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
• 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.