P288: Distributed Drug Discovery (D3): Education of undergraduate students in drug discovery research directed toward neglected diseases
The Distributed Drug Discovery (D3) program seeks to educate undergraduate students in chemistry, computation and biology while they learn and apply basic habits of research thought and practice. It provides a compelling humanitarian challenge – discovering drugs for neglected diseases – as the overarching context for this educational process. D3 supplies simple and inexpensive research procedures and methodologies in core drug discovery disciplines so that students can focus, in an undergraduate lab setting, on developing drug discovery hypotheses, performing appropriate experiments to test them, and evaluating results that have no pre-determined outcome. The synthetic chemistry component of D3 is firmly established (see scheme for typical laboratory). The computational chemistry and biological evaluation components are beginning to be implemented. We illustrate the vision and current state of this program with a series of undergraduate D3 labs addressing a diverse set of discovery challenges.