Chemistry 216 Medicinal Chemistry: Anti-Cancer Drugs

Instructor: Prof. John Wolfe


This course is a research-based second-semester organic chemistry laboratory class that builds off of the skills gained in the Chem 211 lab, and the knowledge gained previously in Chem 210 and concurrently in Chem 215. Students will carry out a multi-step synthesis of derivatives of a molecule that has been recently shown to exhibit potentially useful anti-cancer activity, with the goal of preparing analogs that have superior biological activities. These derivatives will be tested for their biological activity, and the results of these studies will be used to guide additional modifications of structure to gain further improvements in activity. Students will learn laboratory techniques used in the synthesis and purification of organic molecules, will learn how to interpret NMR and IR spectra to determine the structure and purity of organic molecules, and will be exposed to aspects of medicinal chemistry and the process by which pharmaceuticals are invented and developed.


Required Materials

The Chem 216 Coursepack, ISBN: 9780738081021. The coursepack includes carbon copy pages and will also serve as your lab notebook for the term.

Recommended Materials

The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual: A Student’s Guide to Techniques, by James Zubrick ISBN: 9780470494370. Any edition is fine and used copies are usually available online.

Chemistry 210/215 Organic Chemistry text by Eğe – any edition. Desk copies are available at the Science Learning Center.