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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 physiology, metabolism, 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 & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine announces the opening of tenure-track faculty positions.

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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.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson

Janssen-Drexel “4D” Fellowship

The Diversity in Drug Discovery and Development, or “4D” Fellowship program is a joint effort between Janssen Oncology and Drexel’s Pharmacology and Physiology Department to support underrepresented minority students enrolled in Drexel graduate programs. The application cycle for fall 2022 4D Fellowships is now open to incoming students in the Pharmacology and Physiology or Drug Discovery and Development graduate programs.

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Gabriele Romano, PhD

Meet Gabriele Romano

"Not only do I enjoy the scientific research process, but I genuinely love the educational aspect of it. I love cultivating talents and contributing to the development of the scientists and health professionals of the future." Read more.

News and Announcements

Dr. Sato Wins New Investigator Award

Congratulations to Dr. Priscila Sato, who received a New Investigator Award from Drexel University College of Medicine! This award recognizes a promising and outstanding evolving investigator in the early stages of their career.

Dr. Ross Receives Pilot Funding

Dr. Jennifer Ross, Research Assistant Professor in the Van Bockstaele lab, received pilot funding from the Drexel University Medical Cannabis Research Center! The award funds will support Dr. Ross’ project: Clinical efficacy of medicinal marijuana for stress-related disorders. Drexel's Medical Cannabis Research Center funds pilot research studies proposed by Drexel faculty in areas of research where the therapeutic use of medical cannabis has produced promising patient health outcomes, including HIV, chronic pain, and opioid dependence as well as some broader domains.

Julia Farnan Earns Dean’s Travel Award

Congrats to Julia Farnan, PhD student in the Jackson lab, for earning a Dean’s Travel Award from the Graduate School. The award aims to partially defray the cost of attending a scientific meeting at which a graduate student presents original research.

Pharmacology and Physiology 2022 Graduates

This year, the department had two new graduates from our graduate programs. Dr. Zhucheng Lin, a student in the Ajit lab, graduated from the Pharmacology & Physiology PhD program. Zhucheng’s PhD thesis was titled “The role of serum-derived small extracellular vesicles in pain.” Ms. Sam Stine, a student in the Barker lab, graduated from the Drug Discovery & Development MS program. Sam’s MS thesis was titled “Facilitated binge-like eating following chronic ethanol exposure in females.” Additionally, Ms. Geena John, a Pharmacology & Physiology MS student, will transfer to our PhD program with advanced standing starting this fall. Congratulations to our graduates!

Pharmacology Students Earn Dean’s Fellowships

This year, the department had two trainees that earned Dean’s Fellowships for Excellence in Collaborative or Themed Research from the Graduate School. These fellowships support PhD-track students with innovative research projects to further develop their research experience. Xiaonan Liu, a trainee in the Toyooka lab, earned a fellowship to support her project “Myo1c-Adnp regulates the transportation of actin bundling protein Actn4 to the cell membrane during neurite initiation in neurons.” Jason Wickman, a trainee in the Ajit Lab, also earned a fellowship to support his project “Immune modulating therapies to target resident memory T-cells in complex regional pain syndrome.” Congrats Nan and Jason!

A. Mortensen Lab Trainees Earn Awards

Congratulations to Rhea Temmermand, who was awarded a grant from the Art Zwerling Memorial Fund of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation! The grant will support Rhea’s project “Development of glutamate transporter modulators as a novel, non-opioid treatment for chronic pain.” Further congrats to Simran Gill, who received a Chapter Recognition Student Travel Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the Association for Women in Science! Simran will use the award funds to attend the Society for Neuroscience 2022 annual meeting in San Diego, CA.

Dr. Meucci’s MERIT Award Extended

Dr. Olimpia Meucci received a five-year extension of her R37 MERIT (method to extend research in time) award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse! The extension will support the last phase of her longtime project “Role of chemokines in neuronal function and survival.”

Dr. Barker Wins Drexel Provost Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline Barker, who was honored with a Provost Award for Early Career Outstanding Scholarly Productivity. The Provost Award recognizes faculty who have demonstrated unusual excellence in their scholarly field and who are considered emerging leaders in these fields.

Dr. White Honored with Golden Apple Award

Congratulations to Dr. Michael White, who received a Golden Apple award for outstanding service to the medical student body at the 27th annual Golden Apple awards ceremony! Dr. White was also nominated for four additional Golden Apple awards for excellence in teaching by the medical school classes of 2024 and 2025.

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

Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD
Professor & Chair

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