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Medicinal chemistry & pharma research

Three-Week Summer Science Program

BioSTEM Award, 2018, J&J • Top Summer Science Program, 2011-2019, NY Times/ • Top Robotics Program, 2017, RoboLoco • Best Medicine Program, 2018, ParentMap • Top Biomedical Engineering, •
Top 101 Summer Camps & Programs, • Top Biomedical Engineering, 2017,

Interested in Chemistry? Some of the most popular (and lucrative!) career paths involve utilizing chemistry for medical applications: From drug discovery and development through clinical trials to determine dosage levels, bioavailability, toxicology, and chemistry is key. Universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies all offer high-paying research positions to graduates of chemistry and pharmacology programs. Chemistry is key to other careers as well. Pharmacists at drug stores, for instance, must have a deep understand of chemistry to calculate drug side effects, dosage, and interactions: chemistry is indispensable.

For prospective medical students, chemistry and its medical applications can make-or-break their dreams. Did you know that one in three students at a number of top universities start on a pre-med track, but only a fraction are admitted to medical school? College chemistry is a notorious weed-out course, with many students literally not making the grade. The MCAT is packed with chemistry questions that likewise pose a barrier to those without a firm foundation in chemistry. Let this program jump start your career!



July 8 – July 26, 2024  | Gann/Bentley

 More About: Awards – Research Programs – Sample Week 

Students may begin with an overview of the drug discovery process and dive right into a synthesis of a common over-the-counter medication. They may examine how yield rate is affected by differing reagents and varying temperature. They may perform tests to detect concentrations of a drug agent in natural products. They may perform a multi-step synthesis to examine the lead optimization process for themselves. Students may learn to read NMR print-outs to check for impurities. They may perform studies with crystals and learn about how crystallography determines the structure and active site of chemical entities. 

Instructor: Dr. Lauren Brown

Dr. Brown is a Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at Boston University. She earned her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from USC before earning her PhD in Chemistry. She worked at Pfizer and Tosk as a Chemist before joining Boston University, where she conducts research at the Center of Chemical Methodology and is the Assistant Director of the Center for Molecular Discovery. 

Student Comments - Summer 2022

“The program is very interesting. As someone with no chemistry background it’s good to now know more and understand about how medchem works. I enjoyed the lectures and the notes that I have now to look back on. I found the labs interesting.”

“I enjoyed the program and the teacher. Learning about chemistry is enjoyable for me and I really enjoyed the personalized learning structure. Nicole heeded my requests for some topics I was curious about which was what I really appreciated.”

“Super enthusiastic teacher who was so friendly and helpful. I learned so much in these 3 weeks especially because of this amazing location and nearby medical resources.”

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