Monday, December 5, 2011
Modern Steroid Science: An Introduction
Driven by the great medicinal potential of the steroidal sex hormones, anabolic substances and anti-inflammatory agents, the period of the 1930s through the 1950s has been called 'the golden age of steroid chemistry,' a time when researchers from industry (Syntex, Ciba and others) and academia (Johnson, Eschenmoser, Corey, Stork and others) alike fruitfully pursued and delineated the chemistry and biology associated with steroids and semisynthetic derivatives of great biomedical importance. Subsequently, the pharmaceutical industry shifted its focus to a library-based approach to drug discovery that favored small molecules whose physicochemical parameters fell within dimensions that were likely to confer oral bioavailability. In recent years, steroid research has seen a resurgence of activity, as a new generation of scientists has begun to recognize the pharmacologically privileged nature of the steroid molecular framework. This blog will highlight outstanding scientific achievements pertaining to steroid chemistry (organic synthesis and biosynthesis) and biochemistry (pharmacology / mechanism of action studies) published from 2010 to the present.