The mission of UAMC is to develop chemical tool compounds that are used in the characterisation and validation of novel targets, and that will lead to novel hit and lead compounds in drug discovery programmes. Therefore, we develop highly potent and selective small molecules with drug-like characteristics and excellent in vitro and in vivo ADME properties. Ultimately we aim to obtain in vivo proof of concept with our high quality lead compounds in disease models in the therapeutic domains of infectious diseases, inflammation and oncology. This will lead to publications in top journals in the field of medicinal chemistry, such as the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Medicinal Chemistry is a truly interdisciplinary science and we are convinced that high-level national and international collaborations with leaders in the fields of biology, pharmacology, biochemistry and formulation are of crucial importance. Securing sufficient external funding on the national (FWO, VLAIO) and international (EU-H2020) is essential. The latter provides access to interesting international research networks. Furthermore, UAMC creates an international environment within its research group with many members originating outside Belgium and by its leadership in international research societies (EFMC, EuCheMS) and in the organisation of international scientific symposia.

Training of young scientists in the field of medicinal chemistry is part of our mission. Besides their scientific training, UAMC members follow high industry standards such as the use of Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELN), CDD vault for compound and bio-activity data registration, safety guidelines, regular reporting and staff meetings.

As a prominent member of the Antwerp Drug Discovery Network (ADDN) we pay attention to valorisation by protecting our intellectual property. The ultimate aim is to outlicense to pharmaceutical companies or to create a spin-off company. Besides that, we run several projects on neglected diseases.

A brief summary of UAMC's history

The group was founded in 1974 at the start of the university by Prof. Achiel Haemers. With the appointment of Prof. Koen Augustyns in 1997 the group expanded considerably in size by a substantial increase in external grant applications. Also the group shifted its focus from pharmaceutical to medicinal chemistry. Prof. Haemers retired in September 2008 and subsequently Prof. Pieter Van de Veken joined UAMC in October 2010 and Prof. Hans De Winter in October 2013. Because of safety reasons UAMC obtained highest priority in the relocation plan of the university and was relocated to a brandnew chemistry facility in September 2009, located at Campus Drie Eiken, Building A, second floor.

The research group of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Antwerp (UAMC) is part of the department of pharmaceutical sciences of the faculty of pharmaceutical, biomedical and veterinary sciences. Also, the group of medicinal chemistry is part of Infla-Med, a research consortium of excellence at the University of Antwerp that conducts fundamental research in the domain of inflammatory diseases by using a multidisciplinary approach.