Santanu Maitra, Ph.D.
Office Location: Science 1, Room 246
Office Phone: 559.278.2961
Areas of Specialty
Medicinal chemistry is the chemistry of medicines in a nutshell. This area of research primarily focuses on the design, synthesis, purification and analysis of organic molecules selected as drug (medicine) candidates. Subsequently, the drug candidates undergo a rigorous stretch of tests (e.g. biological screens, pharmacokinetic evaluations and toxicological studies) before they can be placed on clinical trials. Such pharmaceutical agents therefore have to traverse a very long path through the pre-clinical pipeline, followed by stringent and time-consuming clinical trials before being approved as drugs. Medicinal chemistry requires a strong synthetic organic chemistry background and the ability to work very closely with biologists. A medicinal chemistry research project can focus one or more therapeutic areas and targets. For example, cardiovascular research can focus on (1) LDL reduction, or (2) HDL elevation, or (3) hypertension treatment, in order to lower health risks. Despite the fact that medicinal science involves high-risk endeavors and challenging tasks, it offers possibilities for relief to human suffering.