Molecular Pharmacology offers unique training in signal transduction and the molecular basis of drug action. Research in the Department is broad, and includes programs focused on cell and gene regulation, hormone action and biogenesis, caveolae, protein and phosphoinositide kinases and phosphatases, glycoproteins and lectins, drug resistance and the development of activators, inhibitors and drugs. The Department has specialized research facilities including:
- A Chemical – Biology Laboratory that performs high throughput screens for novel drugs and specific inhibitors (activators) of signal transduction pathways and
- A Biodefense Proteomics Research Center whose goal is to identify and validate chemotherapeutic targets in protozoal parasites.
All students have access to institutional research cores such as, state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, image analysis, and transgenic and knock-out mouse technologies.
Target diseases studied in Molecular Pharmacology include: cancer, cardiac and thyroid pathogenesis, diabetes and muscular dystrophy. Research programs in the department train Ph.D. students for independent research careers as well as other options. Students will present their research at national meetings, conferences and symposia.The department has 24 faculty members and a cadre of 43 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, Instructors and Associates, who participate in departmental activities. Numerous scientific collaborations are in process within the Department. This provides students with interactions with multiple faculty members, thus creating a diverse, dynamic scientific environment.
The department sponsors a Monday seminar series for visiting scientists that enables students to engage in dialogs with distinguished extramural investigators. Journal clubs, Friday Work-In-Progress research meetings, a weekly department-wide seminar and a Wednesday afternoon "happy hour" promote scientific and social interactions among the students, fellows and faculty. Graduates of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology are typically placed in postdoctoral positions in outstanding laboratories and have been the recipients of prestigious fellowships. Many of our Ph.D. graduates have permanent positions in universities, biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, and government laboratories at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. The Department is proud of the accomplishments of its graduates and welcomes new students to join us at a time of great potential and progress in science.