A Young Scientist Roundtable is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Wayzata Central Middle School. Dr. Michael Walters in the medicinal chemistry department at the University of Minnesota will present “From Urea to Lipitor: The Art and Science of Molecular Construction.”
One of the founding events in the field of organic chemistry was Fredrich Wöhler's synthesis of urea in the early nineteenth century. The idea that urea could be made rather than isolated from the urine of an animal launched the imagination and the ability of scientists to synthesize a world of ingredients, technologies, products and medicines.
In creating "life" from something inanimate, the Wöhler Synthesis was an early step on the path to today's study of medicinal chemistry, in which scientists engineer widely used drugs such as Lipito at the molecular level to mimic or alter natural biological processes of the body. Walters is a research professor in the medicinal chemistry department and director of the Lead and Probe Discovery Core in the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery & Development at the University of Minnesota. He will come to Young Scientist Roundtable to discuss how medicinal chemists research, design and synthesize new drug therapies.
Following the presentation at 8:10 to 8:40 p.m., a Teen Roundtable will be held where students will have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions.
The Young Scientist Roundtable is free for students in grades K - 12 and their families and no registration is required.
(Information provided by a Wayzata School District press release.)