You have impeccable timing. I just returned from BCCE in scorching hot Denton, TX, where I gave a talk in which I made explicit reference to a posting by Carmen Drahl in the CENtral Science blog The Haystack.
I direct the Pharmaceutical and Laboratory Science program at Southwestern College, a ChemTech program with a strong emphasis on serving the considerably large pharmaceutical industry in the greater San Diego area.
In recent history a debate has been roaring about whether the future will be dominated by small molecule drugs or biologics. This is an important consideration as I venture to keep our curriculum current and relevant to the needs of the local industry. I shared this with the audience, along with Carmen Drahl's retort to an article by Reuters that essentially proclaimed biologics to be superior to small molecules.
I'm not taking sides in this debate, as I'm still gathering information and seeking consensus. However, in the interim, we're doing our best to prepare students in our program to be well-prepared for whatever comes their way --- small molecules AND biologics!
I hope you find this information useful.
All the best of success in your upcoming talk!!
Rachel, I should mention that after Carmen's post on favorite molecules for a desert island, I've decided to make this an assignment for my new M.S. class in Physiology and Pharmacology at North Carolina Central University. I teach the first quarter of the class on basic principles of drug action but students are always chomping at the bit to learn about the drugs themselves. So, I plan to use their motivation for an assignment that will comprise 30% of their grade for the first exam to research an interesting drug molecule and detail why it is interesting with regard to its history, discovery, subsequent analogs, impact on human health, and/or unique toxicology.
I will direct them to Carmen's post and promote CENtral Science in general, but the assignment was seeded by Carmen's query.
Hope this helps.