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Educación Médica

versión impresa ISSN 1575-1813


BOSCH, F.  y  BANOS, J.E.. Filling the gap: the usefulness of history of science to understand the process of drug research and development. Educ. méd. [online]. 2010, vol.13, n.4, pp.255-262. ISSN 1575-1813.

Introduction. Traditionally, social and experimental sciences have followed different paths, which have led to the creation of an artificial separation between them. One of the clearest examples that has tried to avoid this situation is the creation of disciplines such as the history of science, which helps to bring both closer together. However, the perception among scientists regarding the interest of history is not optimal, despite the undoubted virtues that the latter contains. Materials and methods. In this article the experience of using historical events to contribute to learning of complex processes, such as research and development of new drugs, is described. The use of two cases is outlined that were successfully completed and awarded the Nobel Prize: the modification of neurotransmitters´ structure to obtain new drugs (emasculated hormones) by James Black, and the application of the antimetabolite concept to design drugs for infectious, cancer and endocrine diseases. Conclusion. A teaching approach is remarkably successful in helping students understand the complexities of research and drug development.

Palabras clave : Antimetabolite; Cimetidine; Drugs; History of science; Pharmacology; Problem based learning; Propranolol; Research and development.

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