RATIONAL DRUG DESIGN: A WINDOW INTO THE AMBITIOUS QUEST OF A NEUROLOGIST AND CHEMIST
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In the difficult world of drug discovery, two main courses of action are open: one is to screen extensive libraries of chemical compounds against hundreds of disease models; another is to acquire a detailed understanding of the molecules involved in a particular disease, and then rationally design compounds that can interact with or block those molecules. The first approach is favoured by large pharmaceutical companies, while the second is favoured by academics. This article illustrates the pursuit of this second approach by a Dalhousie University neurologist and chemist. Through interviews with this scientist and several of his colleagues, the article reveals the science of rational drug design, as well as some of the challenges and compromises involved in bringing discoveries to comm.ercial stages.