Pharmacology is a discipline that incorporates knowledge of molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physiology to analyze the association between therapeutic agents and biological processes. Pharmacologists study the mechanism and effects of action of chemical agents and drugs with living organisms (Nagle and Barbara 2005).
Pharmacology has multiple and diverse areas and include the toxicological and therapeutic actions of drug on microorganisms, animals, and humans, the effect of chemicals upon the biological and environmental ecosystems, and the employment of drugs as study instruments for the education of biochemical and molecular mechanisms. UCSB became the pioneer in offering degree in pharmacological sciences curriculum in 1974. As opposed to professional courses in pharmacy, nursing, and medicine, UCSB lay emphasize in pharmacology as a rudimentary science.
Pharmacology major in UCSB is intended for learners interested in research, in all fields of the health sciences. The discipline is not in any way linked to pharmacy training. Pharmacology comprises of different areas, but the two chief areas include pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacodynamics studies the impacts of the drugs on living organisms, and pharmacokinetics studies the impacts of living organisms on the drugs. In general, pharmacokinetics studies the excretion, metabolism, distribution, and absorption of chemicals from the living organisms, while pharmacodynamics studies the biological receptors with chemicals.
Even though pharmacy and pharmaceuticals are commonly confused or used interchangeably, the two terms are not synonymous. While pharmacology is a biomedical science that deals with the interaction of drugs within living organisms to affect function, pharmacy deals with the application of knowledge acquired from pharmacology. Therapeutics, the employment of drugs for disease treatment, is old as medicine (Vallance 2006). In contrast, clinical pharmacology (the scientific source of therapeutics) is a relatively new field, and nearly all the means it uses have been established during the last 50 years.
Physicians practicing therapeutics and clinical pharmacology aim to boost the patient’s care by enhancing more efficient and safer use of drugs. Therapeutics and clinical pharmacology was developed as a separate field in the 1960s. Universities realized that organ-based specialists and pharmacologists did not adequately cover specific expertise in drug use. This was immediately followed by the institution of departments in universities headed by therapeutics and clinical pharmacology professors.
The growth of academic clinical pharmacology was mirrored in the rise of British Pharmacological Society Clinical Section and the unveiling of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Within universities therapeutics and clinical pharmacology has three key responsibilities. These include undergraduate education, mainly meant for medical students, postgraduate education, and research integrating a variety of activities from the chief actions of drug in human beings, through the impacts of drug in ailment, to research into epidemiology use of drug and drug policy.
Chemical studies need cherished familiarity of the affected biological systems. With the increase in biochemistry and cell biology, pharmacology field has also experienced substantial changes. It is now possible, through receptors molecular analysis to develop chemicals that act on metabolic pathways or specific cellular signaling by affecting locations on cell-surface receptors. In the recent past, pharmacology has experienced a sharp growth, with multiple researches by different scholars being undertaken.
The University of Cambridge is an instance of one of the many institutions that have instituted intensive research in pharmacology. In partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Company, the university aims to learn and advance medicines for liver treatment. This research will employ previous research work in the same field. The university has singled out a molecular mechanism that takes a key role in the lethal liver diseases that grow among persons with a specific mutant gene.
The University of Cambridge has also made a breakthrough in developing a new technology capable of delivering sustained therapeutics release for up to half a year (www. cam. ac. uk). This could be used in situations requiring routine injections, such as diabetes, certain forms of cancer and possibly HIV/AIDS. The researchers have developed spreadable, reformable, and injectable hydrogels capable of being loaded with therapeutics such as protein. The hydrogels comprise up to 99. 7% volume of water, with the remainder chiefly comprising of cellulose polymers bound together with cucurbiturils.
Pharmacology study is offered in various universities globally in programs different from pharmacy programs. Pharmacology students are educated as biomedical scholars, studying the impacts of substances to gain an insight of the mechanisms, which lead to discovery of new drugs. In addition, pharmacology students should have adequate working skills of those fields in which chemical or biological therapeutics take an active role. These areas include microbiology, neuroscience, chemistry, physiology, chemical biology, genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry.
Pharmacologist students eventually land employment in a laboratory setting, while pharmacy students deal with patients. In conclusion, pharmacology is a relatively new discipline that most people confuse with pharmacy. It is defined as a discipline that incorporates knowledge of molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physiology to analyze the association between therapeutic agents and biological processes. Pharmacology study has gained significant growth since its inception in the 1960s.
Some of the common university that offers pharmacology specialization includes the University of Cambridge, Yale University, and the University of Toronto. Works Cited Nagle, H. , and Barbara, N. Pharmacology: An Introduction. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2005. Print. University of Cambridge. New Technology Delivers Sustained Release of Drugs for up to Six Months. Retrieved September 11, 2012 from http://www. cam. ac. uk/research/news/new-technology-delivers-sustained-release-of-drugs-for-up-to-six-months/ Vallance, P. “The Future of Pharmacology” British Journal of Pharmacology 147. 1: 304-307, 2006. Print.