Brent Stockwell’s The Quest for the Cure: The Science and Stories Behind the Next Generation of Medicines was recently reviewed in The Globe and Mail. (It is the third review.) Here’s the review and for more on the book, you can also watch a video of Brent Stockwell in his lab.
In a society conditioned to continual advances in medicines, news of drug-resistant bacteria, or our inability to control diseases such as Alzheimer’s or certain cancers can be apocalyptically worrisome. Distinguished U.S, scientist Brent Stockwell urges us to take a deep breath as he explores the developing field of chemical biology. This very readable, even exciting work takes us through the medical breakthroughs of the last century (for instance, how the invention of deadly mustard gas in the First World War also led to treatments for cancer). Stockwell thinks we may have exhausted traditional pharmaceutical tools, but not to despair. Future technologies for building and testing drugs will involve increasingly sophisticated computer modelling as well as new forms of drug molecules, which could produce many breakthrough medicines. Brave new world indeed!