E. Leong Way, Ph.D.


Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco

During the interval between 1949 and 1987, perhaps some 70 collaborators, including graduate, medical and in residence students, postdoctorals as well as mature scholars, domestic and foreign, passed through Dr. Way's laboratory. The numbers include an academic family of five generations, a father and son and three Nathan B. Eddy awardees. Together they generated approximately 400 publications related to basic aspects of substance abuse concerned with opiate pharmacokinetics, tolerance and physical dependence. The laboratory findings often provided concepts that gave meaning to clinical observations. An explanation of the selective pharmacodynamic characteristics of heroin and morphine was attained by comparative and developmental studies on their disposition and integrating their physical and chemical properties with host considerations related to species, age, blood/brain barrier maturation and mode of drug administration. Extensive in vivo and in vitro investigations on morphine tolerance and physical dependence development established that the two phenomena have a common underlying neurophysiologic basis. Dr. Way’s many publications include Endogenous and Exogenous Opiate Agonist and Antagonists (editor), New Concepts in Pain (editor), Fundamentals of Drug Metabolism and Drug Disposition (co-editor with B. Lu Du and G. Mandel) and a monograph, Biologic Disposition of Morphine and Its Surrogates (with T. K. Adler), as well as scientific review and original articles on drug metabolism, analgesics, developmental pharmacology, drug tolerance/drug dependence and Chinese medical material. After retiring, Dr. Way has been involved in reinterpreting the theories of Chinese traditional medicine that are consistent with those of contemporary pharmacology.

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