Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Norma C. Adragna, Ph.D., Interim Chair

Pharmacology and toxicology are broadly based biomedical sciences involving the study of the therapeutic and/or potential toxicity of chemical agents on biological systems. The focus of the department is on the pursuit of excellence in teaching and research.


Department News

Chair search underway

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Boonshoft School of Medicine. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead and expand a department that contributes to the research and educational missions of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Applications must be submitted online at http://jobs.wright.edu/postings/7366. Review of applications will begin March 31, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.  For questions or to submit nominations, please contact Paul Koles, M.D., search committee chair, at paul.koles@wright.edu or (937) 775-2625.

Educational Mission

The educational mission of the department is related to teaching in the medical, graduate and undergraduate curricula. Teaching excellence is a priority of the department and the faculty put much effort into their lectures and practical science teaching. The programs of study are in the Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Sciences. The master's program is a research-based program that recruits students from universities as well as the military and industrial sectors.

Faculty also participate in BioSTAR, the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Biomedical Scholars Training and Research program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, as well as the Biomedical Training for Underrepresented Minorities program, a biomedical research apprenticeship program with universities in Brazil.

Research Mission

The research foci of the department are:

  1. Pharmacology of disease processes – hypertension, diabetes, stroke, pain, neurological and others
  2. Disease Mechanisms – cellular physiology, cell signaling, ion transport, volume regulation, behavior and wound healing
  3. Toxicology – behavioral, immunological, cardiovascular and nanoparticles

The methods used in these experimental approaches are molecular genetics, gene therapy, mass spectroscopy (proteomics), gene microarray expression, integrative cardiovascular biology, confocal microscopy and a low-level laboratory for the use of dilute chemical agents.

Some of the facilities available to the faculty and students are molecular biology, a genomics expression center, a proteome analysis laboratory, an imaging facility, a conference room, student offices and designated space within the Laboratory Animal Resources facility. Research support comes from the NIH, American Heart Association, Office of Air Force Research, Department of Defense, Department of Education, and Colgate Palmolive.

The department will continue its growth in the coming years with the addition of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and visiting faculty and students. There are close ties with the research scientists at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Air Force and Navy Research Laboratories) and Battelle Inc. in West Jefferson, Ohio. Many of these scientists participate in teaching and research programs as adjunct faculty. They have definitely enhanced our toxicological research and training opportunities.