Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

The department is home to a community of researchers, students and faculty who strive to improve the treatment of medical disorders through a better understanding of the pharmacology of agents and by developing safer and more effective drugs.  Currently ranked thirteenth among National Institutes of Health-funded pharmacology and toxicology programs in the U.S., the department has educated alumni who have gone on to distinguished careers in government, academia and the private sector as researchers, educators, and consultants. The work our students do at VCU and beyond has the potential to improve the health and well-being of people all over the world.

Special Seminar - Monday, April 30, 2018 - "Serotonin Matters in Addiction:  Strategies for Pharmacotherapeutics" 
Kathryn Cunningham, Ph.D.
Chauncey Leake Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
Director, Center for Addiction Research
Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX  77555 

Pharmacology and Toxicology's Robert Balster to receive ASPET's Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert L. Balster, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2018 P.B. Dews Lifetime Achievement Award for Research in Behavioral Pharmacology given by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. . . read the full article

VCU researchers combat opiate addiction Opioids: An American health crisis

Overdose deaths in the United States involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . . . .read the full story

New milestones for Pharmacology and Toxicology Department

Long-running training grant that propelled department to 310 graduates is renewed. . . read

Congratulations to Lesley Schurman and Ryan Mischel

Congratulations to Lesley Schurman for being selected as a Pre-Doctoral Presentation Awardees at the recent ICRS conference in Montreal. Lesley was previously selected as the Billy R. Martin awardee from the ICRS.

Ryan Mischel, an MD/Ph.D. graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Akbarali, was recently awarded the F30 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health - National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), entitled "Role of gastrointestinal microbiome in opioid tolerance".

Congratulations to our Annual Award Winners

The annual award celebration was held at Willow Oaks Country Club on Friday, June 2nd at 7:00 pm.   The Anthony Ambrose Award for the best third-year student was presented to Tareq Saleh; the Lauren A. Woods award for research excellence among doctoral students was awarded to Asti Jackson and Jacy Jacob, co-winners; the Postdoctoral Scholar award was presented to Dr. Jenny Wilkerson; the Extraordinary Staff Award was presented to Hannah Lohner and the Professor of the Year was presented to Dr. Joseph Ritter from the PharmTox Student Organization.

Scholarly Achievement Awards recognizing the ability of scholars to present their research ideas so well that they earned federal support in this highly competitive research environment were presented Drs. Jill Bettinger and Laura Mathies, MPIs of a new RO1 Grant; Dr. Kurt Hauser the PI of a successful competitive renewal of an RO1 Grant; and Dr. Patrick Beardsley, the PI of a successful competitive renewal of a major federal research contract.