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Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Conducting research in drug metabolism, bio-analytical chemistry and the biophysical characterization of viral protein assembly

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is part of 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.


To provide an outstanding learning and research environment by cultivating a collegial, inclusive, and interdisciplinary community. This community shares an intellectual passion for the fundamental molecular sciences that explain disease and therapeutic mechanisms, drug design and drug development. The Medicinal Chemistry departmental mission is focused on training leaders in all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences including clinical practice, basic research, and teaching.

Pharmacological Sciences Training Program Supported by the NIH

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.


Latest Department News

Alex Wiley Named 2023-2024 Magnuson Scholar

Alex Wiley

UW’s Board of Health Sciences Deans announced this week that fourth-year UWSOP Medicinal Chemistry student Alex Wiley has been named a 2023-2024 Magnuson Scholar. She is one of 7 awardees honored this year for both…

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