About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4381-4384
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

A LABORATORY-ORIENTED APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF DRUG SYNTHESIS

Exposure of Pharmacy undergraduate students to drug synthesis is normally based on lecture courses, with laboratory work being often restricted to the simplest operations and normally not well integrated in the lecture course. This leads to the students perceiving this subject as a primarily theoretical one that often fails to motivate them sufficiently. We present in this communication our conclusions on a 4.5 credit undergraduate course on drug synthesis that we have taught for seven years at UCM as an optative subject and that has been offered as pilot experience in the transition to the European Higher Education System. The main features of this course are:

- Emphasis on training the students in a wide range of laboratory operations, including some that are not normally employed in undergraduate laboratories.
- Emphasis on non-conventional and environmentally-friendly synthetic methodologies.
- Integration of structural elucidation methodologies with the synthetic work.
- Integration of computational chemistry techniques with the synthetic work.
- The gradual build-up of the student's abilities allows them to succesfully carry out rather complex multistep sequences taken from the primary literature by the end of the course.

Although the emphasis of our course is on acquisition of laboratory skills, the students are also required to complete writing assignments that help them to develop written communication skills and to integrate their newly acquired knowledge in the wider context of the subject of drug synthesis. These written assignments involve answering to sets of questions related to several aspects of the experimental work they have carried out:

- Discussion of the purpose of the operations performed in the laboratory.
- Discussion of the mechanisms of the reactions carried out in the laboratory, including some advanced discussions based on the examination of the primary literature.
- Discussion of the spectral data that support the structural assignment of the compounds synthesized.

We have found that this type of course leads to increased levels of student motivation and performance with regard to more traditional ones. The course described here is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of the synthetic strategy or of organic reactions employed in drug synthesis, but as a complement to a more formal presentation of the subject in the Medicinal Chemistry courses. However, student feedback through surveys proves that the students who are exposed to our course show an increased level of motivation towards more traditional presentations of the subject.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We thank Universidad Complutense for financial support through a Proyecto de Innovación Educativa.

@InProceedings{MENENDEZ2009ALA,
author = {Men{\'{e}}ndez, J.C. and Villacampa, M. and de la Cuesta, E. and L{\'{o}}pez-Alvarado, P. and Ramos, M.T.},
title = {A LABORATORY-ORIENTED APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF DRUG SYNTHESIS},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4381-4384}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.C. Menéndez AU - M. Villacampa AU - E. de la Cuesta AU - P. López-Alvarado AU - M.T. Ramos
TI - A LABORATORY-ORIENTED APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF DRUG SYNTHESIS
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4381
EP - 4384
ER -
J.C. Menéndez, M. Villacampa, E. de la Cuesta, P. López-Alvarado, M.T. Ramos (2009) A LABORATORY-ORIENTED APPROACH TO THE TEACHING OF DRUG SYNTHESIS, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4381-4384.
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