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Medical Chemistry Laboratory


The Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory (MedChemLab) belongs to the Department of Organic Chemistry of the School of Chemistry of Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). The group was established in 1996 by professor María Luz López Rodríguez and is made up of 16 members (one full professor, five associate professors, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, master students, and undergraduate students). The staff includes researchers with different areas of expertise (organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, cell and structural biology, and computational modelling). The MedChemLab is a member of the Research Institute Hospital 12 de Octubre (i+12) of the Carlos III Health Institute and of the Universitary Institute for Neurochemistry Research (IUIN) of the UCM.

Scientific objectives

The main research interest of the MedChemLab is the development of new pharmacological agents for high incidence diseases -we aim at the validation of alternative pharmacological strategies that present advantages or can complement the available treatments- or for rare diseases, that in general lack of adequate therapies. In addition, research in the MedChemLab is dedicated to the search of new molecular entities for the validation of therapeutic targets of interest for central nervous system pathologies, cancer, diabetes, and infections. Finally, another important focus of the MedChemLab research is the development of new methodologies for the study of the biological systems employing medicinal chemistry and chemical biology strategies.

Research lines

  • Development of allosteric modulators of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) with therapeutic interest. Among them, we are focused on the dopamine D1 receptor for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease or the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor for diabetes.
  • Design and synthesis of new antagonists of the lysophosphatidic acid receptors, in particular the LPA1 and LPA2 receptors, with potential to ameliorate the progression of the spinal cord injury.
  • New pharmacological strategies for the treatment of multi-resistant bacterial infections based on the inhibition of the bacterial protein FtsZ and on the development of antibiotic-antibody conjugates for dealing with tuberculosis.
  • Development of new inhibitors of the isoprenylcarboxymethylltransferase (ICMT) enzyme for the treatment of Ras-dependent tumours and the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.
  • Identification and validation of the therapeutic targets of natural products with interesting biological activities but unknown mechanisms of action.
  • Identification of the metabolites produced by the human microbiota and development of new compounds with therapeutic activity inspired on microbiota metabolites.