Pharmacology

The discipline of pharmacology explores the mechanisms by which drugs cause biological effects.  In the broadest sense, pharmacology is the study of how chemical agents, both natural and synthetic (i.e., drugs) affect biological systems. Research of the member of the Pharmacology track (currently 40 investigators) focuses in the areas of Neuropharmacology, Aging and Neurodegeneration, Autonomic and Endocrine Homeostasis, Pain Disorders, and Cancer Biology.  All these areas are explored with an orientation towards drug development.  A wide array of state-of-the-art methodologies including molecular, electrophysiological, neurochemical, genetics, imaging and behavioral techniques are employed.  Pharmacology is often described as a bridge science because it incorporates knowledge and skills from a number of basic science disciplines, including physiology, biochemistry and cell and molecular biology.  The interdisciplinary nature of the field offers pharmacologists a variety of research opportunities not found in other fields of scientific inquiry.  It is this flexibility as well as the potential for the practical application of research (“translational research”) that attracts people into becoming pharmacologists.