Research opportunities are available for graduate students in the laboratories of faculty members throughout the department. Pharmacology faculty members have research interests in molecular and cellular neuropharmacology, neurotrauma, and the role of hormones and diet constituents on brain function. In addition, department faculty members study pharmacokinetics of drugs (absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion) and 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 members' research interests in Toxicology include the toxicity of environmental chemicals, mechanisms of drug- and chemical-induced hepatotoxicity (necrosis, apoptosis, autophagy, inflammation, fibrosis) and liver regeneration.
Furthermore, they study the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma, alcoholic hepatitis, steatohepatitis and cholestatic liver disease, and the role of nuclear receptors in these disease processes. Likewise, in Therapeutics, faculty members use metabolomics approaches to study herbal medicines' ability to cause drug interactions with prescribed drugs. In addition, studies are being performed to understand which drugs enter the liver by specific transporters, and how genetics determine why the response to drugs can vary between individual patients (pharmacogenomics).