Welcome to the Department of Medicinal Chemistry

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is located in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and is an integral part of UF Health. The strategic location within the Health Science Center facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations and close interactions with clinicians, which catalyzes the translation from bench to bedside.

Our faculty teach in both Pharm.D. and the departmental Ph.D. program. Several faculty are also teaching in our online MS Pharmacy program. Our graduate students get exposed to the entire life cycle of a drug by participating in college-wide activities and receive outstanding in-depth training in early-stage drug discovery and modern medicinal chemistry.

Hendrik Luesch

The department has excellent facilities dedicated to major areas of medicinal chemistry research, and our faculty have been highly successful in attracting extramural research support. UF’s Preeminence initiative in drug discovery and development has supported an expansion of the department in focus research areas such as natural products and structure-based drug design and invested in major therapeutic areas, including cancer, anti-infectives, drug abuse and pain research.

Our impressive natural products inspired program encompasses the entire spectrum of multidisciplinary research from genomes to drugs, including genome mining, biosynthetic engineering, chemical synthesis and biological profiling of natural products and natural product-like compounds, leading to the corresponding in vitro and in vivo pharmacology, mechanistic studies, and preclinical evaluation of drug candidates. Several such lead compounds have been licensed by pharmaceutical companies.

With many more small-molecule lead compounds emerging from our medicinal chemistry campaigns, utilizing target-based, phenotypic or virtual screens as well as genome scanning as starting points, our research platform provides exciting opportunities to both our current and future graduate students.

Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D.

Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development | Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry