Chemistry.JPG

Chemistry and Medicine

Workshop: 019 The Chemistry of Medicine

Prerequisites

Completion of the introductory high school chemistry course.

Description

How do antibiotics work, and how do bacteria survive an antibiotics assault? To explore this question, we examine the chemical structure of antibiotics and discover an enzyme that bacteria produce to disable the antibiotic. To understand the dynamics of this attack and countermeasures, we learn about molecular structure and bonding, organic functional groups, chemical reaction rates, and enzymes. During the next five weeks of the workshop, students pursue a research project to apply their new knowledge to medicine. It begins with each student choosing a patient for collecting data and examining the biochemistry of disease and medical treatment.  This might be an older family member taking at least three medications for chronic conditions or a relative who has undergone surgery for acute disease.

Sample Research Topics

  • Medications for Treating COVID-19-induced Cytokine Storm

  • The Effects of Certain Drugs on Sciatica

  • Case Study on Open-Angle Glaucoma