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Pharmacology, a biomedical science

The origins of clinical pharmacology date back to the Middle Ages in Avicenna‘s The Canon of MedicinePeter of Spain‘s Commentary on Isaac, and John of St Amand‘s Commentary on the Antedotary of Nicholas.[Clinical pharmacology owes much of its foundation to the work of William Withering. Pharmacology as a scientific discipline did not further advance until the mid-19th century amid the great biomedical resurgence of that period. Before the second half of the nineteenth century, the remarkable potency and specificity of the actions of drugs such as morphinequinine and digitalis were explained vaguely and with reference to extraordinary chemical powers and affinities to certain organs or tissues.The first pharmacology department was set up by Rudolf Buchheim in 1847, in recognition of the need to understand how therapeutic drugs and poisons produced their effects.

Early pharmacologists focused on natural substances, mainly plant extracts. Pharmacology developed in the 19th century as a biomedical science that applied the principles of scientific experimentation to therapeutic contexts.[Today pharmacologists use geneticsmolecular biologybiochemistry, and other advanced tools to transform information about molecular mechanisms and targets into therapies directed against disease, defects or pathogens, and create methods for preventative care, diagnostics, and ultimately personalized medicine