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Modern Analytical Approaches to Drug Discovery



This course will provide the students with a large overview of the main contemporary analytical techniques used in drug discovery and development, as well as in metabolomics. Novel and modern developments in (miniaturized) sample preparation approaches, mass spectrometry-based detection, and liquid-phase separation techniques including liquid chromatography (as well as nano/µLC), capillary electrophoresis, and supercritical fluid chromatography will be presented and discussed, using representative examples. A special attention will be paid 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 presentation to fellow students on a specific topic linked to metabolomics and/or drug discovery and development. The presentations will take place during the last week of the course. The content of the lectures will be evaluated with a written exam.

Course Objectives

  • To refresh the basic principles of analytical chemistry in the context of drug discovery and metabolomics;

  • To have an overview of the current analytical techniques that are used in today’s research, including academia, hospital, or industry;

  • To acquaint with the novel and modern liquid-based analytical approaches as well as the future trends;

  • To understand the strengths and limitations of modern liquid-phase separation techniques for clinical/biomedical metabolomics studies;

  • To find recent, adequate and high-quality information in the literature;

  • To be able to give a clear, concise and exhaustive lecture to fellow students.

Reading list

Literature will be provided during the course.


Mw. Dr. I. Kohler

Mode of instruction

Lectures and team assignments.
Lectures will be given by the coordinator and invited speakers, experts in their respective fields.
The students will benefit from self-study working span to prepare the team assignment. The latter will consist of a 30-min presentation (max 20-min presentation and 10-min questions). This presentation will be prepared in groups (of 2-3 students). After each presentation the students will get an immediate and individual feedback to further improve their communication and presentation skills.

Assessment method

  • Presentation (50%) (in English or Dutch)

  • Written exam (50%) – Questions in English, answers in English or Dutch.

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.