So, why study chemistry?
Chemistry describes how substances interact
with one another. It is the fundamental science
behind biology, pharmacology and all of the
other life sciences.
Over the duration of this course, we’re
going to be looking at how this will then
impact the medicinal sciences. And we’re
going to be looking at some elements of medicinal
Indeed the importance of chemistry itself
cannot be understated. So it is a fundamental
science into which medicinal chemistry is
So, for example, without a knowledge of chemistry
you may be able to learn what happens but
you will not necessarily understand why. And
if we look at the application of chemistry
to medicine even across the board, everything
from salicylic acid, inactivation of cyclooxygenase,
all the way up to HIV-1 protease inhibition
by ritonavir, you can see that small molecules
chemistry is by and large the most important
element of chemistry in the context of medicine.
There are of course some exceptions, the exceptions
being the biologics such as the more recent
ZMapp 3 monoclonal antibody treatment for
Ebola. But equally more reported in the last
couple of years was the Niemann-Pick 1 inhibitor,
which is actually a small-molecule derivative.
So chemistry itself is very important in the
context of medicine.
In these lectures, which form parts of the
course as a whole, we will see how an atom
is made up, how they come together and how
they interact with each other.