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The emergence of the drug receptor theory

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery volume 1, pages 637641 (2002) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Today, the concept of specific receptors for drugs and transmitters lies at the very heart of pharmacology. Less than one hundred years ago, this novel idea met with considerable resistance in the scientific community. To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of John Newport Langley, one of the founders of the receptor concept, we highlight his most important observations, and those of Paul Ehrlich and Alfred Joseph Clark, who similarly helped to establish the receptor theory of drug action.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Wellcome Trust (History of Medicine Project Grant).

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  1. Andreas-Holger Maehle and Cay-Rüdiger Prüll are at the Centre for History of Medicine and Disease, Wolfson Research Institute, University of Durham, Queen's Campus, Stockton, University Boulevard, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6BH, UK.

    • Andreas-Holger Maehle
    •  & Cay-Rüdiger Prüll
  2. Robert F. Halliwell is at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, T. J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California 95211, USA.

    • Robert F. Halliwell

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Correspondence to Robert F. Halliwell.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nrd875

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