Queen’s University Belfast

The Oncology Drug Discovery MSc course is designed to provide an insight into how existing and future drug targets are identified from biological samples isolated from the cancer clinic. This will include an industrial viewpoint into what makes an interesting target and how, through an iterative process, this target is validated. In addition, lectures will be provided to discuss how ‘hit’ compounds are identified, in both the academic and industrial setting, using compound screen assays and fragment based screening technologies. We will also provide an insight in computational methods for generating chemical ‘hits’. The module will also cover how these ‘hit’ compounds are prosecuted into tool compounds or Lead Optimisation candidates (LO), both historic and modern, that are used to further validate a potential drug target.

During this second module we will provide an insight into the challenges of moving a compound from an LO candidate to a pre-clinical candidate. How bio-marker companion tests are developed, validated and are used to underpin clinical trials. The lectures will also provide a keen insight into novel formulation strategies currently under development within Queen’s University Belfast. In addition, we will also provide an insight into the development of bio-therapeutics, such as antibodies, that are proving to be a powerful alternative to small molecule based therapeutics.

Further information on undertaking an Intercalated Degree at QUB is available on the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences webpages.

Entry requirements

An external medical or dental student wishing to intercalate must have successfully completed the third or fourth year of their course and passed all assessments in the year in which they are applying. External intercalating applicants should also ensure they have the permission of the Head of Undergraduate Medical/Dental Education or equivalent from their home University, which should be submitted to QUB Admissions Office.

Closing date

Friday 29 March 2019.  External candidates wishing to apply after this date should contact the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences directly by email at pgoffice.smdb@qub.ac.uk.