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Modern Analytical Approaches to Drug Discovery



This course will provide the students with an overview of the modern analytical techniques used in drug discovery and development, bioanalysis and metabolomics. Technological developments in (miniaturized) sample preparation approaches, mass spectrometry-based detection, and liquid-phase separation techniques including liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, and supercritical fluid chromatography will be presented and discussed, using representative examples. Special attention will be devoted to high-throughput and high-resolution techniques that enhance peak capacity, selectivity and speed of analysis which are of high importance in large-scale clinical studies.
The course will be composed of both lectures and team assignments. The team assignment will consist of a tutorial type of presentation to fellow students on a specific topic linked to bioanalysis, metabolomics, or drug discovery and development. The presentations will take place during the last few weeks of the course. The content of the lectures will be evaluated with a written exam.

Course Objectives

  • To explain the separation principles using the concepts of resolution and peak capacity in the context of modern analytical techniques

  • To discuss the strengths and limitations of modern analytical separation techniques for drug discovery according to the triangle Cost, Time and Separation performance

  • To design an analytical workflow according to the FDA guidelines for Bioanalytical Method Development for an actual problem in the context of drug discovery

  • To develop, as a team, a lecture on an advanced analytical technique in drug discovery with well-defined learning goals

  • To create a research proposal on the design of an analytical technique for addressing a relevant biomedical problem in metabolomics using the triangle Cost, Time and Separation performance

Reading list

Literature will be provided during the course.


Dhr. Dr. R. Ramautar

Mode of instruction

Lectures and team assignments.
Lectures will be given by the coordinator and invited speakers, experts in their respective fields.
The students will benefit from self-study working span to prepare the team assignment. The latter will consist of a 30-min presentation (max 20-min presentation and 10-min questions). This presentation will be prepared in groups (comprised of 2-3 students). After each presentation the students will get an immediate and individual feedback to further improve their communication and presentation skills.

Assessment method

The final grade will be the based on the grade of the written exam (individual grade) and of the tutorial type of presentation (group grade), according to a 1:1 ratio (see below). Students will pass the course if the grade for the written exam is ≥ 5.0 and their average grade is ≥ 5.5.

  • Presentation (25%) - Should be given in English, a grade is given to group.

  • Written exam (75%) – Questions are in English, answers need to be provided in English or Dutch.

Admission requirements & Registration

This course is mandatory for and restricted to students who do the Minor ‘Modern Drug Discovery’ (MDD). The same admission criteria apply to this course as for the entire Minor MDD. Registration for the lectures and exam via uSis is mandatory.