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Best degree for drug discovery

I don't know what degree to do. I would like to do medicine but I'm not sure so I want to so something else but have graduate medicine as an option. Research and lab work is also something I like. I want to be a drug discovery/developing scientist where I would design or test new drugs. I'm thinking of studying biomedical science or biochemistry. Which one would be better? I thought about medicinal chemistry or something related to that but I don't think they count as life sciences. I want to keep my options as open as possible.
Original post by milkandcookies96
I don't know what degree to do. I would like to do medicine but I'm not sure so I want to so something else but have graduate medicine as an option. Research and lab work is also something I like. I want to be a drug discovery/developing scientist where I would design or test new drugs. I'm thinking of studying biomedical science or biochemistry. Which one would be better? I thought about medicinal chemistry or something related to that but I don't think they count as life sciences. I want to keep my options as open as possible.


How about a chemistry degree? I’m a drug discovery research scientist and I did a chemistry degree. I’m currently in big pharma where I plan, execute and optimise synthetic routes to drugs and drug precursors. It really depends on the kind of research and testing you want to do. In my experience it’s pretty much always the chemists who design and make the drugs whereas the biologists and biochemists are the ones who test them, perform assays, incubate them with cells and so on. If it’s the actual drugs and design you’re interested in I’d recommend going down the chemistry route.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Plantagenet Crown
How about a chemistry degree? I’m a drug discovery research scientist and I did a chemistry degree. I’m currently in big pharma where I plan, execute and optimise synthetic routes to drugs and drug precursors. It really depends on the kind of research and testing you want to do. In my experience it’s pretty much always the chemists who design and make the drugs whereas the biologists and biochemists are the ones who test them, perform assays, incubate them with cells and so on. If it’s the actual drugs and design you’re interested in I’d recommend going down the chemistry route.

yeah that's what I was thinking but chemistry isn't a life science so it would restrict me if I decided to do medicine. If did biochemistry or biomedical science would that still allow me to go down the chemistry route by getting a masters or PhD.
Original post by milkandcookies96
yeah that's what I was thinking but chemistry isn't a life science so it would restrict me if I decided to do medicine. If did biochemistry or biomedical science would that still allow me to go down the chemistry route by getting a masters or PhD.

I think this “restriction” is illusory in this particular context because ultimately you have to decide on the degree and I don’t believe they’re similar enough to be interchangeable. Also, I don’t believe it’s true you can do a biomedical or biochemistry degree and then go on to do a chemistry masters or PhD, at least not easily. Biochemistry for instance, contains very little chemistry despite the name, it’s essentially a degree in cell biology. We had a girl join our organic chemistry PhD research group who had done a biochemistry degree (top of her year) and she didn’t even know the basics of organic chemistry that the rest of us chemistry graduates had covered in our first year. She had to learn it from scratch and even then she wasn’t very confident in it because you can’t really learn 4 years of degree level content easily. Similarly, I don’t believe biomedicine or biochemistry give you a strong enough understanding of drug molecules, their chemistry and how you synthesise them to become a drug discovery synthetic scientist. I think your issue is you have to become a little clearer about what you want because medicine, biomedicine and biochemistry are not necessarily similar enough to give you all the same skills and open up the same doors. Moreover, graduate entry medicine is enormously more competitive than undergrad entry so that’s something to bear in mind.
(edited 1 year ago)

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