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The Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology at the University of Cincinnati has a dual mission of research and education, each being fundamentally served by the other.  According to our vision, educating future scientists and heath care professionals requires a dedicated effort to expose students to modern scientific methods and approaches, and true academic research depends on the training of high-quality future scientists.


One of our primary missions is in primary basic science, pre-clinical and translational research.  Our research teams apply state-of-the art techniques to illuminate both normal and pathological physiology, as well as basic and applied pharmacology.  Expertise is present in a broad range of disciplines ranging from traditional physiology/pharmacology to computational modeling of complex systems. Researchers benefit from our departmental cores dedicated to microscopy and transgenic animal models.

The University of Cincinnati is noted for the first antihistamine drug discovery, for the Sabin polio vaccine and for the discovery of the mechanism of action of dantrolene, which has largely ameliorated mortality due to malignant hyperthermia in the operating room.

Other notable research from the University includes work on the biological mechanism of action of important cardiovascular drugs such as digitalis glycosides and calcium channel antagonists. Recent advances on cell signaling cytokines and genetic variance in drug responsiveness among asthma sufferers are further examples of the directions research within our program might lead you.


The Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology (PSP) is committed to education and research in the disciplines of pharmacology, physiology and systems biology.  A major mission of the department is to educate developing scientists, physicians, and healthcare professionals, which is supported by two independent Ph.D. Programs.  Our Systems Biology and Physiology Graduate Program is dedicated to the use of the most modern technical and computational approaches to study complex biological systems, The program offers a Ph.D. degree and an interdisciplinary faculty of over 60 members. The Molecular, Cellular and Biochemical Pharmacology Program is designed to provide training for the next generation of scientists, innovators, and leaders in pharmacology.  The program is top ranked in Ohio and is among the best in the Midwest. Alumni of both programs have advanced to successful careers in academia, industry, pharmaceutical and governmental organizations.

The PSP Department also maintains two stand-alone Master’s programs.  The Special Master's Program in Physiology, is a one-year program leading to the M.S. degree.  This program is an enrichment program designed for students seeking to bolster their credentials to medical school.  The program accepts 32 students each year who participate in a rigorous curriculum designed to demonstrate their preparedness for medical school. The program boasts a greater than 90% success rate in getting its graduates accepted to medical school. The Masters Program in Molecular, Cellular and Biochemical Pharmacology (or “Safety Pharmacology Program”) is designed to train students as successful career professionals for research and laboratory management roles in the field of pharmacology, particularly pre-clinical drug discovery and development, or in fields in which pharmacology knowledge and skills are of significant value. The program also prepares students for advanced academic (e.g., PhD) or professional (e.g., MD, DVM) training in the life sciences.

Finally, faculty members in the PSP department contribute substantially to the University's Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences.

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Department of
Pharmacology and Systems Physiology

College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0575

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