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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Thomas L. Pazdernik, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book is a collaborative project from the Harvard Medical School Faculty and Students that departs from traditional pharmacology textbooks in that it is designed around molecular targets rather than drug classes. It provides an understanding of drug action in the context of human physiology, biochemistry, and pathophysiology.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a unique textbook to meet the needs of medical students based on a collaborative effort between students and faculty experts. This effort has led to an extraordinarily superb book with outstanding illustrations that discusses pharmacology from a conceptual viewpoint rather than categorizing drugs in the framework of drug classes. This will become a valuable textbook for many courses in medical and basic pharmacology.
Audience: This is a conceptual pharmacology textbook for medical, dental, and pharmacy students, but practicing physicians and graduate students in experimental pharmacology will also find it to be an excellent textbook.
Features: The first section deals with the general principles of pharmacology. Subsequent sections address the principles of neuropharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, endocrine pharmacology, chemotherapy, inflammation, and immune pharmacology and toxicology. Section VIII deals with contemporary approaches to drug discovery, development, and delivery while the last section discusses the fundamentals of drug evaluation and pharmacogenomics. Highlights include the introduction of each chapter with a clinical case specific to a target system followed by relevant biochemistry, physiology, and pathophysiology of the system; over 400 two-color figures that illustrate drug targets in the treatment of diseases; summary tables of drugs by mechanism, class, adverse effects, interactions, and contraindications in a format that allows rapid review; and the application of up-to-date molecular and cellular science allowing the incorporation of new drugs into the learner's knowledge base.
Assessment: This book will be a very strong competitor to Katzung's Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 9th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2004). I intend to adopt it for our graduate course in pharmacology and then decide whether to also adopt it for the medical pharmacology course. The book is both unique and excellent with the highest quality of well-designed illustrations. I strongly recommend it.