Medicinal Chemistry


The Medicinal Chemistry laboratory has 2 locations. The first location houses our academic efforts including students and post docs in a space that spans over 1,100 square feet of dedicated research space in the heart of Vanderbilt’s Medical Center Campus. The facility houses 8 fume hoods and is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. The second location houses our discovery related efforts and spans just over 6,700 square feet of dedicated research space at the Cool Springs Life Science Building located in Franklin, TN. This new location is a state of the art facility with cutting edge technology and 24 fume hoods that will drive research and innovation.

In addition to equipment the VCNDD is equipped with over 10,700 member collection of refined building blocks (RCOCl, RSO2Cl, RNCO, HNR1R2, RCOOH, RCHO, RB(OH)2, alkynes and others) for library synthesis. The collection includes, within each chemotype, refined moieties found in preclinical candidates and marketed drugs (oxetanes, azetidines, β-fluoroamines, tertiary alcohols, methyl sulfones, etc.) allowing the path from screening hit to high-quality lead to be abbreviated.

Two analytical chemists provide prompt on-site service for instrumentation as well as instruction and advice for difficult analyses. The team also provides reversed-phase HPLC purification services for library compounds, with throughput of up to 500 samples per week. Chiral analyses are performed on a fully automated Thar SFC system equipped with a six-solvent selection valve and 10-position column oven.

The efficiency of SFC purification combined with stacked injection capabilities allows the Thar system to purify up to gram quantities of chiral substrates. For exact mass determinations, the analytical chemistry laboratory has an Agilent 6540QTOF LC/MS dedicated solely to Vanderbilt Center for Neurological Drug Discovery (VCNDD) projects. Quality can be further assured by obtaining proton spectra of representative library samples on an automated 400 MHz Bruker NMR with autosampler cryoprobe.

The Medicinal Chemistry team also has the capability to carry out large-scale syntheses and purifications in quantities >5 g. Equipment utilized for these syntheses includes large glassware (1-10 L), a large-scale concentrator, Isco normal and reversed phase LC systems, and automated Gilson preparative reversed phase HPLC instruments.