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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Drug Discovery by University of California San Diego

3,304 ratings

About the Course

The University of California San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Drug Discovery course brings you lectures from both faculty and industry experts. With this course, recorded on campus at UCSD, we seek to share our access to top people in the field who bring an unprecedented range of expertise on drug discovery. In this course you will learn the drug discovery process up to the filing of an Initial New Drug Application or IND. Each week you will learn the steps that a pharmaceutical or biotech company goes through to discover a new therapeutic drug. In this course you will be able to: * Understand the pharmaceutical and biotechnology market a changing landscape * Learn the major aspects of the drug discovery process, starting with target selection, to compound screening to designing lead candidates. * Recognize current modern drug discovery based on the lock-and-key theory, which attempts to use one single compound to hit one target to combat the related disease. * Increase understanding of the various drug discovery tools and methods that are used for finding, identifying and designing a new drug. * Define and understand the regulatory responsibilities for drug discovery to file an Investigational New Drug Application (IND). This course is intended as part 1 of a series: Drug Discovery, Drug Development ( and Drug Commercialization ( We would highly recommend that you take the courses in order since it will give you a better understanding on how a drug is discovered in the lab before being tested in clinical trials and then launched in the market place....

Top reviews


Apr 16, 2021

This course helps to understand the basic fundamental & principles of drug discovery clearly. I am very thankful to the Coursera and University of California San Diego for providing this course to me.


Oct 15, 2018

Very well done and informative. I truly appreciate the Drug process in entirety being broken down into sections that are easy to comprehend. It is obvious the speakers were chosen for their knowledge.

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By ananda

Apr 30, 2021

This course holds up well and is still worth taking considering that there has been a great deal of change in the industry over the past 5+ years. The presenters in this course convey a high-level overview of the key components of drug development including screening, targeting and selection as well as PK/PD considerations and delivery options. Some of the presenters also go over very informative real world development case studies. That said, I hope they update the course sometime soon. This class is largely comprised of guest lectures giving live one-hour presentations to an audience. These presentations are broken up into smaller modules. Having more bespoke and discreet lectures probably allows for more content for a given amount of time (e.g., less redundancy and better sequencing). Also, the course is focused on small molecules. Biologics including gene therapy and editing, have become even more common in the past 5 years and merit more robust coverage. In my opinion, a course like this would start out with uniform concepts across all major drug modalities and then expand upon the specific considerations based on drug types (the Drug Discovery presenter in this class is a good example of this approach).

By sachingaur

Sep 22, 2019

I am starting a new role in a large global pharma company tomorrow. This is my first role within the Pharma industry and my awareness levels of the drug discovery and development process were close to zero. I enrolled in this course to better understand this so as to quickly assimilate the context within which my new employer and role exist.

This is not my first MOOC, but I loved the short videos and the formative quizzes. The base data that the course refers to, is now significantly dated (as are some of the links that are mentioned in the course) - this should be updated if a refresh is on the cards. Given that this is a technical domain, innovation would quickly outdate the information presented in modules such as the one on drug delivery systems.

Overall, I enjoyed this course and feel that I am better equipped to get into my new role with a lot more confidence.

Thank you Prof. Ettouati and Prof. Ma!

By Amar N R

Jun 14, 2021

After completion of this course of Drug discovery I believe this had so much to offer, and worthwhile. Starting from learning key aspects of the Pharmaceutical industry to the Global outlook and challenges faced in new drug discovery and its development. From learning about the'' Patient-centric '' approach to having an insight about the Omic revolution (Genome Project) where I learned about the importance of data interpretation. Few of the case studies were interesting ( Torcetrapib Drug Catastrophe, Pfizer). Learning about basic understanding of various phases of drug discovery (i.e Pre - clinical studies) and at last, I come to know about how different dosages of drug formulation get delivered in the human body. Hence, overall I can say that this course is still prevalent apart from being launched a few years back. I would recommend everyone to have a look at it !!

By Namritha M

Jul 5, 2020

pros: industry relevant content, mentors with several years of experience both in academia and industry, very interesting lectures.

cons: the course is relevant for time-frame of 2013 to 2016. So it would have been great if it catered to the time -frame after 2016.

Some concepts were not explained before by the mentors. One has to have some basic knowledge before starting the course. A suggestion would be include a terminology document along with the lecture.

By Juste E M

Nov 21, 2018

This specialization brought me a lot of good approaches for Drug DIscovery, it's complete my Bachelor's degree of BIOCHEMISTRY and My Master degree in Fundamental & applied Toxicology, i've deepen my insight of this amazing field (e.g: mega-megers, proteomics genomics, fragment based drug discovery, drug delivery,...etc) speaking of which contribute a lot in people welfare. Juste Elysée MALANDILA

By Aedrian A

Jan 16, 2021

This course is a great introduction to the technical details of the drug discovery process. The resource persons and the instructors have done a great job sharing their experience and expertise. However, the material is outdated especially with respect to the "exponential" nature of the trends in this field. I hope that the course heads would consider updating the content as soon as possible.

By Pablo K

Jul 19, 2017

Good course to understand the topics and challenges pharma companies face during the drug discovery phase - now I know what people are "up to" in preclinical.

Good intro to Pharma market environment

Module "Challenges in Fragment Based Drug Discovery" was a bit too science-focused as for people with no science / medical background

Really loved last module - key concepts in drug delivery

By Mahmoud A

Feb 3, 2020

It was enormously informative for me and I've learned so many that I didn't even expect about drug discovery. And actually that course may really affect my future decision in choosing my career. But I think it would be better if the course's material are discused in more detail.

Thank you for offering that course and accepting the financial aid request.

By fahed s

Sep 16, 2017

It was such an informative course, maybe varies between levels of advancement, but definetly has information that if you get deeper with grows more and more curiosity in you. All the instructors are smart but my favorite was prof Ettouate, I watched all his videos 3 times and every time I learn something new. Highly recommended!