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Modern Analytical Approaches to Drug Discovery


Admission requirements & Registration

This course is mandatory for and restricted to students who do the Minor ‘Modern Drug Discovery’ (MDD). The same admission criteria apply to this course as for the entire Minor MDD. Registration for the lectures and exam via uSis is mandatory.****


This course will provide the students with an overview of the modern analytical separation techniques used in drug discovery and development, bioanalysis and metabolomics. Technological developments in (miniaturized) sample preparation approaches, mass spectrometry-based detection, and liquid-phase separation techniques including (nano-)liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis,will be presented and discussed, using representative examples. Special attention will be devoted to high-throughput and high-resolution techniques that enhance peak capacity, selectivity and speed of analysis which are of high importance in large-scale clinical studies.
The course will be composed of both lectures and (team) assignments. The team assignment will consist of a tutorial type of video presentation to fellow students on a specific topic linked to bioanalysis, metabolomics, or drug discovery and development. The presentations will take place during the last few weeks of the course. In addition to this, each student will set up a research proposal (max. 1200 words; three pages, including figures/tables, excluding references), focused on the design of an analytical strategy/workflow for addressing a relevant problem in drug discovery and/or metabolomics. In case this course will have more than 25 participants, the coordinators may decide to change the research proposal assignment into a written exam.

Course Objectives

  • To explain the separation principles using the concepts of resolution and peak capacity in the context of modern analytical techniques

  • To discuss the strengths and limitations of modern analytical separation techniques for drug discovery according to main separation performance characteristics

  • To design an analytical workflow for an actual problem in the context of drug discovery based on the concepts of modern separation techniques

  • To develop as a team a short video lecture (MAADDTube) on an advanced analytical technique in drug discovery or related context with well-defined learning goals

  • To create a proposal on the design of an analytical technique for addressing a key problem in bioanalysis, health sciences or metabolomics in which the main separation principles are critically considered (i.e. clear rationale for chosen technique needs to be provided for addressing the problem).


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have successfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.
MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).
For more information on MyTimeTable, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable.

Always check the detailed schedule on the Brightspace module of each Course 2-3 weeks before the start of the Course for group-specific meetings, (intermediate) deadlines, etc..

Mode of instruction

Lectures and team assignments.
Lectures will be given by the coordinators and invited speakers, experts in their respective fields.
The team assignment is based on preparing a short video lecture, so called MAADDTube (in analogy to YouTube) by the use of a smartphone (or any other recording device) on a specific topic related to addressing a relevant problem in drug discovery using modern analytical techniques. Each group will present the video lecture to the lecturers and fellow students in maximal 15 min., including answering questions.

Assessment method

The final grade will be based on the grade of the research proposal (individual grade) and of the tutorial type of presentation (group grade), according to a 70:30 ratio (see below). Students will pass the course if the grade for the research proposal is ≥ 5.0 and their weighted average grade is ≥ 5.5.

  • Research proposal or written exam (70%) – Individual assignment; proposal should be preferably written in English.

  • Presentation (30%) - Should be given in English, a grade is given to group.

Reading list

Literature will be provided during the course.


Dhr. Dr. R. Ramautar and dhr. Dr. B. Wouters