November 1, 2022
Dr. Meenakshi Arora, associate professor of biological sciences with the College of Community Health Sciences, explained the process of drug development during a Mini Medical School presentation to University of Alabama OLLI members in October.
Arora is also a core member of UA’s Center for Convergent Bioscience and Medicine, which works to develop novel medications for immune-inflammatory diseases through drug discovery and drug repurposing.
Arora said medications are made of substances that are used to prevent, diagnose, treat or relive symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition. Drugs can affect how the brain and the rest of the body work, and can cause changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings or behavior.
Medications are the substances that help restore normalcy to the body and mind, Arora said.
Medications are developed through different stages: drug discovery, pre-clinic development, clinical development and regulatory approval.
Some of the ways medications are delivered to the body are through the mouth, skin, nasal passages, lungs and eyes.
Arora said a number of researchers have found ways to change the pharmaceutical landscape of drug delivery in the body through polymers that can help the release of medication within the body. An example is a type of insulin to help blood sugar enter the body’s cells that is then used for energy. Insulin is required for people with type 1 diabetes.
The Mini Medical School lecture series is a collaboration of UA’s OLLI program and CCHS, which operates UMC.