Letter from the Chair

Welcome to Michigan Pharmacology! 

The Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School was the first pharmacology department in the nation. During its long and distinguished history, our Department has played a key role in the research training of eminent pharmacologists.  Of the 285 alumni who have received their doctoral training in Pharmacology since 1951, 10 have become chairpersons of pharmacology departments, 16 currently are or were research program directors in academic institutions or the pharmaceutical industry, more than 34 are full professors of pharmacology in academic institutions, and 5 are or were vice-presidents of pharmaceutical companies.  In addition, one was a university president and several others have held positions as deans and associate deans at medical schools.  The majority of Pharmacology alumni are pursuing active research careers in pharmacology at academic institutions, research institutions (including NIH), pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and start-up companies.  Twenty-nine of our graduates have received combined MD/PhDs. Our diverse alumni base provides trainees with critical mentoring, advising, and networking.

 Our faculty lead world-class, translational research programs in G-protein signaling, cancer pharmacology, neuroscience, addiction research, cardiovascular pharmacology, mental health disease, epilepsy, drug metabolism, protein folding disorders, steroid receptor signaling, and diabetes. Joint faculty members from the Department of Internal Medicine, the Cancer Center, the interdisciplinary program in Medicinal Chemistry, and the Cardiovascular Center provide invaluable collaboration and collegiality. Three new primary faculty members will join us in 2015. Our Department, in collaboration with the College of Pharmacyand the Life Sciences Institute, established the Center for the Discovery of New Medicines(CDNM) and the Center for Chemical Genomics.  These centers consist of facilities for high throughput screening (HTS), diverse chemical libraries, and databases for evaluation and comparison of results from the screens. The new CDNM Director, who recently joined UM from a career in the pharmaceutical industry, is a faculty member in Pharmacology.

Pharmacology PhD students enter through the Program in Biomedical Sciences. The anchor of our PhD training is the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program, a unique collaboration between the UM Medical School and the College of Pharmacy since 1978 that provides synergistic, translational education, research training, and career development with the ultimate goal of preparing our graduates to excel as leaders in the field of experimental therapeutics, both in the academy and in the private sector. Doctoral training in our Department offers both deep tradition and cutting edge science.

It’s an exciting time to be at Michigan Pharmacology!  As I often say, “Pharmacology was translational before translational was cool!” Thanks for exploring our new website.

Lori L. Isom, PhD
Maurice H. Seevers Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Professor of Neurology