Two A-level students from Garden International School, Jungbin Shin and Aritra Saha, did a one-month internship from 21 June – 18 July 2021, in computational drug discovery under Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika and Mak Kit-Kay from the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, IMU. Jungbin and Aritra received training on various freely available drug discovery web services. They describe their experience here.
Jungbin says, “IMU introduced different sources (Chemdraw, RCSB PDB, ChEMBL, Swiss ADME, Clinical trials, US- Food and Drug Administration) of information which can be used in drug design.”
“The training provided a platform to explore the drug discovery field and prospects before venturing into this field. I learnt the overview of the drug discovery process, from target identification until regulatory approval.”
“I had challenges digesting the huge amount of information. However, the training stimulated my interest in drug discovery and cemented my career choice. I value the internship training because it provided me with an opportunity to understand what I am going to embark on in my future studies and career.”
Aritra says, “this internship about the Basics of Drug Discovery taught me a lot about the various web resources out there, how we can utilise them and how the researchers use these tools in the drug discovery process.”
“I learnt a lot about the entire drug discovery process: 1) how targets are identified in a disease, 2) what receptors, enzymes or proteins can be targeted, 3) what drug molecule shows potential for a given target, and 4) the effect of a medicine in a disease.”
“The resources introduced in this internship will be of great help to me 1) in connecting my in-class learning with practical exploration, 2) deepen my understanding of the topics I learn in class and 3) develop my love for learning!”
Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika and Ms Mak had designed the content of this internship. Every day, the students are involved in a one hour of briefing and discussion followed by hands-on activities in the trainees’ leisure time. Feedback is then provided on the following day, and at the end of each week, the students submit a reflective report on their learnings. The programme was held over the course of 4 weeks, and each week has a specific theme of the drug discovery and development process – 1) chemistry, 2) biology, 3) drug design and 4) medicines. The training was completely delivered online during the MCO 3.0. The main aim of this internship is to increase the students’ awareness of the development of medicines and inspire them in science. View a video on the student relating experience: https://youtu.be/TQs4-uliRG0