Universiteit Leiden

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Medicinal Chemistry

The mission in this division, headed by Laura Heitman, is to design and synthesize novel and better ligands for drug targets. Drug discovery is a lengthy but inspiring adventure. It is often an interplay between academic institutes and pharmaceutical industry, in which scientists at university develop novel concepts that are further exploited by their colleagues in pharmaceutical companies.

The Medicinal Chemistry division has established a strong position in this collaborative effort by focusing on a selected set of drug targets, in particular so-called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). These receptors bind many of today’s medicines. Still, these “established” targets have not yet revealed their full characteristics, and that’s precisely what we focus on. Can we unravel the mysteries of these targets and use our discoveries for developing novel concepts for drug discovery?

Our research groups are:

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