UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Introduction: Drug Resistance

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology; Schiffer Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry | Chemicals and Drugs | Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


The evolutionary pressure of survival drives the emergence of drug resistance and thereby poses a major challenge to modern medicine. Resistance threatens the longevity of drugs and restricts treatment options for patients, with high prevalence in all areas of oncology and infectious diseases. Any biological entity capable of evolving and creating diversity can develop resistance under selective pressure. This diversity can pre-exist or occur after exposure to the inhibitors. Pathogens evolve to resist antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiprotozoals. In agriculture, resistance arises with overuse of herbicides and pesticides. In cancer, resistance emerges eventually with most treatment regimens and in infectious diseases with spread of the pathogen to large populations, which is further exacerbated with the overuse of antibiotics. The emergence and spread of drug resistance in this wide range of disease areas severely impact public health, threaten millions of people’s lives, and cause a crippling financial burden, which urges the development of new strategies to unravel and avoid drug resistance.

DOI of Published Version



Kurt Yilmaz N, Schiffer CA. Introduction: Drug Resistance. Chem Rev. 2021 Mar 24;121(6):3235-3237. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.1c00118. PMID: 33757288; PMCID: PMC8164520. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Chemical reviews

PubMed ID