The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1988 to George Hitchings, PhD, DSc, Gertrude B. Elion, MS, and Sir James Black, MB, ChB, and the Lasker Clinical Medicine Research Award to Vincent P. Dole, MD, highlighted some recent advances in pharmacology and therapeutics. Dr Hitchings and Ms Elion received recognition for their work on nucleic acid synthesis that has led to thioguanine, mercaptopurine, azathioprine, allopurinol, cotrimoxazole (sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim), and acyclovir. Dr Black was recognized for his research on receptor antagonists leading to β-adrenergic blockers and histamine2 receptor antagonists. All three were honored for moving drug discovery and development from an era based on natural products to one based on understanding basic biochemical and physiological processes. Dr Dole received his award for his research on narcotic dependence and addiction, including the development of methadone maintenance and acceptance that addiction is a treatable chronic illness. The themes
Reidenberg MM. Clinical Pharmacology. JAMA. 1989;261(19):2831–2832. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190107028
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