The first textbook written by Professor Erland Stevens, Medicinal Chemistry: The Modern Drug Discovery Process, was recently published by Prentice Hall/Pearson Education. The book was about 10 years in the making and is designed to strengthen essential chemistry skills through the study of medicinal chemistry. Stevens explains that medicinal chemistry is an excellent topic for reinforcing introductory chemistry concepts because almost all students have some exposure to its topics in their daily lives. Students' familiarity with medicinal chemistry and its reliance on concepts from organic, physical, and biological chemistry help students apply and extend their chemistry knowledge in an area that is relevant to them and society at large.
More specifically the text's goal is to allow a student to adequately understand a professional medicinal chemistry lecture that would be offered, for instance, at meetings of the American Chemical Society. Such lectures typically include an introduction to a disease, coverage of possible points of intervention for a drug, discovery of weakly active drug hits through screening, selection of drug leads, optimization of a clinical drug candidate, and some details of drug synthesis. By highlighting the concepts and skills related to drug discovery, Stevens deepens students' comprehension of the knowledge and techniques needed for future careers in chemistry, medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry.