Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Chemistry
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Andrea Robinson (Clayton); Dr Barbie Panther (Gippsland)


This unit focuses on several major classes of biologically and clinically important therapeutic agents. Students will study the traditional use, isolation, structural characterisation, synthesis and clinical evaluation of drugs and also be exposed to newer crystallographic, computational, combinatorial and screening methodology used in drug design and development. The subject will consist of three inter-related sections:

  1. drug discovery and development,
  2. molecular recognition and
  3. combinatorial chemistry and the synthesis of biological polymers. Where appropriate, guest speakers from industry and government agencies will contribute to the subject.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand traditional and modern methods used for drug discovery;

  1. Understand how molecules interact at the molecular level and how this relates to the activity of drugs;

  1. Demonstrate how crystallography and computational methods are used for drug development;

  1. Describe how combinatorial chemistry can be used in drug discovery, with particular reference to biological polymers;

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of reaction mechanisms and how they can aid in understanding the mode of action of a drug;

  1. Demonstrate practical skills through the practice of chemical synthesis in a laboratory;

  1. Demonstrate the capacity to work in small research groups, to solve problems and communicate science in both written and oral forms.


Examination (2 hours): 40%
Mid-semester test (40 mins): 20%
Seminar/assignments: 10%
Laboratory work and short laboratory reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of three hours of laboratory activity per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


CHM2911 or CHM2762. Students who have not completed and passed one of these units should consult the third year coordinator.