Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences: Drug & Target Discovery, 2017-2018

Drug & Target Discovery is a specialisation of the Master’s programme Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences of Leiden University. Drug & Target Discovery offers scientific training on and hands-on experience with a range of state-of-the-art techniques, required for the discovery and characterization of novel drug targets and the synthesis and optimization of new drugs.

To effectively design new drugs, understanding the mechanism by which potential drug targets affect the development and progression of disease at the molecular level is essential. The cluster unravels these mechanisms, particularly in the area of (breast) cancer metastasis, drug resistance and drug safety. After screening of candidate drug targets using a ‘systems microscopy’ approach, promising targets are evaluated in clinically relevant models and patient material, in close collaboration with clinical centers.

The cluster is also working on the design, synthesis and evaluation of new compounds that modulate G protein-coupled receptor activity (GPCRs). Essential is that these compounds meet specific requirements that enable them to work effectively as medicinal agents. To this end, a ‘chemical biology’ approach is pursued in which synthetic chemistry, new developments in bio- and cheminformatics, biochemistry/molecular biology and pharmacology are combined. Finally, the interaction with their targets is modelled and evaluated at atomic resolution for a more rational approach of drug design.

First and Second Year

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Course Schedules are published on Blackboard. An overview of Exam Dates as well as Class numbers for enrolling for courses and exams in uSis can be obtained here

General outline of the MSc programme of the research track Drug & Target Discovery:

Level EC
Introduction Course Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences: Drug & Target Discovery 500 5
Research project 1, at the cluster Drug & Target Discovery
- practical work 600 44
- thesis 600 5
- oral presentation 600 2
Research project 2, (preferably in another discipline of BPS, not restricted to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences)
- practical work 600 31
- thesis 600 5
Literature study plus thesis 500 7
Lecture series 1 (in BPS) 500 4
Course Scientific Conduct 500 1
20 Colloquium points 500 1
Optional courses or traineeships 400–600 (max 12 EC < 400) 15

Attending more than one lecture series of BPS is optional and may be part of the programme component ‘Optional courses’.