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Target Identification, Validation and Preclinical Development

Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Module

Target Identification, Validation and Preclinical Development

This is a core module on the PGCert Drug Discovery and Development programme. 

Module Overview

This module will provide students with the technologies and approaches used to identify and validate drug targets through to candidate drug nomination. Providing a clear line of sight back from the patient to the target, students will learn the importance of consideration of the patient population when selecting the right target. Approaches to target validation will cover in vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo models. Different drug classes will be covered including small molecules and biologicals, and how this relates to the target and the patient population. Several of the lectures will be delivered online, and SGTs recorded in order to provide blended distance learning.

The practical workshop session will be divided into two parts: In the first, seminars will be provided that cover the rationale for using ex vivo slice cultures / explants. The second part will involve laboratory demonstrations. Students will have the choice of one of 4-5 sessions focussed on either mouse brain, human Liver, human Lung, human cartilage models.


In-course assessments

Presentation of proposed new drug target (30%)

Written assessment on new drug target (2000 words) (70%)

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain the principles and techniques used in target identification and validation
  • Provide a rationale for choice of drug class in relation to the drug target
  • Explain the approaches of lead identification and optimisation during preclinical development of different drug classes
  • Critically appraise drug targets with line of sight to patient

Our Standard Requirements

International Requirements