It draws on all traditional basic science fields to provide a synthetic understanding of how drug targets regulate normal physiological mechanisms and contribute to pathophysiology of disease. Thus, pharmacologists work to identify drug targets with the ultimate goal of intervening — with rational and effective drug therapy — in signaling cascades and metabolic pathways that have gone awry. Such intervention requires understanding of the major organismal control systems and identification of defects in these systems that occur with disease.
The Pharmacological Sciences Training Program at the University of Virginia encompasses the breadth of this discipline and provides students with a solid foundation for lifelong careers in pharmacology. The diverse expertise of the pharmacology faculty provides training opportunities that encompass molecular and cellular biology in the context of whole animal physiology, drug discovery and translational medicine. Students are supported by the Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant, now in its 39th year.