Research techniques made simple: An introduction to drug discovery for dermatology

Mark Bell, Lauren Webster, Andrew Woodland (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


This article aims to provide an overview of drug discovery with a focus on application within dermatology. The term “drug” can be used to describe a wide variety of agents, including small molecules, cell therapies, and antibodies, which may be dosed intravenously, orally, topically, or by other routes of administration. We summarize the economics and risks involved in drug discovery. Understanding the needs of patients and clinicians through use of a target product profile before initiating drug discovery can reduce time and effort spent developing a poor or unneeded drug. For small molecule drug discovery, a chemical starting point is then required. We present four options for finding a chemical starting point for drug discovery projects: screening libraries of compounds or modifying, reformulating, or repositioning a known drug. Examples of each technique's use in dermatology are provided. We also describe the subsequent steps involved in discovery of a new drug. To help interested readers, we provide information on how to engage with academic drug discovery centers or industrial partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2252-2257.e1
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number11
Early online date21 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Drug Development
  • Methods/Tools/Techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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