Small Molecule Anti-Viral Drug Development

By Donald Bergstrom

Purdue University

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This module allows students to explore the drug discovery process by allowing them to design, build, and test a potential anti-viral drug candidate. Students will first learn and perform organic synthesis reactions such as nucleophilic substitution and 2+3 cycloaddition (‘click’ reaction), while tracking reaction processes by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Analytical techniques utilized for identification of products include infrared spectroscopy and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Students will then apply the learned techniques to design a novel experiment in which they will develop their own molecules. Students will select four precursors (two alkynes and two alkyl halides) from a provided list, and assess the feasibility of each potential drug candidate by applying the Lipinski Rule of Five.