15.136J | Fall 2013 | Graduate

Principles and Practice of Drug Development



The objective of the final project is to work as a multidisciplinary team to explore in-depth a question related to drug discovery and / or development in the context of a specific illness or disorder. Part of the task will be for team members to work together to define and structure the question they plan to address. At all points in the course of their projects, teams are encouraged to meet and discuss with the professors and the Teaching Assistant their topic and approach.


Project Proposal (Due Week 6)

The project outline / proposal should be one page including:

  1. the research question(s) you want to address (i.e., abstract of your argument)
  2. the approach you plan to use (e.g., preliminary data sources)
  3. a statement describing the intended role of each team member

If there is any particular question or issue you would like feedback on, please bring that to our attention in the proposal.

Progress Report (Due Week 11)

For this assignment, we are interested in learning about major developments in your research, including any focus you may have taken within the broad fields indicated in the project proposals. It may be relevant to respond to the questions/comments posed in the proposal reviews, but it is not required. This assignment is very open and you may format it as a general summary, by group member contribution, by subtopic, etc. This assignment should be around 2–5 pages (and not more!).

Final Presentation

Presentations should be around 15 minutes long, followed by 5 minutes for Q&A.

Final Paper

The final paper should be ~20 pages single spaced. There are no specifications for the template aside from keeping roughly to the page limit. If in doubt, use APA formatting for references.

Please include a paragraph describing the actual contribution of each team member. Our expectation is not to find an exact division of work across the team, but we do expect that each team member has contributed at a high level. We are also looking to understand how your varied backgrounds have contributed to the comprehensiveness of the final product.


Below is a list of sample topics for the final project. Descriptions are provided where available.

Opportunities in Cancer (PDF)

Opportunities in Diabetes (PDF)

Opportunities in Neurological Diseases (PDF)

Opportunities in Cardiovascular Diseases

Opportunities in Autoimmune Diseases

Post-Marketing Surveillance

Contract Manufacturing / Outsourcing

Quality by Design

Continuous Manufacturing

Stem Cells

Clinical Trials in Developing Countries

Opportunities in Neglected / Tropical Diseases (PDF)