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Humans have constantly searched for effective and safe relief from pain. One pain reliever, used from antiquity, has been opium derived from poppy plants. In the nineteenth century, the pain killers morphine, codeine, and thebaine were isolated from opium. Morphine and codeine quickly became important medicines for treating pain, cough, and diarrhea. This exhibit tells how 20th century researchers at the National Institutes of Health created new opiate drugs and developed a synthetic source for morphine and codeine -- and why.
The Drug Design and Synthesis Section of the Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry (LMC) is part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Its mission is to identify the structure and function of chemical messenger systems in the brain and to determine how drugs, especially opium, affect the brain on a molecular level.
In the photo below are: seated in the first row Ross Johnson, Marina Mattson, Kenner Rice, Margaret Aein, Arthur Jacobson. Standing in the middle Row are: Dorota Mateka, Neil Grayson, Guerdy Toussaint, Lilian Radesca, Celia Dominguez, Zi-Qiang Gu, Brian de Costa. Standing in the third and final row are: Dragona Tadic, Wanda Williams, Xiao-Shu He, Dorothea Thomasson, Jan Linders, Wayne Bowen, John Glowa, Bertold Vilner. (December 1991).
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