Pharmacology is the study of drug actions on biological systems. The discipline of pharmacology encompasses molecular modeling, basic studies on subcellular mechanisms of drug action, investigation of drug effects on cells, organs and organisms, as well as the therapeutic uses and adverse effects of drugs. Most recently, pharmacology has begun to exploit our newfound knowledge of the human genome to tailor individual pharmacotherapies. By its very nature, pharmacology is the most translational all of the biomedical sciences.
The breadth and diversity of research and training in pharmacology is reflected in the many careers in pharmacology that one can pursue upon completion of training. The proficiency of pharmacologists in so many disciplines (e.g. physiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, genomics) and their exposure to so many levels of scientific inquiry (ranging from subcellular to clinical) provide the pharmacology graduate with a clear advantage in today’s job market. Upon completion of training, pharmacologists pursue research and teaching careers in academic institutions (e.g. medical, dental, or veterinary schools), perform research or analysis for government institutions (e.g. National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency), or work in the private sector (e.g. pharmaceutical or biotech companies). Many pharmacologists are employed in more than one of these sectors during their professional career.
To learn more about the discipline of pharmacology and careers in pharmacology, please visit the Student resources at the ASPET (American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics) Website.