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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 (nano-)liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis,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 video 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. In addition to this, each student will set up a research proposal (max. 1500 words; five pages, including figures/tables, excluding references), focused on the design of an analytical strategy for addressing a relevant problem in drug discovery and/or metabolomics.

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 short video lecture (MAADDTube) on an advanced analytical technique in drug discovery or related context with well-defined learning goals

  • To create a proposal on the design of an analytical technique for addressing a relevant problem in bioanalysis or 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 team assignment is based on preparing a short video lecture, so called MAADDTube (in analogy to YouTube) by the use of a smartphone (or any other recording device) on a specific topic related to addressing a relevant problem in drug discovery using modern analytical techniques. Each group will present the video lecture to the lecturers and fellow students in maximal 15 min.., including answering questions.

Assessment method

The final grade will be the based on the grade of the research proposal (individual grade) and of the tutorial type of presentation (group grade), according to a 3:1 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.

  • Research proposal (75%) – Individual assignment; proposal should be preferably written in English.

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

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.