Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry emphasize the study of chemical and biochemical rationales for the design and development of drugs. They draw from a spectrum of sciences, including analytical chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and pharmacology through the application of modern techniques from structural chemistry, biotechnology, and molecular biology.

Division Research

At The University of Texas at Austin, a rational target-oriented approach to drug design and development is employed. We utilize physical techniques such as molecular modeling, high field NMR, and the use of molecular targets (such as enzymes and receptors) available through recombinant DNA techniques. We have elected to concentrate in two main areas that interface medicinal chemistry: (1) molecular biology/biotechnology; and (2) structural chemistry.

Present faculty associated with our graduate program are actively involved in research programs that include the following: drug-nucleic acid interactions, biotechnology, microbial transformations, microbial enzymology, neurotransmitter enzymology and metabolism, and synthetic medicinal chemistry. The broad background of our graduate students helps them meet the challenges of research careers in academia, industry, and government.

PhD Graduate Program

Med Chem LabOur unique curriculum provides students with a broad foundation of knowledge ranging from molecular biology to organic chemistry, with particular emphasis on pharmaceutical chemistry. Students are introduced to research in the laboratories of our world-class faculty members through a series of rotations, and learn a variety of different techniques while exploring different approaches to science. Individual faculty interests are described online and incorporate the timely themes of drug design, biotechnology, enzyme mechanisms, glycobiology and bioorganic chemistry.

Visit the degree requirements page for details about the curriculum and  division-specific requirements.

Eligibility & Admissions

Applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree in a discipline such as pharmacy, chemistry, biochemistry or biology. This training should include the following coursework: two semesters each of calculus, organic chemistry, and pharmaceutical or biological sciences and one semester of physical chemistry.

Additional details about eligibility and admissions can be found on the Research & Graduate Studies site.


Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program
Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry Faculty
Eligibility and Evaluation of Applicants
Application Procedures


Research & Graduate Studies
Graduate Student Resources
Poster Design and Printing Services
Research Day