Synopses & Reviews
After more than fifty years of blockbuster drug development, skeptics are beginning to fear we are reaching the end of drug discovery to combat major diseases. In this engaging book, Brent R. Stockwell, a leading researcher in the exciting new science of chemical biology, describes this dilemma and the powerful techniques that may bring drug research into the twenty-first century.
Filled with absorbing stories of breakthroughs, this book begins with the scientific achievements of the twentieth century that led to today's drug innovations. We learn how the invention of mustard gas in World War I led to early anti-cancer agents and how the efforts to decode the human genome might lead to new approaches in drug design. Stockwell then turns to the seemingly incurable diseases we face today, such as Alzheimer's, many cancers, and others with no truly effective medicines, and details the cellular and molecular barriers thwarting scientists equipped with only the tools of traditional pharmaceutical research.
Scientists such as Stockwell are now developing methods to combat these complexities--technologies for constructing and testing millions of drug candidates, sophisticated computational modeling, and entirely new classes of drug molecules--all with an eye toward solving the most profound mysteries of living systems and finding cures for intractable diseases. If successful, these methods will unlock a vast terrain of untapped drug targets that could lead to a bounty of breakthrough medicines. Offering a rare, behind-the-scenes look at this cutting-edge research, The Quest for the Cure tells a thrilling story of science, persistence, and the quest to develop a new generation of cures.
"Stockwell, professor of biology and chemistry at Columbia University, claims that the success drug companies have had developing specific chemicals to combat disease is likely coming to an end. According to Stockwell, the techniques scientists have used to fight disease up to now, binding drug molecules to proteins, may have reached its limit, as most proteins, it seems, cannot bind with drug molecules; they are 'undruggable.' But genes are 'druggable.' Stockwell is impressive in describing a new paradigm of pharmaceutical research that could open a host of new possibilities for currently untreatable diseases involving advances in genomics, molecular biology, and chemistry. By providing accessible explanations for the underlying biological and chemical principles that apply to the complex solutions he describes, Stockwell enables even the scientifically unsophisticated reader to gain a wider perspective on what future disease treatment might entail.Â He also brings to life the excitement of scientific research by highlighting classic experiments that have shaped our understanding of biological systems and profiling major players in the field. Illus. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.