Department of Pharmacology
Professor and Chair
Edson X. Albuquerque, MD, PhD
The department’s teaching objectives are to provide medical and graduate students with those principles underlying the distribution, metabolism, mechanism of action and toxicity of therapeutic agents or substances. An overriding goal of the medical school teaching program is to convey the fundamental principles of basic and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics through an interdisciplinary teaching effort which brings together faculty from this department and those from other basic science and clinical departments. The faculty of the Department of Pharmacology therefore provide substantial leadership and participation in the Pathophysiology and Therapeutics course given during the second year of the medical curriculum. When needed, the department also provides its teaching expertise to other courses of the medical curriculum, such as Host Defenses and Infectious diseases.
At the graduate level, there are several defined areas of study (tracks): oncopharmacology, neuropharmacology, pharmacological biotechnology, and mechanistic toxicology. All tracks incorporate: 1) training in modern techniques of pharmacology (molecular biology; receptor biochemistry; cell biology; tissue culture; electrophysiology; protein crystal structure analysis and ligand binding; drug design, synthesis and modeling; etc.); 2) research directed toward the study of new drugs and increasing effectiveness of existing drugs used in treatment of human diseases; and 3) research to better understand actions of drugs and toxins on various organ systems. The department encourages the participation of medical students in graduate research through the MD/PhD Program.
The Pharmacology Graduate Program is undergoing re-organization along with the other graduate programs in the School of Medicine. The program offers a broad range of courses including: biochemical pharmacology, developmental neurobiology, endocrine pharmacology, fundamentals of membrane transport, fundamentals of pharmacology, integrative pharmacology, introduction to membranes, ion channels, molecular neuropharmacology, molecular oncopharmacology, muscle cell biology and development, pharmacological biotechnology, and synaptic physiology and pharmacology.
Faculty also offer summer research programs tailored to the research interests of medical and graduate students. Students should consult the graduate program director for further details.