Recently, CCNU scholars published the latest research results titled “Development of a Web-Based Laboratory Class to Reduce the Challenges in Teaching Fragment-Based Drug Design” on Journal of Chemical Education. It was the first time that Yang Guangfu Yang’s team had successfully incorporated chemoinformatic research tools into Drug Design course. Graduate candidate Xingxing Shi, Jingyi Li and Qiong Chen were co-ﬁrst-authors Prof. Guangfu Yang and Prof. Gefei Hao are corresponding authors.
Over the past few years, fragment-based drug design (FBDD) is a burgeoning frontier field of drug research, an important method and part of Drug Design course. However, due to the large-sized instruments, complicated procedures and high cost, experimental teaching is facing multiple challenges.
Prof. Yang’s team has been working on drug design methodology since the beginning. They have independently designed two freely available and web-based resources: Auto Core Fragment In Cilico Screening (ACFIS) and Pesticide and Drug Fragments (PAD Frag). Through joint efforts, the team constructed web-based workshops, making it possible to develop FBDD teaching online.
Researchers found that a class of 40 students who took the FBDD quiz scored 7.58 more points than before when using the two web-based tools, indicating significant improvements.
Moreover, the workshops are useful in teaching not only the graduates but also some upper-division undergraduates or senior high school students since they are web-based and do not require materials other than computers and Internet. Upper-division undergraduates in related majors such as chemistry, biology, and pharmacy can learn the FBDD strategy as well through the virtual experiment as they have the package of basic knowledge. The lab is also favorable for the popularization of drug design among senior high school students.
Journal of Chemical Education of American Chemical Society is a SCI journal founded in 1924. This is the first time ever that CCNU had paper published on it, marking a breakthrough of our chemistry teaching and research.