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Full Stream Name: Virtual Drug Screening

Research Educator: Josh Beckham

Principal Investigator: Walter Fast

Credit Options: Spring & Fall 


Can new drugs be identified from virtual libraries of drug-like molecules?

Identifying new drug leads using traditional methods is an expensive and time consuming process. This research stream uses both computational and wet lab techniques to discover new drugs in a more efficient way. First, a molecular docking program is used to sift through libraries of chemical structures and predict which ones may bind to a protein that is a potential drug target. Results are visually analyzed with a molecular graphics program and ranked according to predicted binding affinity scores.  Then DNA cloning and protein expression protocols are implemented in the lab to test the top potential drugs in enzyme assays.

Click here to read more about the Virtual Drug Screening Stream

Meet our students 

Joey Olmos started with the stream as a freshman and continued as a peer mentor and later as an undergraduate TA. He graduated in 2014 and is now a first year graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Rice University. Read about Joey's FRI experience here

Click here for a video tour of the lab


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Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, Medical Laboratory Science, Pre-Med