Tapping Molecular Wilderness: Drugs from Chemistry, Biology, Biodiversity Interface
This book is for readers with some background in science, concerning the search for drugs, starting from molecular diversity in nature or molecular wilderness. Drug molecules may be used as such, or as starting points for improved drugs obtained from the interface of chemistry and biology. In some cases, the essential molecular features for drug properties from natural molecules may be identified and modified to more effective ones. In other cases, nature provides the targets, such as essential enzymes from infectious microorganisms, from which synthetic drugs can be designed. The mechanisms of action of drugs can be discerned by studying target-drug interactions. Nature may fight back, as in cases when microorganisms become resistant to drugs, but we can again use the chemistry-biology interface to obtain drugs which overcome the resistance. The battle goes on, hopefully with victory for both humans and balance of nature. This book differs from those available on the subject of natural products and drugs derived therefrom in that it looks at the broad picture on how materials and organisms from nature affect our health and how we have combined our knowledge in chemistry, biology, and biodiversity to promote our wellness from resources in the “molecular wilderness,” with caveats on sustainable utilization of these resources. It is therefore suitable, not only for readers interested in science and medicine, but also for those with interest in policy issues concerning sustainable development, environment, and issues concerning interaction of science and society in general.
About the Author
Prof. Yongyuth Yuthavong is senior research fellow at the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) of Thailand. While working at Mahidol University, Thailand, he was given the “Outstanding Scientist of Thailand” Award (1984) for his research on malaria biochemistry. In 2004, he received the Nikkei Asia Prize for Science, Technology and Innovation from Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc., Japan, for his work on antimalarial drug targets. He is a former Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand (2006-2008) and was the first president of NSTDA (1992-1998). He is now involved in the development of drugs against drug-resistant malaria as well as policy issues for science and technology, and education in general. He has special interest in introducing science and technology to young people.
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