Medicinal chemistry is the chemistry that is used in the discovery of new medicines.
Medicinal chemistry requires a thorough understanding of molecules, their structures, properties and synthesis. It also demands the chemical understanding of the nature of biological structures, from macromolecules to cells, the design of pharmaceutical materials in the laboratory and their function in clinical settings.
By understanding the mechanisms of drugs action, new molecules can be developed with improved pharmacological properties and reduced side effects.
Although the techniques of medicinal chemistry are widely employed in the drug discovery industry, many of the same principles can be applied to other problems in the chemical and life sciences.