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.
A Potential Cure for Kissing Bug's Infectious Bite
Treatment options for Chagas disease are limited and toxic. This might change if new research on a small molecule continues to show promise.
Getting to the Bottom of Intestinal Inflammation and Cancer
A drug already approved to treat multiple sclerosis could decrease or possibly stop the progression of intestinal cancers.
New Compound Treats MRSA in Mice
A new compound could lead to novel treatments for antibiotic-resistant staph infections.
New Uses for Old Drugs
Using computers and genome databases, researchers have predicted new uses for drugs already on the market—identifying potential treatments for 53 human diseases.
Nature: The Master Medicine-Maker
Plants, bacteria, fungi and other organisms are a prolific source of new drugs. Chemists seek to discover, examine and modify natural products with the hope of developing new medicines to improve human health.
Anesthesia helps many of us during our lives. But even though anesthetics have been used for more than 150 years, doctors and scientists still don't know exactly how these medicines work in the body.
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).