RESEARCH CLUSTERS AND ACCOMPLISHMENT
a. Medicinal Chemistry Group
- Prof. O. O. Ajani
- Prof. J. A. O. Olugbuyiro
- Dr. C. O. Ajanaku
- Dr. I. O. Olanrewaju
Research Focus: Medicinal Chemistry is a multifaceted discipline that encompasses synthetic organic, natural products chemistry, enzymology, chemical biology, structural biology and computational methods, allof which are aimed at the discovery and development of new therapeutic agents. Medicinal Chemistry is by nature an interdisciplinary science and practitioners have a strong background in organic Chemistry, coupled with a broad understanding of biological concepts related to cellular drug targets. Scientists in the field are well positioned to work as part of an interdisciplinary team that uses chemical structural principles to design effective drugs and diagnostic agents.
Relevance: The pharmaceutical industry continues to deal with challenges to improve productivity in getting new drugs to market. Industrialization of drug discovery greatly increased the capacity of companies to screen new compounds, thereby increasing demand for lead-like compounds beyond the capacities of organic and medicinal chemistry departments to respond. The advent of combinatorial chemistry satisfied the demand for more compounds, but overall results in terms of productivity remained disappointing. Based on experience with combinatorial chemistry, pharmaceutical companies have evolved new strategies and methods for increasing the quality, and not just the quantity of their compound libraries. Improvements have been made in downstream hit-to-lead and lead optimization as well.