Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences

RCSI has a long history of expertise in the process of drug discovery and development, including the identification of drug candidates, their synthesis, characterisation, testing for in vitro affinity and selectivity for a therapeutic target, formulation and delivery.

This field of research brings together chemists, pharmacists, epidemiologists and, increasingly, biologists to harness bioorganic and bioinorganic molecules, from synthetic or natural origin and ranging from small molecules to macromolecules to treat various diseases.

This ranges from peptide-based antibiotic and anticancer agents to nanomedicines and drug delivery systems, synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of metal-based anti-cancer agents, computer-aided drug design targeting cardiovascular diseases (thrombosis, hypertension), infectious (malaria, MRSA, HIV) and neurodegenerative diseases.

Watch a video introduction to the Department of Chemistry

Drug discovery methods

  • Metallodrug design and action – generating new drugs for the treatment of cancer
  • Using miRNA as templates for therapeutic (or diagnostic) intervention
  • Rational design and synthesis of bio-functional polymers
  • Near-infrared fluorescence imaging – real-time imaging for fluorescence-guided surgery
  • Flow micro-reactors – pharmaceutical synthesis in microchips
  • Photodynamic therapy – light activated anti-cancer drugs
  • Organometallic and organocatalytic synthetic methods
  • Synthesis of novel polymer and lipid constructs
  • Synthesis of novel anti-tubulin anti-malarial compounds
  • Automated solid phase peptide synthesis for the generation of nanomedicines, the functionalisation of biomaterials and as targeting agents for selective drug delivery.

Pharmaceutical formulation and development

  • Pre-formulation drug analysis, drug formulation and pharmaceutical characterisation of conventional dosage forms including stability testing and preparation of dosage forms for pre-clinical testing
  • Dosage forms for injection, inhalation, oral and topical administration
  • Processing and screening of novel excipients and biomaterials development for controlled and targeted drug delivery including peptides, polymers and lipid-based delivery systems
  • Advanced processes for drug formulation including particle engineering and manufacture of nanoparticles, microparticles and drug-loaded matrices
  • Advanced oral, parenteral and respiratory drug delivery technologies 

Learn more about the Department of Chemistry.

Our Principal Investigators