KU MedChem Research

Faculty Research

Our diverse faculty cover and unusually broad range of scientific interests, including synthetic and medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and peptide chemistry, and natural products chemistry.

See Faculty Research to learn more

Departmental Research History

Discovery and development of new natural or synthetic organic compounds of biomedical utility is a critical component of medicinal chemical research. The Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas is among the pioneering departments to have focused on organic synthesis as a core area of its research activity. Since the days of its inception in the 1960s, the department has been blessed with faculty members whose often-trailblazing ideas and research activities, both organic synthetic and medicinal chemical, have helped shape contemporary medicinal chemistry to its present state.

More recently, research in the department has expanded into the areas of biochemistry/peptide chemistry/chemical biology emphasizing the interactions of small molecules and peptides with larger biomolecules such as proteins and lipopolysaccharides. Working at the interface between chemistry and biology, researchers in the department focus on the design, synthesis, and biological characterization of new and existing drugs as they interact with receptors and other cellular biochemical systems.

Training Grants

NIH Graduate Training Program in the Dynamic Aspects of Chemical Biology

The NIH Graduate Training Program in the Dynamic Aspects of Chemical Biology offers an integrated academic curriculum and a seminar series that provides participating students with a working knowledge of the key concepts and methods of the interdisciplinary field of Chemical Biology. Trainees also complete a collaborative research rotation or internship.


Chemical Biology of Infectious Diseases Center (CBID)

The Chemical Biology of Infectious Diseases Center (CBID) focuses on chemical biology and the involvement of the discovery of chemical entities able to modulate pathways related to infectious processes. Such work can lead to an increase in biological understanding and the identification of novel targets for chemical intervention. This research can provide leads for downstream drug discovery efforts.

Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways (CMADP)

The Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways (CMADP) brings together junior and senior faculty at the University of Kansas and other academic institutions in Kansas to conduct multidisciplinary research to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies for elucidating the genetic, chemical, and physical mechanisms of biological processes involved in disease. The research could result in enabling technologies that can be employed to identify new therapeutic targets.

Facilities and Core Laboratories

See KU Core Research Resource Labs for a list of KU core research labs.