Physiology and Pharmacology

A multidisciplinary basic science department in the College of Medicine, serving the greater science community and students alike.

Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

The Department of Physiology and Pharmacology is a multidisciplinary basic science department in the College of Medicine. The majority of our faculty do neuroscience research, ranging from molecular mechanisms to neurophysiology to behavior. Joint research projects with clinical departments, such as Neurology and Medicine, focus on epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and autonomic and respiratory aspects of epileptic seizures. Our faculty also have appointments in the School of Graduate Studies and mentor and train doctoral candidates in the Programs in Neural and Behavioral Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biomedical Engineering. Our faculty are also medical educators, teaching primarily in the pre-clinical (Foundation) years in the College of Medicine and in the School of Health Professions.

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Nitric Oxide

This illustration is an artist's rendering of the nitric oxide (NO) molecule. In this figure, NO is represented by the 2s atomic orbitals of the oxygen (red) and nitrogen (green) atoms. NO is a short-lived radical that has been shown to play an important role as a biological messenger. Work on the relaxation of arteries by Dr. Furchgott in this department led to the suggestion in 1986 that endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is in fact NO. For these discoveries, Dr. Furchgott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998. For details, please see Dr. Furchgott's page under the faculty listing.