PHCO 737 - Target based drug discovery and cancer treatment

PHCO 737 - Target-based drug discovery and cancer treatment

Novel approaches to drug discovery and cancer treatment continue to grow in importance as increasing numbers of target-based anticancer drugs enter theclinic, yet most trainees in basic cancer research lack a fundamental understanding of critical issues in target-based drug discovery and development.  This course offers didactic and experience-based learning in these areas, focused on inhibitors of signal transduction (e.g., vemurafenib, Avastin, Gleevec).  Students will hear lectures from faculty; read, critique and discuss key papers in the field; and work in teams on a semester-long project to select their own novel targets, then discover and "develop" target-based inhibitor hits into drugs.  The final exam will consist of student presentations of their projects to "venture capitalists" (course instructors and peers).

Topics include:

  • Conventional cancer chemotherapy
  • Target identification and validation
  • Identification of hits - high-throughput screening, rational drug design, lead identification
  • Lead compound evaluation - in vitro to cell-based assays
  • Lead compound evaluation - preclinical animal studies
  • Clinical trials – design and implementation
  • Role of academia, industry, and government
  • State of the art – what is in the pipeline?