Pharmacology and Neuroscience

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Michael Gatch, PhD, Graduate Advisor

Phone: 817-735-2062 | Email:

Pharmacology is a discipline that bridges the basic and clinical sciences. Classically, pharmacologists sought to understand the pharmacological responses, mechanisms and clinical uses of drugs. In recent decades, the scope of pharmacology has expanded dramatically to include cutting edge research in signal transduction and cellular & molecular biology.

Neuroscience combines the fields of anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and cytology to study the function of the brain and nervous system. The goal of these studies is to gain a fundamental understanding of the biological basis of learning and memory, as well as the processes involved in neural development and neurodegeneration. The scope of neuroscience includes molecular and cellular studies of individual neurons to imaging the circuitry of sensory and motor tasks within the brain.

The Pharmacology & Neuroscience faculty maintain active research programs in the following areas: aging and Alzheimer’s disease; drug discovery; glaucoma and ocular pharmacology; stroke; Parkinson’s disease; learning and memory; neurobiology of drug and alcohol abuse; neuronal degeneration and protection; neuropsychopharmacology; pharmacogenetics; and receptors and ion channels.

Students in the Pharmacology & Neuroscience Discipline may choose from a number of advanced elective courses that are related to their individual research interests. Students are also required to participate in seminars, works in progress presentations and group discussions of current research topics, and will be trained in a number of techniques required to address existing research problems in the field. Both MS and PhD students will conduct original, publishable research and will be expected to present their results at national scientific conferences. Completion of the master’s degree typically requires two years while the PhD degree is generally completed in four to five years.

Students who successfully complete a graduate degree in the Pharmacology & Neuroscience discipline will be well prepared for careers in academic or government research laboratories, as well as in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry.

Stipend and benefits for PhD students

All students in our PhD in Biomedical Sciences program receive a benefits package that includes a stipend of $30,000 per year plus full tuition, fees, and health insurance. Students also have opportunities to apply for training grants, fellowships, and scholarships. 

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