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The disciplines of pharmacology and physiology touch on virtually every field of the biomedical sciences, presenting endless opportunities to discover disease mechanisms and develop new treatments. This translational approach is at the basis of our work, firmly rooted in the concept of promoting a seamless and continuous transition between the basic and the clinical sciences.

Our faculty pursue a variety of scientific interests in the areas of neurological disorders, cancer therapeutics, pain, cardiovascular and renal physiology, substance abuse, HIV neuropathology and comorbidities. We invite you to visit their laboratory pages and learn more about ongoing research projects and available openings. Feel free to inquire if you have any questions!

New Faculty Positions Available

The Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine announces the opening of two tenure-track faculty positions, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2017.
Read more [PDF]

Our training programs provide students with a wealth of advantages in considering career opportunities within academic and biopharmaceutical settings. We offer both traditional, research-intensive graduate programs in Pharmacology and Physiology (MS and PhD), as well as a recently developed program in Drug Discovery and Development.

News and Announcements

April 2017

Brody Fellowship

Shaili Aggarwal, postdoctoral fellow in Ole Mortensen's laboratory, was selected as a recipient of the Brody Family Medical Trust Fund fellowship for medical research in incurable diseases. The prestigious fellowships fund up to two consecutive years for full-time postdoctoral fellows in the early stages of their research into cutting-edge treatments. The fellowships were created to support local research into diseases that have a substantial societal impact and for which no consistently effective cure presently exists.

Shaili's research focuses on the development of alternative treatments for cocaine addiction by targeting a novel functional site within the dopamine transporter that is distinct from the cocaine binding site.

Golden Apple Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Michael White, who received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching Medical Pharmacology. The award was presented to him by the PIL Class of 2019 during a ceremony at the Queen Lane Campus on April 4, 2017. Special kudos also to Dr. Joel Horwitz, who was nominated for the IFM and the PIL awards by the same class. At the ceremony, the Student Government Association also honored Dr. Robert Moreland's memory by presenting a Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Service to the Student Body (Medical Physiology) to his family.

Class of 2019 Golden Apple nominees, and Michael White, PhD, receiving his Golden Apple Award
The 2017 Golden Apple Awards: (L) nominees for awards from the Class of 2019, and (R) Michael White, PhD, receiving his Golden Apple from a member of the Class of 2019.

Success and Honors at SNIP

Drs. Peter Gaskill and Olimpia Meucci received the Outstanding Service and Support Award from the Society of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP). The award is given in recognition of extraordinary service in facilitating the operations of society initiatives and was presented during the 23rd SNIP Annual Conference, held in Philadelphia March 29 – April 1, 2017. This year's event was the largest SNIP meeting so far and received extraordinary support from several institutions, including a broad representation from Drexel University.

Drs. Meucci and Gaskill served, respectively, as chair of the Local Organizing & Scientific Committee and vice-chair of the Meetings Committee. Several other members of the Drexel community contributed to the success of the meeting. The conference featured:

  • An opening presentation by Dr. Ana Nunez, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at Drexel University College of Medicine, titled "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Neuroimmune Pharmacology: A Mentoring Challenge"
  • Poster and oral presentations by Drexel students and faculty (view program for details [PDF])
  • A special symposium on neuroinflammation and CNS disorder
  • A closing event dedicated to academic drug discovery, which was presented by Dr. Paul McGonigle and included as guest speakers Drs. Katherine Jordan (Coulter program director, Drexel University), Sandhya Kortagere (associate professor of microbiology and immunology, DUCOM) and Michael Wood (principal, Neupharm, LLC).

Outstanding support for the conference came from both Drexel University College of Medicine and Drexel University College of Arts and Science. Special thanks go to Drs. Brian Wigdahl, Elisabeth VanBockstaele, Itzhak Fisher and Jonh Bethea for supporting training and scientific activities at the SNIP 2017 conference.

Olimpia Meucci receiving her Outstanding Service and Support Award from the Society of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP)
Peter Gaskill receiving his Outstanding Service and Support Award from the Society of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP)

Drs. Meucci and Gaskill receive recognition for their service and support of the 23rd SNIP Annual Conference.

March 2017

Picture This: Newest Microscopes Quicken the Pace of Research

For researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine, the acquisition of two new confocal microscopes provides an unprecedented view into the human body — and fresh insights into conditions such as autism, neuroinflammation, HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment, heart attacks, cancer and more. Pulse (Spring 2017)

Drs. Fatatis and Kim to Present at Coulter Forum

Congratulations to Alessandro Fatatis, MD, PhD, and his team (Kerberos Biopharmaceuticals)* and Felix Kim, PhD, and his team (Context Therapeutics)* whose projects were selected for presentation at the Coulter Investment Forum being held in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 16-17, 2017.  The teams will present their work, which is supported in part by the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Awards:

  • Fatatis/Kerberos project: “New Small Molecule Compounds for the Therapy of Metastatic Cancer
  • Kim/Context project: “Lead Optimization of Sigma1 Inhibitor for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

*For more information about the Drexel-Coulter program or Kerberos/Context start-ups, please visit:

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Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD, Professor & Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology

Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD
Professor & Chair

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