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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thaddeus Marczynski, MD, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book describes measurements of drug activities in biological systems, assuming that these measurements may be useful for better understanding the mechanisms and therapeutic actions of drugs in humans. The book emphasizes operational approaches to quantifying molecular activity in organ systems; therefore, it does not require knowledge about detailed molecular mechanisms.
Purpose: The book is structured as an introduction to the science of pharmacology and application of its principles toward probing biological system, and as such the book is not targeted at any specific medical specialty.
Audience: The book is clearly useful to students as well to medical practitioners who want to understand the mechanisms of drug therapeutic actions and their potential untoward or toxic effects.
Features: Chapter 1 deals with definitions of major terms and classification of biological systems. Chapters 2 and 3 deal with the dose-response curves and their implications for modeling and understanding molecular events. Chapter 4 discusses human receptors created from recombinant DNA and their usefulness in clinical and basic research settings. Chapters 5 and 6 deal with estimates of drug tissue concentrations, receptor sensitivity and with various ways receptors transmit information to the cell. Chapters 7 and 8 are devoted to the methods used in evaluating receptor responses and antagonism of these responses, respectively. Chapter 9 deals with the statistical assessment of differences in biological system responses, as well as with their molecular interpretation.
Assessment: In general, the quality of the book is very good and should be purchased by libraries of medical colleges. Parenthetically, however, one should mention that figure 6-8A in its large title has a glaring misspelling error: "stimulis" instead of stimuli.