Drug Discovery and Development for Global Health

Introduction to Small Molecule Drug Discovery and Development

H3D Foundation have partnered with Merck and the H3D Centre to produce a Massive Open Online Course hosted on the Coursera platform.  

Join Dr Susan Winks and experts in the field of Drug Discovery and Development, on this exciting four-week online Coursera course, in which we will take a high-level tour of what it takes to research and develop a new drug. In this course we explore the different stages of discovery and development, and different tools and technologies that are influencing how we think about new medicines.

This course is relevant for students and scientists who are new to drug discovery research or already have some experience, or anyone who is interested in knowing what has to happen to ensure that new medicines are effective and safe.

Behind the Scenes


Course LOs
1. Recognise unmet medical needs as the starting point for drug discovery and development, and the importance of the African context and clinical setting.
2. Obtain a high-level appreciation of the health innovation value chain in drug discovery and development, the role players, the sources of potential new drugs and the various approaches to
drug discovery and screening, and how academia and industry may differ in their priorities and approaches.
3. Understand the value of target product profiles as guidelines for successful medicinal products and recognise some of the challenges associated with development of new drugs.
4. Appreciate the role of the medicinal chemist as the ‘conductor of the drug discovery orchestra’ and how, guided by the screening cascade, it takes many rounds of optimisation to balance the
physicochemical and biological properties of potential new medicines.
5. Understand the role of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) in determining how in vivo efficacy may be achieved in a disease model, with reference to appropriate absorption, distribution,
metabolism and excretion (ADME) parameters.
6. Understand the importance of preclinical toxicity studies in drug development and the minimum safety requirements prior to embarking in clinical trials.
7. Appreciate the intricacies and challenges of successful clinical trial management, from submission to approval, the dynamics around conducting a clinical trial, and informed consent.
8. An awareness of contemporary issues in drug discovery, from animal testing and welfare to new technologies that are changing the landscape of drug discovery and development, such as artificial

How do I Sign Up?
1) Create an account on Coursera by going to this link: https://www.coursera.org You will be asked for your full name, email address and a password. Once you have completed these details, navigate to the course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/drug-discovery-development.
2) You will be offered two options — to pay for a certificate (purchase the course) or to enrol for the full course with no certificate (taking the course for free). If you want to earn a certificate of completion, you need to either pay using an electronic payment method, or apply for financial aid for a fee waiver.
3) Then you can proceed to the course and start learning.

Our drug discovery webinars are hosted by the H3D Foundation.

These webinars are driven by our passion for pioneering drug discovery and development in Africa and feature world-class scientific leaders from around the globe and leading H3D scientists and project managers. These presentations are produced in collaboration with University of Cape Town (UCT), and further serve to educate and prepare South Africa's current and future scientific experts to continue making a significant global impact and compete internationally for world-class funding and collaborations.

We are passionate about scientific exchange and seek to both learn from the great minds we interact with as well as elevate the scientific capabilities of all those we come in contact with; wherever and whenever possible.

View H3D Foundation YouTube Channel



If you are interested in collaborating for a future webinar presentation, we would love to hear from you. Contact us for more information.

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