers providing for the five following types of analyses:

1. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of thermally stable volatile compounds using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) using classical ionization techniques, electron (EI) and chemical ionization (CI).

2. The analysis of thermally-labile, polar and high molecular weight materials intractable to GC-MS by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) using the atmospheric pressure ionization (API) techniques, electrospray (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APcI), or by dispersal in a crystal lattice using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI).

3. The characterization and quantification of xenobiotic and endogenous materials from complex biological matrices by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and/or MALDI-post source decay (MALDI-PSD).

4. The LC-MS, LC-MS/MS and/or MALDI, MALDI-PSD analysis of proteins and protein digests.

5. The determination of empirical formula by high resolution accurate mass measurement (HRMS).

Analytical Biopharmacy Core

The Analytical Biopharmacy Core serves the general research community at UW, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and regional biotechnology companies on a cost-per-use basis. This resource, which is administered within the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, provides biophysical instrumentation and expertise for the characterization of molecular interactions between biotherapeutic molecules and their receptors, metabolites, delivery vehicles, or any relevant biological components. The specific aims for the Center include development of delivery platforms that enhance the efficiency of therapeutic proteins, peptides, and siRNA to reach the cytosoic compartment of cells. The biophysical core facility provides analytical expertise in several state-of-the-art biophysical methods including analytical ultracentrifugation, surface plasmon resonance, differential scanning calorimetry, and isothermal titrating calorimetry. Interested labs can submit samples for Core scientists to run. The Core also provides training to CIDB and UW students and staff. The Core is funded through the Center for Intracellular Delivery of Biologics (CIDB), which is administered in the Department of Bioengineering.

NMR Spectroscopy

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry houses a 3 channel Varian Inova 500 (500 MHz) spectrometer, which comes equipped with z-axis pulse field gradients (PFGs) and several sets of probes including a 5 mm broadband multinuclear probe, a tunable 1H-inverse detect probe, a 5mm HCN z-axis PFG triple resonance probe (1H S/N Ž 800:1), and a 3 mm HCN z-axis PFG triple resonance probe. The primary function of this NMR instrument is to train graduate students in the use of the most up-to-date multidimensional, multinuclear NMR techniques for studying the structure and dynamics of drugs, proteins, or macromolecular complexes. This structural and dynamical information can then be used as part of a structure-aided program to drug design.