What is `biochemical pharmacology'?
• A fancy way of saying `pharmacology', and of hiding the fact that we are sneaking a subject of medical inter-est into the UW biochemistry curriculum.
• An indication that we are not going to discuss prescrip-tions for your grandmother's aching knee; we will focus on the scientific side of things but not on whether to take the small blue pill before or after the meal.
What is it not?
• A claim that we accurately understand the mechanism of action of each practically useful drug in biochemi-cal terms.
A claim that enzyme mechanisms and receptor struc-tures, or even cell biology suffice as a basis to under-stand drug action in the human body (how do you mea-sure blood pressure on a cell culture?). In fact, we are go-ing to spend some time with physiological phenomena such as cell exitation and synaptic transmission that are targeted by many practically important drugs.
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