Description: Kenakin pulls the chemist and the biologist towards the intersection of their disciplines, showing how complex biological systems and their responses to chemicals may be described using data from appropriate experimental approaches in conceptual and mathematical models.
Purpose: The author notes that the genotype is one of the factors defining the effects of chemicals on biological systems (pharmacology), but that these end effects (phenotype)are the result of additional factors and events beyond the genotype. He focuses on the fundamental concepts of dose-response and signal processing as more proximal factors in drug effects. The appreciation of these functional factors is essential to the understanding of drug effects and to the process of rational drug development.
Audience: The book seeks to unite chemists, biologists, and pharmacologists for the understanding and experimental study of receptor pharmacology. The level of presentation is appropriate for those who are advanced graduate students and beyond.
Features: The design of each chapter is noteworthy definitions and concepts are introduced and developed, with the increasing mathematical input necessary to support the development. For those wishing a more rigorous mathematical treatment, more extensive derivations are provided as an appendix to each chapter. This separation provides the level of mathematics required for basic understanding, but without intimidating the more mathematically-averse readers.
Assessment: The book seems to work quite well from the perspective of applying fundamental concepts of chemical kinetics to complex biological systems, and thus facilitating the recruitment of chemists into pharmacology. I cannot judge how well it will function in bringing biologists into pharmacology.