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The application cycle for the fall 2022 program is now open.

Pharmacology examines and characterizes the action of drugs in humans and animals. It emphasizes the therapeutic responses of drugs, their mechanisms of action, the fate of drugs in the body, potential adverse reactions, and drug-drug interactions. Physiology considers processes that control and regulate the functioning of systems within an intact organism.

Basic physiological processes underlie all fields in biomedical science. Understanding and exploiting the specific actions of drugs can also furnish a way to probe physiological and biochemical processes in both normal and pathological circumstances. Research in pharmacology and physiology provides challenging and exciting opportunities for graduate study.

The Pharmacology and Physiology (PHPH) program offers graduate courses leading to the MS and the PhD. Both degrees require independent research under the direction of faculty members in the department, who are engaged in highly active research programs involving molecular, cellular and behavioral approaches to experimental pharmacology and physiology in a strongly collaborative environment.

Learn more about the curriculum and program requirements

Our Students and Alumni

Stacia Lewandowski,Drexel Pharmacology and Physiology Program Class of 2021

Meet Stacia Lewandowski, PhD '21

"My initial interest in the Pharmacology and Physiology Department was partly due to their involvement in the Drug Discovery and Development program. I had always wanted to go into biopharma, and the opportunity to take classes in drug discovery was exciting to me. Additionally, a big draw for me was the work that Dr. Ole Mortensen was doing, and after meeting him I knew I wanted to work in his lab." Read more.

Experimental Biology Conference 2022 Photo Gallery

Mortensen Lab members at the Experimental Biology conference.
Mortensen Lab members at the 2022 Experimental Biology Conference in Philadelphia.
Mortensen Lab members at the 2022 Experimental Biology Conference in Philadelphia.

Summer 2021 Potluck

The Pharmacology & Physiology graduate students held a potluck to celebrate the return to the lab this summer.

Pharmacology & Physiology program students at a potluck, summer 2021

Welcome to Our First-Year Students

PhD: Simran Gill, Tofunmi Oteju, Sanjita Subramanian, Oyende Yetunde

MD/PhD: Breana Channer

MS: Mohammed Sani Alhassan, Celina Guzman, Deepa Reddy, Dayna Robinson

Student Achievements

Dean’s Fellowship for Excellence in Collaborative or Themed Research

Congratulations to Xiaonan Liu, mentored by Dr. Kazuhito Toyooka and Jason Wickman, mentored by Dr. Seena Ajit, winners of the Dean’s Fellowship for Excellence in Collaborative or Themed Research. This fellowship is designed to support PhD-track students with innovative research projects to further develop their research experience.

Dean’s Travel Award

Congratulations to Julia Farnan, winner of the Dean’s Travel Award. The Dean’s Travel Award is meant to partially defray the cost of attending a scientific meeting at which a graduate student is making a presentation, or is related to the student’s graduate study.

Student Travel Award

Congratulations to Simran Gill, who received the Chapter Recognition Student Travel Award from Association for Women in Science (AWIS) to attend the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, Calif., in November 2022.

Drexel Emerging Graduate Scholars Conference Award

Rhea Temmermand won 3rd place in the in-person research poster competition of the Drexel Emerging Graduate Scholars Conference. Rhea’s award-winning poster was titled “Development of Glutamate Transporter Modulators as a Novel, Non-Opioid Treatment for Neuropathic Pain.”

Experimental Biology 2022 Award

Jason Wickman won 1st place in the graduate students and post baccalaureate students’ group in the neuropharmacology division at the Experimental Biology 2022 meeting in Philadelphia. Jason’s award-winning poster was titled “miR-106b-25 Dysregulation in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Contributes to T Cell Dysfunction.”

Read more student achievements.

Recent Student Publications

"Differential RNA packaging into small extracellular vesicles by neurons and astrocytes"
Luo X, Jean-Toussaint R, Sacan A, Ajit SK
Cell Commun Signal. 2021 Jul 10;19(1):75. doi: 10.1186/s12964-021-00757-4

"GRK2 contributes to glucose mediated calcium responses and insulin secretion in pancreatic islet cells"
Snyder J, Lackey AI, Brown GS, Diaz M, Yuzhen T, Sato PY
Sci Rep. 2021 May 27;11(1):11129. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90253-z

"Uptake of Fluorescent Labeled Small Extracellular Vesicles In Vitro and in Spinal Cord"
Gupta R, Luo X, Lin Z, Tian Y, Ajit SK
J Vis Exp. 2021 May 23;(171). doi: 10.3791/62537

"Dopamine levels induced by substance abuse alter efficacy of Maraviroc and expression of CCR5 conformations on myeloid cells: implications for NeuroHIV"
Matt, S.M., Nickoloff-Bybel, E., et al.
Frontiers in Immunology, May 19, 2021. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.663061.

"Individual differences in dopamine uptake in the dorsomedial striatum prior to cocaine exposure predict motivation for cocaine in male rats"
Shaw JK, Pamela Alonso I, Lewandowski SI, Scott MO, O'Connor BM, Aggarwal S, De Biasi M, Mortensen OV, España RA.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021 May 5. doi: 10.1038/s41386-021-01009-2.

"Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of macrophage-derived small extracellular vesicles in the attenuation of inflammatory pain"
Jean-Toussaint R, Lin Z, Tian Y, Gupta R, Pande R, Luo X, Hu H, Sacan A, Ajit SK.
Brain Behav Immun. 2021 May;94:210-224. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2021.02.005.

"High-throughput kinase inhibitor screening reveals roles for Aurora and Nuak kinases in neurite initiation and dendritic branching"
Blazejewski SM, Bennison SA, Liu X, Toyo-Oka K.
Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 14;11(1):8156. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-87521-3.

"Glutathione S-transferase Pi (Gstp) proteins regulate neuritogenesis in the developing cerebral cortex"
Liu X, Blazejewski SM, Bennison SA, Toyo-Oka K.
Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Mar 25;30(1):30-45. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddab003.

"Chemogenetic Manipulation of Dopamine Neurons Dictates Cocaine Potency at Distal Dopamine Transporters"
Brodnik ZD, Xu W, Batra A, Lewandowski SI, Ruiz CM, Mortensen OV, Kortagere S, Mahler SV, España RA.
J Neurosci. 2020 Nov 4;40(45):8767-8779. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0894-20.2020.

"HIV neuropathogenesis in the presence of a disrupted dopamine system"
Nickoloff-Bybel, E., et al.
The Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, June 6, 2020.

Upcoming Events

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