For more information contact
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710
General InformationDegree offered:
Pharmacology utilizes the basic concepts of biology and chemistry to determine how drugs affect organisms. It encompasses the study of the biological targets of drug action, the mechanism by which drugs act, the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs as well as the development of new therapeutic agents. As the study of pharmacology is interdisciplinary, graduate programs in pharmacology are diverse and flexible. Students take a small core of courses in pharmacology, and complete their didactic instruction with courses in areas related to their research including molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology. The Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University has particular strengths in the areas of receptor function and cellular signaling mechanisms as targets of drug action, neuropharmacology, metabolism, and the pharmacology of normal and abnormal cell growth. Current research emphasis of the faculty includes the ontogeny of signaling pathways in nervous and cardiovascular tissue, cellular signaling mechanisms including the actions of calcium and cyclic nucleotides and protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, receptor function and cell signaling mechanisms regulating cell growth, and the molecular basis of rational drug design.