The Department of Pharmacology is a leading center for research and training in the discipline of pharmacology, and is renowned for its strength in defining basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, elucidating molecular structure and function, and using computational science to translate basic knowledge into drug discovery relevant to treatment of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.


U.S. News & World Report 
ranked UC San Diego's
Department of Pharmacology
Second in Best Global Universities for Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2018

Department of Pharmacology
Ranked second in Total NIH Funding for 2018


Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is proud to announce the launch of their new M.S. in Drug Development & Product Management degree program.  The first class of students will commence September 2018. 


Cutting-edge seminars are hosted almost every Tuesday in the UC San Diego Department of Pharmacology.  

Upcoming Seminars:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Adrienne Cox, Ph.D.
UNC - Chapel Hill
“Leveraging RAS biology for cancer treatment”
12:00 pm, Leichtag Building, Room 107

In response to COVID-19 concerns and University policies, we will be suspending the Spring Department of Pharmacology seminar series.

2019-2020 Pharmacology  Research Discussions Schedule


In the News

May 2020

Krishna Sriram, postdoc fellow and Paul Insel, MD are featured in "What is the ACE2 receptor, how is it connected to coronavirus and why might it be key to treating COVID-19? The experts explain."

April 2020

Congratulations to David Gonzalez, PhD  for being selected as a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative awardee to support the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease along with UC San Diego colleagues Hiutung Chu and Mamata Sivagnanam.

February 2020

Michael Karin, PhD is featured in "Too Much of a Good Thing May Lead to Too Much of a Liver As Well."

January, 2020

Congratulations to Chair Joan Heller Brown, PhD who was selected for the 2020 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Awardin Pharmacology from ASPET for her scientific achievements and significant contributions to the field of pharmacology.

December 2019

David Gonzalez, PhD is featured in "Harmful Bacteria Masquerade as Red Blood Cells to Evade the Immune System."

October 2019

Congratulations to J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD who was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Congratulations to Jin Zhang, PhD for being a recipient of the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring.

September 2019

Congratulations to Alexandra Newton, PhD who was selected for the 2020 BPS Award in the Biophysics of Health and Disease by the Biophysical Society.

August 2019

Alexandra Newton, PhD is featured in "Single Enzyme Helps Drive Inflammation in Mice, Provides Target for New Sepsis Drugs." 

Congratulations to Edward Dennis, PhD who was selected for the 2020 Bert and Natalie Vallee Award in Biomedical Science by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

May 2019

Richard Daneman, PhD is featured in "Thwarting a Protein Reverses Brain Decline in Aged Mice."

April 2019

Michael Karin, PhD and Elsa Sanchez-Lopez, PhD are featured in "In Mice, Eliminating Damaged Mitochondria Alleviates Chronic Inflammatory Disease."

Congratulations to Jin Zhang, PhD who was selected for the 2019 International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS) Global Lectureship by the ICBS Board of Directors which was created to recognize distinguished investigators whose research has significantly advanced the field of chemical biology.

March 2019

Alexandra Newton, PhD is featured in "Balance of Two Enzymes Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Survival."  In addition to potentially aiding diagnosis and prognosis, the finding launches new effort to treat pancreatic cancer by inhibiting one enzyme and boosting the other.

JoAnn Trejo, PhD. is featured in "Not Just Checking a Box." How UC San Diego Health Sciences is working to enhance faculty diversity for the betterment of science, education and patient care.

Jing Yang, PhD was featured in "How Metastasizing Cancer Cells Lose Their Way — and How to Restore It."

All News


April 2019
Pharmacology faculty attend the Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Pictured are (L-R) Drs. K. Brandl, P. Taylor, S. Gutkind, T. Handel, P. Insel, J. Trejo, J. Zhang, J. Heller Brown and A. Newton.

February 2019
Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz (Duke) presents the 46th MilliporeSigma Lectureship Series at UC San Diego.
Dinner with Dr. Lefkowitz
Pictured are (L-R) Drs. J. Zhang, E. Dennis, T. Handel, P. Taylor, P. Insel, A. Newton, J. Trejo, S. Taylor, L. Brunton, J.H. Brown, R. Lefkowitz, J-P. Changeux and R. Sunahara.