With the rapid advancement of the human genome project, the race is on to identify the relatively few useful target genes for drug discovery. The power of developmental biology in this effort has recently begun to be recognized. In addition to the use of model developmental organisms for functional studies, certain pluripotent cell populations and gene products that are present during embryogenesis are candidate therapeutic tools for use in the treatment of human diseases. These agents could be used to repair diseased tissues by inducing or directing developmental programs that recapitulate embryonic processes to replace specialized cells. The direct manipulation of embryonic development by pharmaceutical agents is a unique application of developmental biology that is currently being explored in animal agriculture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery