Welcome to the Pharmacology Department!

Henrik Dolman, PhD, ChairOur Graduate Program is dedicated to the training of outstanding scientists in the pharmacological sciences. 
An outstanding graduate program is a high priority of our department, and the training faculty participate fully at all levels. Our department ranks consistently in the highest levels of NIH funding for pharmacology departments nationwide and a great diversity of research areas is available to trainees. more

The Department of Pharmacology ranks #3 in the nation in NIH research funding in its field.

Our Global Science Ranking: #2 In the World in Pharmacology and Toxicology Research and Publications, according to U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities 2018 report.

Carolina ranked top college value for 16th time in American public higher education, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance! 

Roth Lab Scientists Take a Big Step toward Building a Better Opioid

Kappa Opioid Receptor in the Active StateFor the first time, scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and collaborators solved the crystal structure of the activated kappa opioid receptor bound to a morphine derivative. The lead researchers, Pharmacology Distinguished Professor, Bryan Roth, MD, PhD, and postdocs Tao Che, PhD and Daniel Wacker, PhD, then created a new drug-like compound that activates only that receptor, a key step in the development of better pain medications.

The research, published in the journal Cell, shows a route toward creating opioids that relieve pain without causing the severe side effects at the heart of the opioid epidemic. read more...

WRAL News Highlights Roth Lab's New Drug-Like Compound That Could Treat Pain Without Addiction

WRAL News Highlights Roth Lab Opioid ResearchWRAL News highlights Bryan Roth's development of a new drug-like compound that targets a kappa opioid receptor in the brain that can relieve pain without the negative side effect of addiction. This discovery creates a pathway for the development of better pain medicines.

Watch the WRAL News video here...
Read more on Wral Tech Wire...

UNC School of Medicine to Launch Computational Medicine Program

Timothy Elston, PhDThe School of Medicine will launch a new Computational Medicine Program, which aims to channel UNC’s strength in computational biology, the basic sciences and clinical research, towards the goal of making significant advances in clinical care for patients. 

Led by Timothy Elston, PhD, and Chuck Perou, PhD, the university-wide program aims to advance personalized medicine for patients. read more...

UNC Scientists Discover Proteins Keeping Stem Cells in their Undifferentiated State

Jean Cook, PhDA special cluster of proteins that helps unwind DNA during cell division plays a key role in keeping stem cells in their immature state, according to a new study by UNC School of Medicine researchers. The study, published by Jean Cook's lab in the online journal eLife, illuminates the basic biology of stem cells, and suggests a new molecular handle for controlling them. read more...

Scientific Breakthrough Could Lead to Better Antipsychotic Drugs

dopamine 2 receptor bound to the antipsychotic drug risperidonePublished in Nature, research from the lab of Bryan L. Roth, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, revealed the first-ever crystal structure of the dopamine 2 receptor bound to an antipsychotic drug – a much-needed discovery in the quest to create effective drugs with fewer side effects to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other conditions. To get DRD2 to crystalize while bound tightly to risperidone required overcoming many technical challenges over many years by Bryan Roth and postdocs Tao Che, PhD, and Daniel Wacker, PhD. Postdoc Tao Che, PhD, also contributed to the study.  read more...

Discover With Us This Summer!

Accepting Applications for our 2018 Carolina Fellowship Summer Program starting Jan. 1, through Feb. 28, 2018!

Undergraduate Students are encouraged to apply for this 10-week summer experience that includes hands on research, professional and social development. A stipend, on-campus housing and a food allowance are offered to each student selected for the program.  Applications are open January 1 to February 28, 2018.  Learn more...

Song Lab Publishes Cover Paper in Cell Stem Cell

On the cover: In this issue, Bao et al. (604–617) show that long-range GABAergic projections from medial septum (MS) are necessary and sufficient for regulating neurogenesis through dentate local PV interneurons. The cover image is an artistic modification of the MS GABAergic projections acquired from Micro-Optical Sectioning Tomography (MOST) by Dr. Hui Gong from HUST. Flying birds allude to messengers sending GABA transmitter to the neurogenic niche. The lake and forest pictured below represent local PV interneurons nourishing neural stem cells. Cover designed by Hechen Bao and Mengting Dai.Congratulations to the Song lab for publishing the cover paper for the November 2, 2017 issue of Cell Stem Cell! The paper is titled, "Long-Range GABAergic Inputs Regulate Neural Stem Cell Quiescence and Control Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis"!  The researchers identified a neurogenesis-controlling brain circuit that runs from near the front of the brain back to the hippocampus, a learning- and memory-related structure. The hippocampus is one of the major sites of neurogenesis in the adult human brain, and the circuit that Song’s team has identified regulates this neuron-producing process. read more...

Jen Jen Yeh Named Smithies Investigator

Jen Jen Yeh, MDCongratulations to Jen Jen Yeh, MD,  who was selected by the UNC School of Medicine as a Smithies Investigator!  The award in honor of Oliver Smithies, UNC’s first Nobel Prize winner. is given annually to honor two senior faculty members who have made significant research contributions and achieved international recognition for their work.  Yeh is a Professor and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Surgery, and a Joint Professor of Pharmacology.  read more...

A Microscope Maker

Wesley LegantCongratulations to Wesley Legant, PhD, assistant professor in Pharmacology, who is highlighted in a Nature technology feature, "The Microscope Makers." The feature article describes his and fellow do-it-yourself scientists' approach that lead to the development of light sheet microscopy for live cell imaging.

"...when the right tool for the job doesn’t exist, make it."

read the full article on Nature...

Bryan Roth and Terry Kenakin named to Clarivate Analytics' 2017 highly cited researchers list

Bryan Roth-Terry KenakinCongratulations to PHCO faculty members, Bryan Roth and Terry Kenakin, both named to Clarivate Analytics’ 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list, which recognizes researchers from around the world who published the most widely cited papers in their field.


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Upcoming Events
Student Research Seminar Series presents: Devon Blake and Matt Lipner Feb 23, 2018 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM — 4007 GMB
Dr. Janine Kwapis, UC Irvine Presents Feb 27, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium
Dr. Krzystof Palczewski, Case Western Presents Mar 06, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium
Dr. Summer Thyme, Harvard Univ. Presents Mar 08, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium
Dr. Nick Justice, UTH Presents Mar 13, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium\
Dr. Amy Gladfelter, UNC-CH Presents Mar 20, 2018 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM — 1131 Bioinformatics Auditorium
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