Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Faculty in our department have diverse research interests covering many areas essential for the development of new drugs and to determine the safety of all chemicals. Thus, students obtain a broad educational background in our department, which markedly increases their opportunities for employment.
During the last 8 years, the Department has undergone a marked expansion with the addition of 18 tenure-track and 6 research track faculty with a major focus in liver pathobiology and toxicology. This was facilitated in part by a COBRE grant from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, a number of new pieces of scientific equipment have been purchased: HPLC-MS/MS, DNA sequencer, robotic liquid handling system, Bio-Plex 200 System Array reader with Luminex 100 xMAP, etc. Since December 2006, the Department occupies new state-of-the-art research space in the Hemenway Life Science Innovation Center. Thus, this department is an exciting place to be.
Research opportunities are available for graduate students in pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics. In pharmacology, our faculty's research interests are in molecular and cellular neuropharmacology, neurotrauma, and the role of hormones and diet constituents on brain function. In addition, faculty study pharmacokinetics of drugs (absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion) as well as the biology and functional significance of drug transporters such as organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs), organic cation transporters (OCTs), and ATP binding cassette transporters. Our faculty's research interests in toxicology include estrogen-induced carcinogenicity, toxicity of dioxin and other environmental chemicals, mechanisms of drug- and chemical-induced hepatotoxicity (necrosis, apoptosis, autophagy, inflammation, fibrosis) and liver regeneration, pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma, alcoholic hepatitis, steatohepatitis and cholestatic liver disease and the role of nuclear receptors in these disease processes. Furthermore, in therapeutics, faculty are involved in determining whether herbal medicines cause drug interactions with prescribed drugs using metabolomics approaches. In addition, studies are being performed to understand which drugs enter the liver by specific transporters, and how genetics determines why the response to drugs can vary among different patients (pharmacogenomics).
The Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at the University of Kansas Medical Center has an excellent record of training students. Our graduates have gone on to be scientific leaders in academia, government and industry. Currently, there are 6 Postdoctoral Fellows and 29 Graduate Students enrolled in the department.