Introduction

Ambitions (yes, we’re ambitious …)
Structured coffee break (courtesy Scripps Institute)

This very first page is a good place to mention our ambitions here at the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of Leiden University. We want to understand drug action at ‘high resolution’, thus at an almost atomic level. We want to use that understanding for a more rational approach of drug design. We have chosen the most important class of drug targets to work on, the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Close to half of all medicines work via these targets in our body.

Well, one can’t study all receptors, as there are over 800 of them in the human body. So, we have selected a few to concentrate on, receptors for adenosine, for chemokines and for nicotinic acid. We pursue a ‘chemical biology’ approach, in which we combine synthetic chemistry, new developments in the world of informatics and computer science (bioinformatics, cheminformatics), and both biochemistry/molecular biology and pharmacology. That is quite ideal, as we now have in one hand all ingredients to come up with ideas for new drugs, make them, and see how they work.

Why don’t you read more about the fascinating four adenosine receptors? One may help to cure Parkinson’s disease, most are involved in the actions of caffeine…

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Highlights

Indira Nederpelt was awarded best oral presentation at the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days 2014
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Indira Nederpelt presented her work at the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days held on October 6 2014 in Ede and provided a kinetic perspective on the characterization of clinically used GnRH peptide agonists. She was awarded with the best oral presentation prize from the section medicinal chemistry of the KNCV

Dong Guo won two poster prizes at the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days
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Dong Guo was awarded two poster prizes for his poster ‘Molecular Mechanism of Allosteric modulation at G protein-coupled Receptors: Insight from a Binding Kinetics Study at the Human A1 Adenosine Receptor’ at the FIGON Dutch Medicines Days, October 6th-8th this year. He was awarded the 1st poster prize from the section medicinal chemistry of the KNCV.

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Zhiyi Yu - winner of LACDR Spring Symposium
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Zhiyi Yu was elected as the winner of the annual PhD Competition at the LACDR Spring Symposium on June 17th 2014.

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Ad IJzerman was elected "Highly cited researcher" by Thomson Reuters
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Ad IJzerman, Head of department Medicinal Chemistry, was elected “Highly cited researcher” by Thomson Reuters.

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