History of Xenobiotic Metabolism


An examination of the fate of foreign compounds (xenobiotics) in biological systems is a natural outgrowth of man's curiosity about his environment and how it can affect his actions. While the majority of modern day studies concern the fate of drugs in man and animals there are extensive investigations on the fate of organic compounds in plants, animals and microorganisms. The term xenobiotic was coined to cover all organic compounds that were foreign to the organism under study. In some situations this is loosely defined to include naturally present compounds administered by alternate routes or at unnatural concentrations.

History of Drug Metabolism-Year 2000 Review

This historical look at the development of xenobiotic metabolism arose from the Year 2000 calendar project which was jointly sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics and Bioanalytical Systems, Inc. The Calendar was distributed to ISSX members at the Nashville meeting and via mail requests. The information contained in the calendar presentation was gathered and reviewed by the ISSX calendar editorial committee.


Each month a chapter of the history of xenobiotic metabolism was added to the website. The content corresponds to the information presented in the corresponding month of the calendar but additional material has been added where appropriate. The following outline indicates the topics covered.

Editorial Committee
January Woehler-the birth of metabolism
February Oxidation of Organic Molecules
March Sulfate Conjugation
April Glucuronidation
May Methylation and Acetylation


July Mercapturic Acid formation
August R.T.Williams and the founding of the field of metabolism
September B.B.Brodie and drug metabolism methodology
October In Vitro technology
November The discovery of Cytochrome P450
December A look to the future
Dr. Patrick J. Murphy Butler University
Dr. Marcel Bickel Universitat Bern,Switzerland
Dr. Donald Birkett Flinders University Australia
Dr. Bernd Clement Universitat Kiel, Germany
Dr. Ron Estabrook University of Texas
Dr. John Gorrod

University of Essex,UK

Dr. Jack Hinson University of Arkansas
Dr. Peter Kissinger Bioanalytical Systems,Inc.
Dr. Thomas Kunze Universitat Kiel,Germany
Dr. Patrick Maurel CNRS, France
Dr. Peter Van Bladeren TNO Nut.& Food Inst/Neth
Ninewells Hosp.&Med.Sch, Scotland
Dr. Roland Wolf