Abel Pharmboy

About Abel Pharmboy

To contact the author, please e-mail abelpharmboy [at] gmail [dot] com.

Abel Pharmboy is the pseudonym of a PhD researcher and educator trained in pharmacology and toxicology, hoping to be a voice of reason and skepticism, but equally open-minded about conventional and folkloric therapeutic agents. I take prescription drugs, I take certain herbal products, I’ve interned in a pharmaceutical company, I’ve worked in a university, I’ve been awarded tenure, I’ve relinquished tenure…you get the picture. Readers will be the judges of whether I’m objective.

“Abel” is not a typo, but rather a dedication to the American father of Pharmacology, John Jacob Abel, M.D. (1857-1938). Trained in Europe (his MD was from Strassburg), Prof Abel established the first US medical pharmacology department at the University of Michigan in 1891, then did the same in 1893 at a fledgling medical school called Johns Hopkins. He remained in Baltimore until his death.

In honor of Prof Abel, the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) awards an annual J.J. Abel Award in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics for original and outstanding research by a pharmacologist under the age of 42. During the centennial year of the society, great sport was made of calculating one’s “Abel number,” the degrees of separation one is from the good professor along the lineage of one’s scientific training. Prof Abel also founded the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET).

Why do I write under a pseudonym? First, I’ve used it for quite awhile now and think it’s kind of a neat pseudonym. Frankly, I never thought I’d have a readership where anyone would care to know who I actually am. Many science bloggers who know me in meatspace will say, “I know that you’re ‘Abel’ but I forget your real name.” I’ve gotten to the point that if I were to blog under my real name, I’d lose readers who are looking for Abel Pharmboy.

Perhaps more relevant is that I also have a deep respect for the history of my discipline and the shoulders on which I stand. I fear that pharmacology is disappearing as a distinct course of training despite it being the original interdisciplinary biomedical science. I’d argue that the new, catchy programs in Chemical Biology owe their basic skills and principles to the foundations of Pharmacology.

If you really must know my precise credentials to evaluate the veracity and authority of my writings, drop me an e-mail. If you have a compelling reason – especially if you are a health, medical, or science journalist – I will be delighted to oblige.

Statements made on this blog are solely the personal opinions of the author and do not reflect the positions of his employer or his other affiliated academic institutions, graduate training programs, professional associations, or research funding agencies.

This page was last updated on 21 July 2010

2 thoughts on “Abel Pharmboy

  1. Pingback: The Right Chemistry | Terra Sigillata

  2. Pingback: Well, How Did I Get Here? | Terra Sigillata

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