Principles and Practice of Drug Development
Last updated 01/23/2022

Please join us in 2022 for the longest-running course in drug discovery and development in the Boston Area. Look out for enrollment information and announcements for the 2022 course in late summer. Past students are always welcome to send suggestions and ideas. Join us also for the 2022 Global Conference in Regulatory Science (info).

PPDD is a joint MIT-Harvard course listed in multiple departments under the following numbers: BCMP230/ 7.547J/ 15.136J/ 10.547J/ HST.920J/ IDS.620J. We also welcome students from outside of Harvard or MIT.
Course Directors: Stan N. Finkelstein and Peter K. Sorger
Course Founding Directors: Thomas J. Allen, Charles L. Cooney, G. K. Raju, Anthony Sinskey
PPDD was one of the earliest courses focused on the practice of contemporary drug discovery. It has been updated repeatedly and is thoroughly revamped for the 2020 academic year. PPDD is taught by MIT and Harvard Faculty and by guest experts from the pharma and biotech industries, finance, and government agencies. The course emphasizes a high level of student participation.
PPDD is suitable for individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests from biology to engineering, business and medicine. We welcome both graduates and undergraduate students. You should expect some of the materials to be very familiar and others to be entirely foreign (e.g. finance if you are medical student). This replicates real world work environments and we expect to students with complementary skills to work together in interdisciplinary teams.
Course Description. Introduction to and critical assessment of the concepts, technologies and practical challenges of developing a new medicine and bringing it to market. Pharmacology fundamentals, preclinical drug discovery, clinical trials, manufacturing and regulatory issues, as well as financing and marketing are discussed for small molecule, biologic and cellular therapies. Faculty from MIT, Harvard and industry present introductory and topic-specific lectures (case studies) and students engage in weekly news updates and collaborative research projects. The course uses a medical, economic and societal issues associated with drug development now and in the future.
Wednesdays 3-6pm. MIT room 4-237.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission. No particular course is required. Knowledge of basic biology, biomedicine or bioengineering, and familiarity with basic economic principles will be helpful but not necessary for the course.
Note on class participation: The interactive component of this course is established through insightful questions and critical thinking of students taking the course. It is therefore critical that you prepare for class and are ready to ask insightful questions on the topic of each session. Questions are encouraged throughout the session but are essential in the Q&A part of each class.
As of now, lectures for Fall 2021 will occur in person on MIT campus. Students will be notified of further updates if anything changes.
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