The Drug Hunters: The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines

The Drug Hunters: The Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines

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Overview

"A must-read for a 'behind the scenes' look at new drug development.” —Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, NBC News Health Editor. The surprising, behind-the-scenes story of how our medicines are discovered, told by a veteran drug hunter.

The search to find medicines is as old as disease, which is to say as old as the human race. Through serendipity— by chewing, brewing, and snorting—some Neolithic souls discovered opium, alcohol, snakeroot, juniper, frankincense, and other helpful substances.

Ötzi the Iceman, the five-thousand-year-old hunter frozen in the Italian Alps, was found to have whipworms in his intestines and Bronze-age medicine, a worm-killing birch fungus, knotted to his leggings. Nowadays, Big Pharma conglomerates spend billions of dollars on state-of the art laboratories staffed by PhDs to discover blockbuster drugs. Yet, despite our best efforts to engineer cures, luck, trial-and-error, risk, and ingenuity are still fundamental to medical discovery.

The Drug Hunters is a colorful, fact-filled narrative history of the search for new medicines from our Neolithic forebears to the professionals of today, and from quinine and aspirin to Viagra, Prozac, and Lipitor. The chapters offer a lively tour of how new drugs are actually found, the discovery strategies, the mistakes, and the rare successes of drug hunters from the US, UK, Germany, and other nations.

Dr. Donald R. Kirsch infuses the book with his own expertise and experiences from thirty-five years of drug hunting, whether searching for life-saving molecules in mudflats by Chesapeake Bay or as a chief science officer and research group leader at major pharmaceutical companies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628729863
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 778,855
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Donald R. Kirsch, PhD, has been a drug hunter for thirty five years, holds twenty-four drug-related patents, has written more than fifty papers, has been a reviewer for prestigious journals, a director, research group leader, and chief science officer at Wyeth, Cyanamid, Squibb, and Cambria Pharmaceuticals, and currently teaches drug discovery at Harvard Extension School. He lives in Westchester, MA.

Ogi Ogas, PhD, is a professional science writer. He is the coauthor of A Billion Wicked Thoughts and Shrinks and has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Wired, Glamour, Seed, and Psychology Today. He lives in Boston, MA.

Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, is an award-winning clinician, scientist, health journalist, and author. She is a national media expert in the field of health and wellness with a particular focus on mindful living.

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