Why Pain Research Matters

July 27, 2010

Our good blogfriend JuniorProf has launched a campaign to explain why pain research matters. I am already learning lots of stuff from his older posts. Also from observations such as this one at Almost Diamonds and this one from Zuska.
The thing that caught my eye recently, though, was this post:
Drug discovery in academia and NIH, a new type of U01

This brings us to the bane of drug discovery: absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME). This is something that industry does very well.

ADME in academia, well, let’s just say, not so much. The reasons for this are likely pretty simple: its an important area of drug development but not the most exciting, by any stretch of the imagination (sorry you ADME specialists), and it often requires all sorts of rather expensive testing in model organisms that aren’t used often in academic labs. Its also highly compound-specific and this makes grant writing very hard (or so I hear).

JuniorProf then goes on to make an argument for why drug development should be done in academia and how that might work best. He then describes a recent NIH initiative that is trying to support some academic drug development effort.
Go read. Follow @juniorprofblog on Twitter or perhaps just the #painresearchmatters hashtag.

3 Responses to “Why Pain Research Matters”

  1. augustine Says:

    Very nice blog at Juniorprof indeed. Must read.
    In addition, I just discovered a draft of the HHS budget/strategic plan 2010-2015 at
    It is a very interesting read for young investigators but also those of us dealing with approaching competitive renewals. What I don’t know is if in publishing a draft, NIH is kind of requesting comments ????.
    Just in case CPP complains about suggestion boxes !!!


  2. juniorprof Says:

    Thanks for the support DM!!!!
    Augustine, that draft would suggest that drug discovery programs within intramural and extramural NIH funding are only going to increase. I think that’s great news and nice to see that they are trying to seize the opportunity while BigPharma capacity is decreasing. It would be nice to see us eventually move toward a model wherein there is widespread cooperation between HHS and Pharma in terms of meeting the population’s needs for better pharmacology. Yeah, I know, that’s a utopian wish if there ever was one…


  3. Joseph Says:

    Thanks for the pointer.
    I always like to remember that academic research has been a successful venue for drug discovery before (insulin via Banting and Best at the University of Toronto come immmediately to mind) and it might help with both niche drugs and with agents where marketing is potentially problematic.


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