The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology has had strong, stable leadership that has directed successful programs of research and graduate education since 1972. Dr. William Berndt (1975-82) and Dr. Ing K. Ho (1982-2006) built a strong program emphasizing toxicology, drug abuse and central control of cardiovascular function with intracellular signaling as a unifying theme. This theme continued while Dr. Jerry Farley was interim chair from 2006-09. Dr. Richard Roman became chair in 2009. Dr. Roman, formerly professor of physiology, medicine and pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has strengthened considerably the cellular/molecular basis of cardiovascular, renal and cancer therapeutics research within the pharmacology program. In addition, he has strengthened ties with the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, which is well known for its strong cardiovascular research program. In the last few years, we have recruited 13 new faculty members to the department, and we have plans to soon add at least two more. The strength of our current pharmacology and toxicology program is the breadth of experimental models/methods employed by the researchers, ranging from new and novel transgenic and knockout mouse and rat models to genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, molecular biology and translational techniques. That strength and the collaborative research environment translate directly into the quality of student training which is exemplified by the fact that 90% of the program's graduates have obtained positions in academics, government, or industry. Based on the history of trainees mentored by Dr. Roman and other new faculty recently joining the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, that trend will likely improve. Examples of the scope of training available in the program include:
In addition, the pharmacology department operates an institutional Mass Spectrometry Core and Analytical Facility for the University of Mississippi Medical Center that houses a variety of HPLCs, GCs and two state-of-the-art LC/MS/MS instruments and the Institutional Genomics Core Facility. The pharmacology department is well equipped for confocal fluorescent imaging, ultrasound measurements of cardiac function, studies of mitochondrial energetics, EPR measurements of ROS, measurement of nitric oxide, patch clamp studies, molecular biology and cell culture facilities, real-time PCR and DNA sequencing and high throughput genotyping. In short, our students have access to the state-of-the-art instrumentation and methodologies necessary to be competitive after graduation from the program.