Medicinal chemistry is one of the fields in very high demand at this particular time. It’s a discipline in between pharmacology and chemistry. The focus is on drug discovery and drug development where they design, synthesize and also create pharmaceutical agents. In some situations, the medicinal chemistry will also be focused on the creation of bioactive molecules as well.
What you will notice is that medicinal chemistry is investigating the structure of a compound and the biological activities, it studies the absorption level, distribution and many other different things. In many ways, medicinal chemistry has been practiced for thousands of years. People always tried to find a way to cure illnesses with roots and herbs. Nowadays things are different because medicinal chemistry can be used to create pharmaceuticals and drugs in particular.
While medicinal chemistry is very similar to pharmaceutical chemistry, the latter has the same things, as well as biomedical and pharmaceutical analysis to back it up. Simply put, it adds in a lot of different things that make it a lot more comprehensive.
What does a professional in medicinal chemistry do?
Learning the main purpose of medicinal chemistry is important, but you have to figure out what is medicinal chemistry actually bringing to the table and the benefits of it all. The medicinal chemistry professional will research the way chemicals are affecting biological systems. He or She will also create new drugs and find formulations that deliver bioactive compounds.
Another important aspect here is that medicinal chemistry also requires the testing of new drugs be it on patients or in comprehensive experiments in a lab. This also requires the identification of what compounds can interact with the drug and see the nature of that interaction. All the little things can be very important to handle and study at all times.
In addition, medicinal chemistry professionals will create drug administration protocols. They are also responsible when it comes to creating guidelines regarding how drugs are created, how they need to be used and so on.
What skills do you need to work in medicinal chemistry?
You will need a multitude of different skills. First, you want to have synthetic organic chemistry skills. You are also required to have a very good understanding of biology and the way drugs are working. Then there’s a need for expertise in analytical instrumentation and demonstrated interpersonal skills. This is also a field where teamwork is essential, so you need to be very good at communicating, not to mention you need to write a lot of reports too.
Working in the medicinal chemistry world can be very fruitful, you will earn around $85,000 and sometimes upwards of $100,000. The median salary in the US for a chemist is around $89,000 dollars a year. So yes, this is a great field to work in. It certainly has its challenges like the level of education of chemists, but the industry continues to expand since there are many professionals bringing in new, creative solutions. On top of that, this field is very important especially in the pharmaceutic world, and it’s expected to become more and more relevant in years to come as well!
What are your thoughts on medicinal chemistry?
A biotechnology and sci fi nerd, that enjoys writing about new innovations within the science world and industry.