A Practical Guide and Overview

Nederlands FAQ


Get Answers Here:

- What is photopharmacology?

- Why could photopharmacology be important?

- What has been done so far?

- What are the opportunities?

- How to devise a successful project?

- Starting point for literature search!


This homepage aims to address the following groups:

- General Public/Journalists

General information on photopharmacology, its impact and potential

- Students

Introduce photopharmacology, familiarize with concepts, starting point for literature search

- Scientists/Researchers

Resources to familiarize with and to join the field, overview on what has been done, starting point for your own literature search.

The principle of photopharmacology is the introduction of a photoswitchable unit into the molecular structure of the bioactive compound itself […]. Dynamic control is achieved through addressing a small, photoresponsive molecule and, in a sense, is comparable to classical pharmacotherapy, making this method potentially interesting for medical applications. Specificity to the selected target is intrinsic to this approach, as it employs a highly optimized design of a selective, bioactive compound, into which a responsive element is introduced.


J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 2178−2191


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Photopharmacology combines the classical pharmacological approach of using small molecular drugs to affect organisms with the light-control  used e.g. in optogenetics. In contrast to optogenetics, photopharmacology does not require genetic manipulation and thus is more suitable for medical use.


As with classical pharmaceutical drugs, photopharmacology provides small molecules that target a certain disease. However, photopharmacology adds an additional level of control by putting these molecules under light-control.

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© 2017 Michael M. Lerch |