100 Years of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology

In 2019 Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology is celebrating its centennial

Celebrating 100 Years of Excellence in Pharmacology

Founded in 1919, the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology is one of the most authoritative and influential book series in pharmacology. To mark its centennial, we present a special collection of prestigious volumes and invite you to take a look. 

From the Editor-in-Chief

James_Barrett. © SpringerThe Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.  The Handbook was founded in 1919 by Arthur Heffter as the “Handbuch der Experimentellen Pharmakologie” and, as of volume 50 in 1978, the series was renamed to its current title.  The first volume published in English was in 1937, titled “General Pharmacology” and the entire volume was written by Alfred Joseph Clark from the University of Edinburgh.   The series has just recently published its 252nd volume, representing a continuing tradition and commitment to the evolution of pharmacology as a vibrant discipline in generating innovative basic and clinical research.  

The Handbook is considered to be one of the most definitive and influential textbooks in Pharmacology, providing critical and comprehensive discussions of the most significant areas of pharmacological research, written by leading international authorities.  Each volume is now published concomitantly in print and online, with each chapter indexed in PubMed for maximum visibility.  

Over the 100 years since its inception, the Handbook has captured the HEP 100th series cover 2 © Springercontinuing advances and dynamic nature of the discipline of pharmacology, celebrating and disseminating new discoveries in basic understanding of mechanisms of drug action to the delivery of new, safe and effective therapeutics.  The significance of the developments in pharmacology over the past century have been acknowledged by the receipt of a number of Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physiology as well as in Chemistry.  These fundamental advances have generated newer and deeper insights into signaling pathways, elucidated our understanding of mechanisms of drug action, while also witnessing remarkable advances in Quantitative Systems and Computational Pharmacology, as well as in enabling technologies such as Pharmacogenomics, Natural Products and Drug Delivery Systems. 

The publisher, Springer, is planning a special volume entitled “Concepts and Principles in Pharmacology: 100 Years of the Handbook of Pharmacology” to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of this series.   This volume will capture much of the progress in pharmacology over the past 100 years, hoping to provide a window of the past achievements as well as an anticipation of  future progress.

James E. Barrett, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology​​​​​​​

100 Years of Highlights: Browse a selection of highly influential volumes

The collection of over 250 volumes of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology over the past 100 years reflects the tremendous growth of the discipline of pharmacology during this period.  These developments, ranging from a more complete understanding and of and insight into molecular mechanisms of drug action across a wide range of therapeutic areas, are reflected in the series, and provide tangible stepping stones to the many significant advances in the discovery and development of new drugs for a wide range of diseases.  Writing in the Handbook over 50 years ago, the Nobel Laureate Sir Henry Dale, commented that “Heffter’s great Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie may be regarded, perhaps, as giving some measure of the prodigious growth, during the past half-century, of those areas of scientific knowledge which can properly be regarded now as belonging to the domain of Pharmacology”.  That growth has continued as pharmacology has evolved and is reflected in the series, which includes over 20 Nobel Laureates who have contributed to the series, as either chapter authors or as volume editors.  

Selected volumes, below, reflect both the maturation of a particular area of pharmacology or volumes that have anticipated future progress by providing the scientific foundation on which further developments have occurred.

© Springer

Catecholamines – Volume 33
Editors: Hermann Blaschko and Erich Muscholl

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Antineoplastic and Immunosuppressive Agents, Part I and Part II – Volume 38
Editors: Alan C. Sartorelli and David G. Johns

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Antihypertensive Agents – Volume 39
Editor: Franz Gross

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Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Volume 50
Editors: John R. Vane and Sergio H. Ferreira

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Pharmacology of Asthma – Volume 98
Editors: Clive P. Page and Peter J. Barnes

Reviews in depth the changing concepts of inflammatory processes in asthma and discusses the implications for research of this common chronic disease, highlighting the promising new options for pharmacological intervention. 

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The Pharmacology of Monoclonal Antibodies – Volume 113
Editors: Martin Rosenberg and Gordon P. Moore

Presents an extensive overview of the rapidly evolving field of MAbs, providing important insight for both basic and applied scientists and clinicians.

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Cannabinoids – Volume 168
Editor: Roger G. Pertwee

An outstanding summary of many aspects of cannabinoid research, representing a stepping-stone to many unsolved problems in biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology and the clinic. 

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Stem Cells – Volume 174
Editors: Anna M. Wobus and Kenneth R. Boheler

An excellent overview encompassing the rapidly advancing developments of stem cell research. 

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Pharmacology of Neurotransmitter Release – Volume 184
Editors: Thomas C. Südhof and Klaus Starke

Provides a comprehensive overview of the pharmacology of neurotransmitter release.

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Mammalian Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Cation Channels – Volumes 222 and 223
Editors: Bernd Nilius and Veit Flockerzi

Gives an excellent overview on mammalian TRP cation channels, a rapidly moving field. 

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Gastrointestinal Pharmacology – Volume 239
Editor: Beverley Greenwood-Van Meerveld

First volume from HEP focused on gastrointestinal (GI) pharmacology, in which the pathophysiology and established pharmacology of common GI disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, gastroparesis, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome are discussed

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New Psychoactive Substances – Volume 252
Editors: Hans H. Maurer and Simon D. Brandt

Gives an update of the multi-layered facets of the “designer drugs” phenomenon that exploded into public’s consciousness in the 2010s. 

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Forthcoming Special Volume

Concepts and Principles of Pharmacology – 100 Years of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Editors: James E. Barrett, Clive Page and Martin C. Michel

Sign up for the series alert and get informed as soon as this volume is published! 

Explore more – Contributions by Nobel Prize Laureates

Sir Henry Dale

Histamine and Anti-Histaminics, Part 1

Paul Greengard

Protein Phosphorylation: An Overview in Cyclic Nucleotides

Thomas Südhof

Synaptic Vesicle Membrane Traffic and the Cycle of Rab3 in GTPases in Biology I

Pharmacology of Neurotransmitter Release (Ed.) and the chapter Neurotransmitter Release

Martin Rodbell

G-Proteins Have Properties of Multimeric Proteins: An Explanation for the Role of GTPases in their Dynamic Behavior in GTPases in Biology II 

Robert J. Lefkowitz

The Role of Receptor Kinases and Arrestin-Like Proteins in G-Protein-Linked Receptor Desensitization in GTPases in Biology II 

Bert Sakmann

The Ion-Conducting Pore of Glutamate Receptor Channels in Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors in the CNS

Sir John R. Vane

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Ed.) and the chapters Antagonism of Bradykinin Bronchoconstriction by Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Mode of Action of Anti-Inflammatory Agents Which are Prostaglandin Synthetase Inhibitors

Robert F. Furchgott

The Classification of Adrenoceptors (Adrenergic Receptors). An Evaluation from the Standpoint of Receptor Theory in Catecholamines
Robert F. Furchgott also served as a member of the HEP Advisory Board

Arvid Carlsson

Drugs which block the storage of 5-hydroxytryptamine and related amines in 5-Hydroxytryptamine and Related Indolealkylamines 

Birth of Dopamine: A Cinderella Saga in Dopamine in the CNS I

Julius Axelrod

Methyltransferase Enzymes in the Metabolism of Physiologically Active Compounds and Drugs in Concepts in Biochemical Pharmacology

Brian K. Kobilka

Served as a member of the HEP Editorial Board from Sep 2004 to Mar 2005

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