CHEM40250 Structure and Biophysical Studies of Nucleic Acids: Drug Binding and More (TCD)

Academic Year 2019/2020

The module aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of nucleic acidstructures. The introduction will explore the history of the DNA structure anddevelopment of synthetic methods for basic and advanced systems. Attention willfocus on the use techniques such as X-ray crystallography and NMR in resolvingnucleic acid structures. Based on the understanding of the structural properties theprinciples governing small molecule binding interactions such as intercalation, groovebinding and anti-sense therapies will be studied. The characterisation of nucleic acidbinding interactions will be thoroughly examined by considering a broad range oftechniques including optical, hyrdrodynamic and calorimetry techniques. Finally, theprocesses involved in DNA damage will be studied. This will focus on oxidative andphotochemical damage and the biological relevance.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should:· Have knowledge of the synthetic procedures used for the preparation of nucleic acids and their analogues.· Know the different nucleic acid structures and the molecular interactions governing them. Be familiar with structural transitions in nucleic acids.· Know the Physical Techniques for Characterization of nucleic acids in solution· Understand the principles governing binding interactions to nucleic acid structures and the characterisation of these interactions.· Be aware of processes involved in DNA damage (oxidative and photochemical)Course is Graded as Pass (60%) or Honours (76%)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The content of the module is delivered through lectures. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Literature Project Unspecified n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

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