Science Education: Pharmacology
Understanding how medicines work in the body and finding ways to make them to work better—that's pharmacology. Studies in pharmacology focus on questions like:
- How are medicines processed inside the body?
- How does a person's genetic makeup influence a drug's effectiveness?
- Can we find new uses for existing medicines?
Follow the links below to learn more about pharmacology, including recent discoveries, and read profiles of researchers working in this field.
Medicines By Design
Discusses the many different ways medicines work in the body and how this information guides the hunt for drugs of the future.
Medicines for You: Studying How Your Genes Can Make a Difference
Describes research on personalized medicines and why it's important.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacogenomics
Pharmacogenomics is focused on how genes affect individual responses to medicines. Learn more about this field and how it could help doctors pick the right treatment option for each patient.
How Medicines Work
We're developing a better understanding of drugs and how the body responds to them. Read how this knowledge is helping us improve the way medicines work.
New Research Sheds Light on Drug-Induced Salivary Issues
A protein in salivary gland cells takes up a drug from the bloodstream and secretes it in saliva, contributing to impaired taste.
Anesthesia and Brain Cells: A Temporary Disruption?
An anesthetic temporarily disrupts important structures within neurons, suggesting that other molecular mechanisms may contribute to the late effects of anesthesia exposure.
Multitarget Drugs to Challenge Microbial Resistance
Researchers developed analogs of an experimental tuberculosis drug that killed other types of microbes in lab experiments and could also help overcome drug resistance.
A Medicine's Life Inside the Body
To aid the design of medicines that are more effective and that produce fewer side effects, scientists are studying each stage of a medicine's life inside the body.
An Experimental Contact Lens to Prevent Glaucoma-Induced Blindness
A specially designed contact lens that can release a glaucoma medicine at a steady rate for up to a month offers numerous potential clinical advantages over the standard eyesight-saving treatment.
Using Genes to Guide Prescriptions
Scientists in a research field called pharmacogenomics aim to understand how genes influence individual drug responses. Here are examples of their findings related to different medical conditions.
The Right Fit
Clinical pharmacist Julie Johnson researches how genes affect the body's response to medicines.
Chemical engineer "Lola" Eniola-Adefeso studies methods to improve the delivery of heart disease drugs.
Toxicologist Serrine Lau studies the role of genes in the body's response to chemical exposure.
Student Chelsea Morales on her career path
Chelsea Morales, a graduate student and member of the White Clay (Gros-Ventre) Nation, talks about how she hopes her research in pharmacogenomics will help Native American peoples.
Dr. Erica Woodahl on the promise of personalized medicine
Erica Woodahl shares how research in pharmacogenetics can improve human health and address health disparities—especially those related to cancer—in tribal peoples.
Dr. Rochelle Long on Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine
NIGMS' Rochelle Long talks about pharmacogenomics and personalized medicines.
Anti-Tumor Drug Ecteinascidin 743 (ET-743)
Ecteinascidin 743 (ET-743, brand name Yondelis) was discovered and isolated from a sea squirt, Ecteinascidia turbinata.
Antibodies in Silica Honeycomb
Antibodies are among the most promising therapies for certain forms of cancer, but patients must take them intravenously.
Dose-response curves determine how much of a drug (X-axis) causes a particular effect, or a side effect, in the body (Y-axis).