Computer-Aided Drug Design Summer Science Experience

Sacred Heart University and NLS Life Science and Therapeutics Discovery Present:

Computer-Aided Drug Design Summer Science Experience
August 6 - 20, 2018

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Chemistry Summer Experience Photo of cells

Course Overview

Date/Time: August 6 - 20, 2018, Mon.-Fri., 9:00am-4:00pm

Location: Chemistry Department, Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Ave, Fairfield, CT 06825

Fees: Tuition (all inclusive): $2,000; Application fee: $35

Director: Joseph Audie, Ph.D.

Instructors: Todd Sullivan, Ph.D., and Benjamin Alper, Ph.D.

Students must provide their own lunches, snacks and drinks.

Download Program Brochure

Admission Criteria

Admissions criteria: Students are admitted to the program on a competitive basis

Minimum/maximum number of admitted students: 6/15

Student attitude: A strong interest in exploring the nexus of chemistry, medicine and computer science

Grade level requirement: Entering grades 11-12

Minimum GPA requirement: 3.0

Recommended course pre-requisites: High school level algebra II, biology, and chemistry

Application Deadline: July 2, 2018

Apply Now!

Course Description

Chemistry summer program photo of cells Over the course of two exciting weeks, students will learn to use advanced computational and laboratory methods to design and evaluate novel drug candidates aimed at treating challenging diseases that afflict underserved populations. The course provides a high level pre-college introduction to the scientific, ethical, legal and business aspects of drug development and to the use of sophisticated drug design software to aid in the design of new drugs.

During the first week, students will learn about the drug discovery process and the basic theory and art of computer-aided drug design, especially as it applies to antibiotics discovery. During the second week, students will use their new found knowledge and skills to design and propose novel drug candidates to treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Students will round out their experiences by making posters that could be used to communicate their research findings at a scientific conference. 

In addition to gaining valuable new knowledge and skills, students will learn about educational and professional opportunities in the field of drug discovery and how computational drug science intersects with chemistry, medicine, and the universal call to engage in works of justice and mercy.

Course Schedule (Tentative)

Week 1

Monday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 1: Orientation
  • Session 2: Overview of drug design and discovery
  • Lunch
  • Session 3: Overview of biochemistry, medicinal chemistry and drug design
  • Session 4: Overview of computational chemistry and drug design
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Tuesday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 5: Computational lab I
  • Lunch
  • Session 6: Chemistry lab 1
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Wednesday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 7: Computational lab 2
  • Lunch
  • Session 8: Chemistry lab 2
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Thursday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 9: Computational lab 3
  • Lunch
  • Session 10: Chemistry lab 3
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Friday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 11: Computational lab 4
  • Lunch
  • Session 12: Chemistry lab 4
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Week 2

Monday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 13: Work on research projects
  • Session 14: Work on research projects
  • Lunch
  • Session 15: Activity/guest lecture
  • Session 16: Work on research projects
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Tuesday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 17: Work on research projects
  • Session 18: Work on research projects
  • Lunch
  • Session 19: Activity/guest lecture
  • Session 20: Work on research projects
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Wednesday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 21: Work on research projects
  • Session 22: Work on research projects
  • Lunch
  • Session 23: Activity/guest lecture
  • Session 24: Activity/guest lecture
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Thursday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 25: Work on research projects
  • Session 26: Work on research projects
  • Lunch
  • Session 27: Activity/guest lecture
  • Session 28: Activity/guest lecture
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Friday

  • Arrive (9:00 am)
  • Session 29: Work on research projects
  • Session 30: Work on research projects
  • Lunch
  • Session 31: Activity/guest lecture
  • Session 32: Work on research projects
  • Pick-up (4:00 pm)

Week 3

Monday

  • Poster presentations

About the program director

Joseph Audie holds a Ph.D in Biophysics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Audie is also a biotechnology entrepreneur who co-founded and served as CEO of the computational peptide drug design company, CMDBioscience, LLC and currently serves as the CEO of NLS Life Science and Therapeutics Discovery, LLC. Dr. Audie has over twelve years of experience teaching courses on biochemistry, molecular modeling and drug design, and the intersection of faith and reason. He currently resides in Cheshire, CT with his wife and two children.

About the program instructors

Todd J. Sullivan holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Medicinal Chemistry) from Stony Brook University.  He is a Lecturer of Chemistry at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Sullivan discovered a new class of antibacterial compounds that are picomolar inhibitors of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Francisella tularensis, and other bacteria. He has over ten years’ experience working in a medicinal chemistry research laboratory, generating/interpreting biological data and synthesizing organic compounds as a Post-Doctoral Associate/Associate Research Scientist at Yale University. While at Yale, he employed fragment-based drug design to target an enzyme in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Sullivan’s teaching interests include Organic Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory, NMR Organic Structural Laboratory, Medicinal Chemistry-The Modern Drug Discovery Process. He currently resides in New Haven, CT. 

Benjamin Alper holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia. He is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Alper has expertise in the areas of protein expression and purification, biochemical assay development, and the characterization of small molecule inhibitors and activators of enzyme activity. Dr. Alper coordinates a multi-section biochemistry lab and lecture curriculum serving about 60 undergraduate students yearly, and serves as the program administrator for the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Sacred Heart University.

Required course supplies

Required hardware:

Windows PC laptop (XP/Vista/7/8/10)
Scientific calculator

Required (free) software:

VegaZZ Drug Design Laboratory
http://nova.disfarm.unimi.it/cms/index.php?Software_projects:VEGA_ZZ

Deep View
https://spdbv.vital-it.ch/

Recommended online texts:

Chemistry LibreText organic and biochemistry core: https://chem.libretexts.org/Core

For more information

For more information, please contact Professor Joseph Audie at 203-371-7793 or audiej@sacredheart.edu.