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

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.

Christopher M. Norris, PhD

Upcoming Seminar

Targeting Reactive Astrocytes in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders
October 26, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Christopher M. Norris, PhD – Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, Sylvia Mansbach Chair in Alzheimer’s Research, Associate Director of Research & Faculty Advancement, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Professor, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Download seminar flyer. For more information or Zoom links, please contact Carolann Imbesi (

See full seminar calendar

Edward Hartsough

Meet Edward Hartsough

"I wasn't necessarily married to melanoma at all as a model system, but I’ve found over the years that the melanoma research community is great. The people are really welcoming. Everybody's really supportive, especially to young investigators, so I don't see myself leaving this community any time soon." Read more.

News and Announcements

Dr. Jackson Receives Extramural Funding

Dr. Joshua Jackson received a three-year grant from The Whitehall Foundation to support his project “Role and Regulation of Astrocytic Mitochondria at the Synapse.” Congrats Dr. Jackson!

Gaskill and Meucci Labs Publish a Collaborative Review Article

Drs. Peter Gaskill and Olimpia Meucci, and their former graduate students Drs. Emily Nickoloff and Lindsay Festa, published a new review article titled “Co-receptor signaling in the pathogenesis of neuroHIV” in the journal Retrovirology. The article is open access and freely available!

Dr. Sato Honored at AHA Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Meeting

Dr. Priscila Sato was awarded second place in the Academy of Cardiovascular Research Excellence’s Junior Faculty Platform Competition, which was held at AHA’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Meeting. Dr. Sato presented work from her graduate student Ruxu Zhai, who also presented a poster at the conference titled “Myocardial GRK2 Negatively Impacts Fatty Acid Metabolic Flux And β-adrenergic Receptor-mediated Mitochondrial Responses.”

Dr. Hartsough Receives SKCC Pilot Funding

Dr. Ed Hartsough, along with co-investigators Drs. Joshua Jackson and Andrew Aplin (Dept of Cancer Biology, TJU), received a pilot grant from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University to support their project “The role of CADM1 in mutant BAP1 uveal melanoma.”

Welcome New Students and 4D Fellowship Awardees!

The department welcomes new students this month in the Pharmacology & Physiology and Drug Discovery and Development graduate programs! In addition, three new students received Janssen-Drexel 4D fellowships for diversity in drug discovery and development!

Mohammed Sani Alhassan: “I am humbled and appreciative of the fact my dreams of becoming a clinical researcher will be achieved because of the Janssen-Drexel 4 D fellowship. This program will help propel me into the drug discovery industry which bridges the gap between scientific experiments and the clinical use of drugs. I am excited and optimistic of this new journey.”
Desmond Lewis: “The Janssen-Drexel Diversity in Drug Discovery and Development fellowship will help me realize my goal of eliminating cancer by providing me with mentors and research experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The fellowship will also allow me to focus on my academics by providing full financial support.”
Celina Guzman: “This fellowship has given me an opportunity to dedicate myself to cancer research. It will allow me to achieve my goals, promote my professional growth, connect me to a large network of peers, and remove financial limitations. Now I can confidently serve as the first person in my family to go to graduate school and enter the field of science. Thank you!”

2021 4D Fellowship Awardees

Ajit Lab News

Dr. Seena Ajit was invited to a panel discussion at the National Institutes of Health Virtual Workshop on Approaches to Effective Therapeutic Management of Pain for People with Sickle Cell Disease. Her panel was titled “Molecular mechanisms underlying acute and chronic pain, with emphasis on epigenetics.”

Dr. Ajit also presented at this year’s Cell and Experimental Biology virtual meeting. Her presentation was titled “Xist attenuates acute inflammatory response by female cells.”

Xuan Luo, a graduate student in the Ajit Lab, published a first-author paper titled “Differential RNA packaging into small extracellular vesicles by neurons and astrocytes.” The work is open access and features a video abstract!

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

Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD
Professor & Chair

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