Medicinal Chemistry is an interdisciplinary research area incorporating synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and pharmaceutical chemistry in the search for better drugs. Currently, at the graduate level a new PhD Programme in Medicinal Chemistry has been mounted in Semester 1 of AY2003/04 . At the undergraduate level, the Chemical Sciences Programme will prepare cohorts for a direct feed into the said graduate programme.
Accordingly, we propose to augment the existing undergraduate Chemistry major programme with adequate life sciences and process related components so as to provide a firm interdisciplinary foundation for Medicinal Chemistry research at the graduate level.
Cohorts will be admitted as Chemistry Majors. They will be required to fulfill all course / modular requirements under the Chemistry programme (summarized in Annex B). The major content will comprise 20 Chemistry modules and the Chemistry Honors year project (or about 55% of the total course content). In addition, they will undertake to read three Chemical Engineering, ten Life Sciences modules and one Life Sciences related module, as conditions for the receipt of the A*Star scholarship. These additional modules outside Chemistry major modules are placed under the University, Faculty and unrestricted module requirements under the NUS degree structure (see Annex B).
The study plan for the Chemical Sciences Programme cohort is depicted in Annex A.
The Biomedical Sciences sector in Singapore (comprising pharmaceutical, medical technology, biotechnology and healthcare services industries) has undergone rapid growth in the last few years and further expansion is expected. In view of the important role chemical engineers can and will play in this sector, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has in place a Specialization Option in Biomolecular Engineering for the final year students.
The Chemical Sciences programme augments the existing Specialization Options by providing a strong foundation in life and chemical sciences starting from the first year of the undergraduate BEng (Chemical) programme. It can be expected that this training in life and chemical sciences coupled with a strong chemical and process engineering background will provide the graduates with the expertise to embark on further research and technology development related to the Biomedical Sciences sector of Singapore.
Students interested in the programme will be admitted as Chemical Engineering (BEng (Chemical)) majors. They will be required to fulfill all the course/modular requirements under the BEng (Chemical) programme as summarized in Annex B. A number of Life Sciences and Chemistry modules are placed under the University and Unrestricted Electives Requirement, as shown in Annex B. The Research Project in Chemical Engineering (CN4118) is also preferably to be carried out in a Life/Chemical Sciences area. The graduates from this programme will be accredited in accordance with the ABET (US) and IChemE (UK) scheme, in a similar manner as the regular BEng (Chemical) cohort.The recommended semester schedule for students in the proposed Chemical Sciences Programme programme is given in Annex A. The load in the last semester is intentionally made light so that the students can proceed to take graduate modules as part of their PhD programme. This will provide a seamless transition between the BEng (Chemical) and PhD programmes.