I hope my readers who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a good one. Everything went well here, and there are plenty of turkey leftovers today. My wife always looks forward to a sandwich of turkey in a flour tortilla with hoisin sauce and fresh scallions. I can endorse that one, and I’m also a fan of turkey on pumpernickel with mayonnaise and horseradish. But to each their own! It’s a big country, and can accommodate turkey quesadillas, turkey with mango pickle and naan, turkey with barbecue sauce, and who knows what else.
Over the next week or two, as I did last year, I’ll be posting some science-themed gift ideas along with my regular postings. I should mention, as I do from time to time, that this blog is an Amazon affiliate, so links to Amazon from here will earn a small commission, at no change in the price on the buyer’s end. So if you have some big online shopping to do, I encourage you to pick a blog or site that you’ve enjoyed during the year and use their affiliate links if they have them – everything that’s ordered after such a redirect will send some money back to the site’s owner. In my own case, I pledge to use a significant part of any proceeds to buy still more books, thereby stuffing my head with even more marginally useful knowledge.
I’ll start off with gifts that you might well be ordering for yourself – books on medicinal chemistry and related fields. This is an updated version of the list I posted last year, with some additions.
At various times, I’ve asked the readership for the best books on the practice of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Here are the favorites mentioned by readers over the last few years (nominations for others are welcome):
For general medicinal chemistry, you have Bob Rydzewski’s Real World Drug Discovery: A Chemist’s Guide to Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research. Another recommendation is Textbook of Drug Design and Discovery by Krogsgaard-Larsen et al. Many votes also were cast for Camille Wermuth’s The Practice of Medicinal Chemistry. For getting up to speed, several readers recommend Graham Patrick’s An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry. And an older text that has some fans is Richard Silverman’s The Organic Chemistry of Drug Design and Drug Action.
Process chemistry is its own world with its own issues. Recommended texts here are Practical Process Research & Development by Neal Anderson, Repic’s Principles of Process Research and Chemical Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and Process Development: Fine Chemicals from Grams to Kilograms by Stan Lee (no, not that Stan Lee) and Graham Robinson. On an even larger scale, McConville’s The Pilot Plant Real Book comes recommended by readers here, too.
Another book that focuses on a particular (important) area of drug discovery is Robert Copeland’s Evaluation of Enzyme Inhibitors in Drug Discovery. This is a new edition of the book recommended in this post last year.
Another newer book on a particular area of med-chem is Bioisosteres in Medicinal Chemistry by Brown et al., which also comes recommended by several readers.
For chemists who want to brush up on their biology, readers recommend Terrence Kenakin’s A Pharmacology Primer, Third Edition: Theory, Application and Methods, Cannon’s Pharmacology for Chemists, and Molecular Biology in Medicinal Chemistry by Nogrady and Weaver.
Overall, one of the most highly recommended books across the board comes from the PK end of things: Drug-like Properties: Concepts, Structure Design and Methods: from ADME to Toxicity Optimization by Kerns and Di. Another recent PK-centric book is Lead Optimization for Medicinal Chemists. For getting up to speed in this area, there’s Pharmacokinetics Made Easy by Donald Birkett.
In a related field, standard desk references for toxicology seems to be Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons and Hayes’ Principles and Methods of Toxicology Every medicinal chemist will end up learning a good amount toxicology, too often the hard way.
As mentioned, titles to add to the list are welcome. I’ll be doing a post later on less technical general interest science books as well.